Could Apple enter the cloud computing market? Could Adobe help?

This is total speculation, but I believe it would be very possible for Apple to enter the cloud computing space. A recent article in the Charolette Observer (found via a mac rumors artile) is claiming they are offering Apple a huge tax break to set up a billion dollar server farm in North Carolina.  


Apple has an interesting competitive advantage here. They have loads of cash in reserve ($29 billion) and manufacture hardware, OS  and software. They have already proven their ability to scale services (iTunes). I would find it ridiculous if Apple has not at least talked about it internally. Analysts are already touting cloud computing as the future of computing – and Apple is usually a leader in computing trends. 


Now, here’s where I think things would get really interesting. Apple buys Adobe. Adobe has an incredible multi-platform strategy in its Flash and Open Screen projects. Apple has  struggled with Web 2.0 deployments (MobileMe leverages AJAX and is still not even close to being good software). Apple really needs to get its web software strategy in gear, and QUICK.  So Apple buys Adobe – decides to fully support the Flash Player in the iPhone, MobileMe, and they create great SaaS server management tools; all leveraging Flash. Apple would also pick up the awesome Creative Suite products, PDF, Livecycle, etc. 


Think about how powerful this could be

Apple OS Web Servers


“Apple Quality” Management Software


Adobe Flash Client


I realize that there could be a slight culture clash between Adobe and Apple; you should never under-estimate how hard it is to integrate teams. But if they could all get on the same page, Apple + Adobe could revolutionize they way we think about software in the cloud and pose a real threat to what Microsoft is doing with Azure + Silverlight.

  1. Theo Denovan said:

    That’s a pretty big investment on Apple’s behalf in a company whose core competencies don’t necessarily correspond with Apple’s own. Flash and a couple of other adobe products would integrate extremely well with Apple’s business, but the vast majority of their products seem a bit incongruous.

    Still, we can hope :)

  2. dave said:

    Clearly, the article title is solely to gain search-engine hits, by having “Apple” “Adobe” and “cloud computing” as part of it.

    Of course, the idea of wasting billions of dollars to buy Adobe to get access to Flash would be incredibly stupid. Particularly since it has NOTHING to do with cloud computing. Just like everything else Adobe does.

    And given how a) Adobe has done such a crappy job with the Flash plugin on MacOS X and Apple’s complete indifference to it, and b) Apple’s rejection of having any part of Flash on the iPhone/iPod Touch, I would not want to be the individual going into a meeting with Steve Jobs tasked with explaining to him how basing the software for a new SaaS enterprise division on Flash would be a good thing.

    Maybe buying Adobe to give CreativeSuite a decent UI while killing the Windows version would help Apple, but somehow the Commerce department might find it anti-competitive…

  3. Dave,

    A bit jaded? Clearly if you read my entire blog you’ll know it is not all about increasing my search engine rankings. I simply wanted to throw out the idea that cloud computing would be an interesting option for Apple, and that without a good client platform, a cloud computing strategy is incomplete.

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