I came across a few of these product CDs the other day as I was cleaning out some old storage bins. And it got me thinking…
Adobe’s tangled web:
- 1995 – Adobe acquires Seneca Inc and its primary app – PageMill
- 1996 – GoLive Inc releases the first commercial-grade WYSIWYG HTML page builder – GoLive
- 1996 – Macromedia begins selling Flash
- 1997 – GoLive Inc releases CyberStudio – the 3rd upgrade to the original GoLive app
- 1997 – In response to CyberStudio, Macromedia releases Dreamweaver
- 1998 – In response to Flash, Adobe begins selling ImageStyler
- 1999 – Adobe acquires GoLive Inc and re-brands CyberStudio as Adobe GoLive
- 2000 – Adobe kills off ImageStyler and replaces it with LiveMotion
- 2000 – Adobe kills off PageMill and SiteMill
- 2003 – Adobe kills off LiveMotion
- 2005 – Adobe acquires Macromedia and its popular Dreamweaver & Flash apps
- 2007 – Adobe replaces GoLive with Dreamweaver in Creative Suite 3
- 2008 – Adobe kills off GoLive completely
PageMill was the first consumer-oriented WYSIWYG HTML page builder. I loved it. Even though it couldn’t create tables, it was simple to use and produced excellent code with little fuss.
Adobe GoLive was a product that Adobe acquired when they purchased a German company named GoLive who made a spectacular application called CyberStudio. I loved this app even more than PageMill. It was truly a professional app that produced much cleaner code than the first version of Dreamweaver—and it was far easier to use.
Adobe LiveMotion was basically Flash for designers. Flash was a code-heavy mess even in the early days—usable only by developers for the most part. LiveMotion was a breath of fresh-air. I created several websites for clients back in the day using LiveMotion and nobody knew the difference. It was awesome software.
Macromedia was the originator of not only Dreamweaver, but Flash and Freehand (Illustrator’s only competitor). Many people, including myself, believe that all of the Macromedia products went downhill after being acquired by Adobe, with Freehand being outright discontinued. And many people, including myself, believe that all of Adobe’s competing products were far superior to their Macromedia counterparts. Unfortunately, Macromedia had the numbers.
In summary, Adobe acquired three companies, the only three that produced serious software to create websites in the early days of the web. In hindsight, they killed the easier-to-use software in favor of more complex software, which is why we have the complete mess that we have today.
Incidentally, most of the applications Adobe has acquired over the years came from companies that acquired the apps from someone else as well (Flash, Director, Freehand, HomeSite, ColdFusion and more). It seems nobody ever really wanted to hang on to anything in Silicon Valley.
Don’t even get me started on PressReady, ImageReady, TypeManager, Streamline and Dimensions. All of those apps live-on to this day—rolled into other apps or the OS itself—but none of them offer the simplicity and superior results of their stand-alone predecessors.