Adobe was founded in December 1982 by John Warnock and Charles Geschke, who established the company after leaving Xerox PARC in order to develop and sell the PostScript page description language. In 1985, Apple Computer licensed PostScript for use in its LaserWriter printers, which helped spark the desktop publishing revolution. The company name Adobe comes from Adobe Creek, which ran behind the house of one of the company's founders. Adobe acquired its former competitor, Macromedia, in December 2005.
As of January 2007, Adobe Systems has 6,677 employees, about 40% of whom work in San Jose. Adobe also has major development operations in Seattle, Washington; San Francisco, California; Ottawa, Ontario; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Newton, Massachusetts; San Luis Obispo, California; Hamburg, Germany; Noida, India and Bangalore, India.
Since 1995, Fortune has ranked Adobe as an outstanding place to work. Adobe was rated the fifth-best U.S. company to work for in 2003, sixth in 2004, 31st in 2007 and 40th in 2008. In 2007 Adobe ranked 9th on the list of largest software companies in the world.
Adobe's first products after PostScript were digital fonts, which they released in a proprietary format called Type 1. Apple subsequently developed a competing standard, TrueType, which provided full scalability and precise control of the pixel pattern created by the font's outlines, and licensed it to Microsoft. Adobe responded by publishing the Type 1 specification and releasing Adobe Type Manager, software that allowed WYSIWYG scaling of Type 1 fonts on screen, like TrueType, although without the precise pixel-level control. But these moves were too late to stop the rise of TrueType. Although Type 1 remained the standard in the graphics/publishing market, TrueType became the standard for business and the average Windows user. In 1996, Adobe and Microsoft announced the OpenType font format, and in 2003 Adobe completed converting its Type 1 font library to OpenType.
In the mid-1980s, Adobe entered the consumer software market with Adobe Illustrator, a vector-based drawing program for the Apple Macintosh. Illustrator, which grew from the firm's in-house font-development software, helped popularize PostScript-enabled laser printers. Unlike MacDraw, then the standard Macintosh vector drawing program, Illustrator described shapes with more flexible Bézier curves, providing unprecedented accuracy. Font rendering in Illustrator, however, was left to the Macintosh's QuickDraw libraries and would not be superseded by a PostScript-like approach until Adobe released Adobe Type Manager.
Arguably, one of Adobe's few missteps on the Macintosh platform was their failure to develop their own desktop publishing (DTP) program. Instead, Aldus with PageMaker in 1985 and Quark with QuarkXPress in 1987 gained early leads in the DTP market. Adobe was also slow to address the emerging Windows DTP market. However, Adobe made great strides in that market with release of InDesign and its bundled Creative Suite offering. In a failure to predict the direction of computing, Adobe released a complete version of Illustrator for Steve Jobs' ill-fated NeXT system, but a poorly produced version for Windows.
Despite these missteps, licensing fees from the PostScript interpreter allowed Adobe to outlast or acquire many of its rivals in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In December 1991, Adobe released Adobe Premiere, which Adobe rebranded to Adobe Premiere Pro in 2003. In 1994, Adobe acquired Aldus and added Adobe PageMaker and Adobe After Effects to its production line later in the year; it also controls the TIFF file format. In 1995, Adobe added Adobe FrameMaker, the long-document DTP application, to its production line after Adobe acquired Frame Technology Corp. In 1999, Adobe introduced Adobe InCopy as a direct competitor to QuarkCopyDesk.
According to Hoovers Adobe's top competitors are:
|Charles M. Geschke||Co-Chairman of the Board|
|John E. Warnock||Co-Chairman of the Board|
|Shantanu Narayen||President & Chief Executive Officer (2005 Compensation: $1.08 M USD)|
|Karen Cottle||Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary|
|Mark Garrett||Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer|
|Donna Morris||Senior Vice President, Human Resources|
Adobe's products include
As of February 2007, Adobe's market capitalization was roughly $23 billion USD; as of August 2007, its shares were trading on the NASDAQ for around $40 USD, with a P/E ratio of about 49 and EPS of about $0.82.
As of March 2008, Adobe's market capitalization was roughly $18 billion USD; its shares were trading on the NASDAQ for around $33 USD, with a P/E ratio of about 27 and EPS of about $1.21.