Or that's UK£1.8billion between friends. It was only a matter of time before Macromedia bought a few other companies or became shark bait by itself. Its rise to prominence came first with Flash, which rose from a nice back-end facilitator to websites until whole domains were coded with the language - and the rest is history. Now the company's independence is a part of that history. Like Symantec's axing of Drive Image to cancel the competition to the Norton Ghost Series, there are now two large groups of print and web publishing users waiting to find out which applications from either side will get the chop - in addition to the development teams for those less popular or less often updated programs.

As an all-paper deal, former Macromedia shareholders will receive 0.69 of an Adobe share for each Macromedia one. Given that our site is created using former Macromedia tools, Adobe has now tightened its grip over many standardised creation tools for internet content - and it's not like it didn't already have a sizeable print presence. Given that there are conflicting quotes in the media regarding the intended future - some say it wants to reduce its reliance on Acrobat while others restate its intent to make .PDF dominant - we'll have to wait and see whether rival Microsoft's plan to attempt to create a file format as widespread as .PDF and even more dominant than its own .DOC and .XLS files, actually become reality in Longhorn. We predict business as usual until users on support contracts are informed of any concrete changes.