The history of Adobe

Very few people haven’t heard of the billion-dollar software developer, Adobe(Pronounced ah-doh-bee). Adobe Inc. is an American-based multinational computer software company. The company was incorporated in Delaware and had its main headquarters in San Jose, California. It is known over the years for being focused upon the creation of multimedia and creativity software products, with a more recent foray towards digital marketing software. Adobe is probably best known for its web ecosystem software, Adobe Flash, a web plug-in used for every bit of interactive media on the internet in the 2000s and early 2010s. Other easily recognizable ventures of Adobe include; Photoshop image editing software, Adobe Illustrator vector graphics editor, Acrobat Reader, the Portable Document Format (PDF), and Adobe Creative Suite, as well as its successor Adobe Creative Cloud. 

John Warnock and Charles Geschke founded Adobe in December 1982. They founded the company just after leaving Xerox PARC to develop and sell the PostScript page description language. PostScript helped spark the desktop publishing revolution after Apple Computers licensed it for its LaserWriter printer in 1985. The company’s name was gotten from Adobe Creek in Los Altos, California, which ran behind Warnock’s house. The creek is popular for its clay reserves, which alludes to its software’s creative nature. Adobe’s logo is a stylized “A” designed by Marva Warnock, a graphic designer who is also John Warnock’s wife. The year it was founded, Steve Jobs attempted to buy Adobe for $5 million. However, Warnock and Geschke refused. Investors in Adobe pushed the founders to work out a deal with Jobs. This ended in them selling Apple shares worth 19 percent of the company. Jobs took the deal and paid five-times Adobe’s valuation at the time, plus a five-year license fee for PostScript, in advance. This groundbreaking deal pushed Adobe to become the first company in the history of Silicon Valley to become profitable in its first year.

Warnock and Geschke focused on developing specialized printing software and created the Adobe PostScript page description language. PostScript became the first international standard for computer printing as it included algorithms describing the letter-forms of many languages; even the complex Japanese kanji was added to printer products. They licensed the Helvetica and Times Roman fonts. By 1987, PostScript had become the industry-standard printer language with more than 400 third-party software programs and licensing agreements with 19 printer companies.

After PostScript, Adobe went into digital fonts, which they released in a proprietary format called Type 1, worked on by Bill Paxton after he left Stanford. Apple created a worthy rival to Type 1 titled TrueType, which provided full scalability and precise control of the pixel pattern created by the font’s outlines, and licensed it to Microsoft. Adobe created Illustrator in the mid-80s; it was developed from the firm’s in-house font-development software, helped popularize PostScript-enabled laser printers.

Adobes’ fiscal year runs from December to November. Adobe’s flagship product, Photoshop, was released in 1989, a ¹graphics editing program for the Macintosh. It was titled Photoshop 1.0 and was ably marketed by Adobe and soon dominated the market. The  Portable Document Format was released in 1993 alongside Adobe Acrobat and Reader software. Today, PDF is now an International Standard: ISO 32000-1:2008. In 1991, Premiere was released and rebranded as Premiere Pro in 2003. Adobe acquired OCR Systems, Inc. in 1992 and Aldus, PageMaker, and After Effects in 1994, which controlled the TIFF file format. They also acquired LaserTools Corp and Compution Inc in the same year. Afobe acquired Frame Technology Corp. in 1995 and added FrameMaker, the long-document DTP application, to its product line. Adobe acquired Canadian company Accelio in 1996 and 2002, respectively. Adobe then bought the audio editing and multitrack recording software Cool Edit Pro from Syntrillium Software for $16.5 million in 2003. The name was changed to “Adobe Audition” and included in the Creative Suite. 

In 2005, Adobe stomped its rivals when it acquired Macromedia, in a stock swap valued at about $3.4 billion, adding ColdFusion, Contribute, Captivate, Breeze (rebranded as Adobe Connect), Director, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash, FlashPaper, Flex, FreeHand, HomeSite, JRun, Presenter, and Authorware to Adobe’s product line. Adobe media player was released in 2008. In 2009, Adobe acquired the online marketing and web analytics company Omniture for $1.8 billion, and Omniture products were integrated into the Adobe Marketing Cloud. 2010 marked the negotiations between Adobe and Apple over the latter’s non-support for Adobe Flash on its iPhone, iPad, and other products. These arguments stemmed from Steve Jobs claiming that Flash was not reliable or secure enough, while Adobe executives have argued that Apple wishes to maintain control over the iOS platform. Adobe acquired DemDex, Inc. in 2011, with the intent of adding DemDex’s audience-optimization software to its online marketing suite. During Photoshop World 2011, Adobe announced Carousel, a new iPhone, iPad, and Mac application that uses Photoshop Lightroom technology for users to adjust and fine-tune images on all platforms. The company grew from strength to strength over the next years. 

By 2018, at Adobe Summit in March, the company and NVIDIA publicized a key association to upgrade their industry-driving quickly AI and profound learning innovations. They worked to streamline the Adobe Sensei AI and machine learning structure for NVIDIA GPUs.   The company officially changed its name from Adobe Systems Incorporated to Adobe Inc. in 2018. Adobe acquired the 3D texturing company Allegorithmic in January 2019. Adobe’s annual Adobe Summit was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was pushed to take place online later in the year. Adobe imposed a ban on the political ads features on its digital advert sales platform as the United States presidential 2020 elections approach. On November 9, 2020, Adobe announced it would spend USD 1.5 billion to acquire Workfront, a provider of marketing collaboration software.