Adobe Inc., originally Adobe Systems Incorporated, is a significant player in the multimedia and creativity software industry. Founded in December 1982 by John Warnock and Charles Geschke, the company started in Mountain View, California, and was named after a creek near their homes. Their pioneering work at Xerox PARC led to the development of the PostScript page description language, which became a cornerstone for it’s early success.

Early Milestones

  1. PostScript and Apple Partnership (1983-1985): early success was bolstered by its partnership with Apple. In 1983, Apple acquired 15% of Adobe and became the first licensee of PostScript. This collaboration played a crucial role in the desktop publishing revolution, with Apple’s introduction of the LaserWriter, the first Macintosh-compatible PostScript printer in 1985. The combination of PostScript and laser printing technology enabled professional-quality printing and layout capabilities for personal computer users, a significant advancement over previous options
  2. Introduction of Key Software Products:
    • Adobe Illustrator (1987): This PostScript-based drawing package targeted artists, designers, and technical illustrators.
    • Adobe Photoshop (1989): Originally a graphics editing program for Macintosh, Photoshop quickly became Adobe’s most successful program, dominating its market segment.
    • Adobe Premiere (1991): A video and multimedia editing software.
  3. PDF and Adobe Acrobat (1993): The introduction of PDF (Portable Document Format) and its associated software, Acrobat, marked a significant innovation in document sharing and publishing. PDF eventually became an international standard (ISO 32000-1:2008)

Expansion through Acquisitions:


  1. Acquisition of Macromedia (2005): adding products like Flash, Dreamweaver, and FreeHand to its portfolio. This acquisition was a major step in expanding it’s capabilities in web development and interactive media.
  2. Acquisition of Omniture (2009): a foray into digital marketing, integrating Omniture’s products into the Adobe Marketing Cloud.

Recent Adobe Developments:

  1. Name Change (2018): Adobe Systems Incorporated officially changed its name to Adobe Inc. in 2018.
  2. AI and Machine Learning (2018): enhancement of its AI and machine learning technologies in collaboration with Nvidia, focusing on Adobe Sensei for Creative Cloud and Experience Cloud services.
  3. Acquisition of Magento Commerce (2018): strengthening its Experience Cloud business, which includes analytics, advertising, and marketing services.
  4. Acquisition of Workfront (2020): This acquisition aimed at enhancing marketing collaboration software offerings.
  5. Planned Acquisition of Figma (2022): an agreement to buy Figma, a software design start-up, for $20 billion, although the deal faced regulatory scrutiny.

Adobe Inc. has consistently demonstrated innovation and adaptability, evolving from a focus on desktop publishing and graphic design to encompassing digital media and digital marketing. Its software products have become essential tools in various creative fields, solidifying it’s position as a leading software company.