Yesterday, reports surfaced that Adobe is removing their booth from Macworld 2009 next January. In a statement to Macworld, an Adobe spokesman said “Adobe has decided to shift its focus at the Macworld trade show this year. Macworld is a valuable industry show and we will still be an active part of it with members of our product team involved in Macworld tracks, including a full day of CS4 demo sessions with Adobe evangelists on Wednesday, January 7.”
Now, for some reason, many people seemed to miss this statement and the knee-jerk reaction was that a.) Adobe is slowly abandoning the Mac platform ((If you want to look for evidence that Adobe takes the Mac platform for granted, look at Flash performance or render times in After Effects.)), b.) they did not want a public face at the event for fear of complaints over CS4 (?), or c.) both.
First of all, Adobe is simply removing their booth, not their presence. As stated, they are still hosting demo sessions and involved in several seminars. Secondly, this mirrors what Apple themselves are doing with regard to trade shows.
In February, Apple announced it would no longer be participating at NAB. Unsurprisingly, several took this as a sign that Apple was abandoning the pro-video market. Afterall, Final Cut Server, their collaborative workflow manager and asset management solution which was announced at NAB 2007, had yet to be released, QuickTime updates were plaguing stability of their video apps, and updates seemed to be few and far between. (Two months later, Final Cut Server was released and recent updates to their pro video apps have been mostly trouble free.)
In reality, Apple was simply shifting focus (sound familiar?). They later stated that they were participating in fewer trade shows and instead using different outlets, such as their website, brick & mortar stores, and smaller self-hosted events to reach the public.
Back to Adobe. Is it really any surprise that Adobe would be doing something similar? In light of the recent economic climate, it makes sense to scale back. This was later evidenced in a press release covering their Q4 performance:
The Company cited weaker-than-expected demand for its new Creative Suite 4 family of products that began shipping in Q4 in North America and Europe as the main cause for the shortfall in fourth quarter revenue.
Adobe also announced the implementation of a restructuring program, and has taken steps to reduce its headcount by approximately 600 full-time positions globally.
Again, this makes sense. Marketing is one of the first areas to be hit by slow economic times; companies often cut their advertising budget first. This directly affects agencies and creative houses who use, you guessed it, Adobe software. Jobs are often cut and the endless search for ways to reduce spending begins. Upgrading to CS4 was most likely deemed unnecessary for many creative departments.
So, Adobe is cutting spending (and jobs), not support for the Mac platform.