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Adobe is a multimedia and creativity software development company which was originally established back in 1982 by Charles Geschke and John Warnock who had left their previous jobs at Xerox in order to focus on their PostScript language. Three years later the Apple Corporation would be granted a license to use the PostScript in their LaserWriters. This ineffectively started the desktop publishing revolution which swept its way across the nation in no time.

The name of the company does not come from the adobe building blocks which are used in construction of some homes in the southwest but rather refers to the Adobe Creek that meandered its way behind the founder of the company’s home. In its earlier years, the company focused purely on desktop publishing and introduced software programs such as the old Photoshop and Photoshop Deluxe which many people remember from back in the early Mac days. It was not until 2005 that they would acquire Macromedia allowing them to enter into the internet development industry.

Currently, there are more than 6,000 employees working for Adobe Systems; their main offices in San Jose, California employees roughly 40% of that figure with the remainder being spread out across their national and international satellite offices.

After releasing their PostScript under a license to Apple, Adobe turned their focus to desktop publishing in general. Their next venture was the creation and distribution of proprietary fonts that they called Type 1. Seeing as though Apple had already paid heavily for the PostScript license, they decided to compete with their own digital font that has since become known as TrueType. After Apple developed the TrueType they then licensed it to Microsoft and as a result, Adobe Systems made the decision to develop and release the Adobe Type Manager which allowed their Type 1 font to be scalable and therefore competitive against the TrueType fonts.

Unfortunately for Adobe the release of the Adobe Type Manager was too late and the TrueType quickly became the de facto font used in the Windows operating systems. However, Adobe would go back in 2003 to team up with Microsoft and convert all of their Type 1 fonts into the new OpenType.

After licensing the PostScript to Apple and developing the Type 1 fonts, Adobe then worked its way into the development of creative software that could be used to further the desktop publishing revolution. Their first creation would be the Adobe Illustrator which was developed for the Apple computers. In comparison to the Macintosh Quick Draw, the Illustrator was far superior in every account other than that of the rendering of fonts as the Type 1 was not scalable until the company would release the Adobe Type Manager in the 1990s.

It was back in 1989 when Adobe was to first launch the Adobe Photoshop under version 1.0 for the Macintosh computers. It of course did not take much time at all for the Photoshop to dominate the image publishing market. They would have also dominated the desktop publishing market as well had they not taken a few too many missteps along the way and allowed the 1985 Aldus PageMaker and the 1987 QuarkXPress to get an early market lead.

However, irregardless the Adobe products still began making their presence into the desktop publishing industry when they finally released the InDesign software as part of their first Creative Suite release. Because of their continued royalties made from their PostScript licenses, Adobe stayed far ahead of their competition around every single corner. Starting at the end of the 1990s, Adobe began acquiring their competition as their competition began to go under. By 1991 they had acquired so much of their competitor’s technology that they released the Adobe Premiere.

By 1994 they had acquired Aldus along with PageMaker along with the technology and rights to the TIFF image format. The following year they would acquire the Frame Technology Corporation along with the FramMaker software and by 1999 they released their very first direct competition to the QuarkCopyDesk they called InCopy.

Today Adobe now controls a number of technologies used for web development which includes Flash, Flex, Air, Shockwave and much more. However while they may appear to be the leader worldwide in the development of GUIs for internet development and publishing, outside of the United States they are far less known due to their continued insistence of selling their products in some cases more than twice what they can be purchased for in the U.S. Instead, many other countries have turned to either downloading the pirated versions of the programs through torrent or using freeware and shareware GUIs capable of handling all of the Adobe technologies individually; this means that they have to use multiple programs for the same functionality they could get from using just one of the Adobe Creative Suite programs.

Original Authors: Nick
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 04/02/2009


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