As Microsoft is preparing to release its own line of designer tools for use on the Web, it may find that it won’t be that easy to cash in on this portion of the market since many of the Web’s coolest sites use Flash and other design programs created by Adobe Systems, Incorporated. Additionally, with the line between Internet and desktop programs blurring Microsoft may find it more difficult than it anticipates competing against Adobe on its home turf, the desktop.

Microsoft is preparing to release its suite of design software known as Expression Studio that is expected to go head on head with Adobe’s established Photoshop and Illustrator software. To counter the anticipated reluctance of users to change over Microsoft will offer its suite at a mere $599, a steal when compared to the $1,000 Adobe charges for its Web Developer software. Microsoft has already released Expression Web to compete with Adobe’s Dreamweaver and by the end of the month; Microsoft expects to release its Beta version of Silverlight, a Flash-like browser plug-in. As a major bonus to consumers, Microsoft’s Expression Web and Silverlight will enable multimedia presentations that will work regardless of the viewer’s Web browser or operating system.

However, this is just the latest clash between the two as Microsoft’s dominance over the operating system and desktop software markets is basically unchallenged, while Adobe’s greatest asset is its Web-Savvy designers. In addition, the two software giants are also battling over standards for the paperless office and tools for displaying content on and building applications for mobile phones and handheld computers. Adobe, if it can hold onto its loyalty base, has the ability to maintain its share of the market but Microsoft has, with Silverlight, addressed the biggest problem that Web professionals have been complaining about, since the mid-1990s, that the code it was generating didn’t work well with non-Microsoft Web browsers. When one thinks about it though it will come down to the consumer’s desire to spend the extra cash required to change systems and retrain its personnel if it elects to install Microsoft’s new software which could be to Adobe’s advantage.

[tags]Microsoft, Adobe, Silverlight, Expression Web, Web browser, Web Design tools, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, Photoshop, Flash, Computer software[/tags]