Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

AdobSoft? "Nonsense" on the Microsoft-Adobe Rumor (In Any Case, It'd More Likely Be GooDobe)

Investment bankers and stock markets can calm down–Microsoft and Adobe are not in talks about an acquisition.

Spurred by a story in the New York Times that Microsoft was eyeing the software company for purchase, Adobe (ADBE) stock went wild today, up 11.5 percent to $28.69.

Except, according to numerous sources at both companies with whom I talked today, it’s “nonsense.”

Sure, it might be an interesting idea–kind of like AOL (AOL) and Yahoo (YHOO) merging–but that’s not the case at this point either.

Chalk this one up to blabby bankers and stock speculators–this might be a good rumor for regulators to look into.

Of course, as is typical, the execs at both companies talk a lot–you might have noticed that Adobe has a lot of software that is popular on the Windows operating system.

So, they had a meeting!

But it is kind of hard to do an acquisition when “Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive, recently showed up with a small entourage of deputies at Adobe’s offices to hold a secret meeting with Adobe’s chief executive, Shantanu Narayen.”

Memo to the Times: When there is an acquisition afoot–in my experience–it’s all private airplanes and law offices and not a company HQ visit by the very loud and very noticeable Ballmer, the exact polar opposite of a shrinking violet.

In any case, it is not a big surprise at this point if longtime rivals like Adobe and Microsoft (MSFT)–which makes a competing video technology called Silverlight to Adobe’s Flash–talk about trying to stop the explosive growth of Apple, especially in the mobile space.

Microsoft is about to launch its Windows Phone 7, after many cloddish efforts in the arena have failed, and Adobe has been subject to a withering attack from Apple (AAPL) and its CEO Steve Jobs.

Jobs, in no uncertain terms, has dissed Flash relentlessly as a technology.

Others have not, such as Google (GOOG), which recently showed strong support for Adobe’s Flash in its recent launch of Google TV.

In fact, it is Google that is more mentioned in Silicon Valley as the logical acquirer of Adobe, if there were to be a sale.

Along with all its various assets, such as the Photoshop and Acrobat software that dominates online publishing, Adobe’s Omniture unit is one of the more powerful and popular analytics companies on the Web, which is right in Google’s wheelhouse.

Personally, that’s the one I would bet on, although that’s entirely me speaking.

Until that happens, here is a video interview of Jobs smacking around Adobe and Flash at the eighth D: All Things Digital conference in June:

Please see this disclosure related to me and Google.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald