Sources say Microsoft-Adobe rumor 'nonsense'

An All Things Digital item says numerous sources at both companies have called the reports of a Microsoft buy of Adobe ridiculous.

Kara Swisher
2 min read

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 it for purchase, the stock of the software company went wild today.

It was up 11.5 percent to $28.69.

Except, according to numerous sources at both companies with whom I talked to today, it's "nonsense."

Sure, it might be an interesting idea--kind of like AOL and Yahoo merging--but that's not the case at this point.

Of course, as is typical, the execs at both companies talk a lot--you might have noticed 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 a "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 the company HQ visit by the very loud and very noticeable Ballmer, the polar opposite of a shrinking violet.

In any case, it is not a big surprise at this point if longtime rivals like Microsoft--which makes a competing video technology called Silverlight to Adobe's Flash--talk about trying to stop the 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 and its CEO Steve Jobs.

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

Others have not, such as Google, 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 its 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.