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Report: Microsoft, Adobe Held Secret Summit on Apple and Mobile

Published on October 7, 2010
by John Paczkowski

So Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer dropped by Adobe recently for a secret meeting with Adobe chief Shantanu Narayen, the New York Times reports. It lasted about an hour and covered a number of topics, among them how to better compete against Apple in the smartphone market and a possible acquisition of Adobe by Microsoft.

Given the meeting’s length, it’s hard to imagine the buyout talk extended much beyond a casual mention of the idea, though the two companies have held more in-depth discussions on the matter in the past. It’s far more plausible this was largely an “enemy of my enemy is my friend” chat, with Apple (AAPL) in the villain’s role, with some peripheral jawing about getting Flash running on Windows Phone 7.

But who knows, right? By purchasing Adobe (ADBE), Microsoft would gain a lot of IP and recent Adobe acquisition Omniture, whose Web traffic measurement software is that industry’s standard. And with nearly $37 billion in cash and short-term equivalents, Microsoft (MSFT) is certainly capable of writing the $15.5 billion check it would likely take to acquire the company.

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