So I have to say this is a bit surprising to me as I had Macromedia being a Microsoft acquisition target for a while. For Adobe to buy their primary competitor in the design area is just bad in general for competition. I'm an avid Macromedia Fireworks user - it's the best web-oriented graphics editor out there - PhotoShop is just way to pro-heavy. I also dig what Macromedia has done with Flash on the desktop by continuing to improve the technology as a platform by adding ActionScript 2, etc. And Flash Lite has created some of the most compelling content I've seen on a mobile phone. I don't really see that level of innovation coming from Adobe, so I'm really not sure if this was the best move for the market in general.
How important is mobile to the combined company? Mobile is a huge new market opportunity for the combined company. Macromedia has demonstrated significant momentum with key partners like Nokia and Samsung and the combined company will accelerate this new business.
That's a good sign. Of all the areas and products that Macromedia covers, for Adobe to point out specifically the mobile area in their merger FAQ means (to me) that Flash Lite isn't going to be forgotten. And honestly, with Adobe's worldwide market presence they might be able to do a much better job than Macromedia has done so far to get Flash on the handsets (in the West). I can see a combined Flash/SVG player (Flash Lite 1.1?) from Adobe becoming a really viable platform. I look forward to it because I think as the handsets mature, Flash will become a better way to create entertainment-oriented content than Java just like it has in the browser. Now Adobe can spend some of the energy they've been expending promoting SVG-T towards Flash as well, and that's a good thing.
I have to say though that in my mind Adobe will always be the company that had a researcher *thrown in jail* for publicly explaining flaws in their product. It still annoys me years later when I think about it. Also, Macromedia was one of the last great San Francisco based technology companies. Obviously I'm down here in the Valley now and I love it, but it was always nice to think about Macromedia having SF's culture seeping in through its walls and I honestly think you can see that in many of their products, and initiatives like their many, many corporate bloggers. You don't see anything like that when you look at Adobe.
I've got some pals at Adobe, but I really can't see this merger being anything but a net-minus right now. Hopefully time will prove me wrong.