Firefox 1.0.3 released

The latest edtion of my browser of choice, Mozilla Firefox 1.0.3 has just been released.

While it is still much, much more secure than Microsoft Internet Explorer 6, this latest edition includes a number of security updates and a fix to improve the update process.

I’ve just downloaded it, and updated it on-top-of my current installation (Firefox 1.0.2) with no problems, not even with 3rd party extensions.

Seemingly Firefox has now been downloaded over 47,500,000 times since it went live as version 1.0 back in November 2004.

Adobe buys Macromedia

Surprising news in this morning’s PCPro newsletter: Adobe buys up Macromedia.

Adobe is to buy Macromedia, in a deal that will create a single, dominant player in graphics and Web software.

Adobe will pay $3.4bn in stock, for which it will acquire products such as FreeHand, Dreamweaver, Fireworks and Flash which are the main competitors to some of its own portfolio.

Adobe sees the buyout as crucial in its bid to create wholly integrated software and to make PDF the dominant (if it is not already) document format – the addition of Flash to its portfolio, gives it the most dominant multimedia file format for the Web. Flash also has a strong and growing presence on mobile phones.

As a user of both Adobe (Acrobat 6, Illustrator 10, Streamline 4) and Macromedia (Dreamweaver MX 2004) applications I’m still not entirely sure that this is good news for users. Diversity is surely a good thing, … no? Are Adobe the new Microsoft? Certainly their PDF document format is fast becoming — if it is not already there — the standard for document distribution (and a good thing too, it’s a wonderful format).

There is some cross-over of applications, but Adobe must be jumping for joy (performing acrobatics, you could say) that they now have the Flash application within their portfolio. Expect a new Adobe Creative Suite jam-packed with expensive and shiny applications. I expect that Adobe’s GoLive web-building software will give way to Macromedia Dreamweaver, Adpbe Illustrator will out-weigh Macromedia Freehand, and the industry-standard Adobe Photoshop won’t budge for Macromedia Fireworks.

I feel a pang of sadness that Macromedia have been swallowed up.