In "Closing the Book on Visual Page" in TidBITS-439, I commented that Adobe seemed to be ignoring the Mac version of PageMill, given that Adobe made no mention of future Mac development in the PageMill 3.0 for Windows press materials. It turns out Adobe is working on PageMill 3.0 for the Mac, and according to Rick Brown of Adobe, it should ship before the end of the year. PageMill users can look for a public beta about a month before it ships.
I’m pleased that Adobe is continuing development on PageMill for the Mac, even if it lags behind the Windows version. One reason why the Mac has had such good HTML authoring products – including GoLive CyberStudio, Terry Morse Myrmidon, and BBEdit from Bare Bones Software – is that the competition has provided incentive to improve. When competition disappears, incentive to improve must rely on a company wanting to do the right thing for users. As much as I’d like to believe companies want to do well by users, my experience indicates that this type of behavior often happens thanks only to the efforts of a few dedicated and under-appreciated individuals. In short, most large companies become myopic looking at the balance sheet and miss the larger picture of maintaining a loyal customer base.
We also received rumors from independent sources about the possible acquisition of GoLive Systems by Adobe. Rick Brown of Adobe would only say that Adobe is a large company with a lot of cash and is in discussions with many companies about many issues. A GoLive representative echoed Rick’s comments about GoLive talking to lots of companies about many things, but said with regard to the Adobe rumor, "There’s nothing there."
From Adobe’s perspective, an acquisition might make sense; together PageMill and CyberStudio could give Adobe consumer-level and professional-level products. Plus, Adobe’s sales, marketing, and distribution clout could undoubtedly help sell more copies of CyberStudio. From the perspective of the Macintosh software industry, though, I think the merger would be a loss. One industry insider summed it up well, saying, "It would be a pity to lose a dynamic, aggressive Mac developer like GoLive to the Adobe dinosaur." We’ve lost too many small companies already.