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Naked Mole Rat Report: Jalalabadobe

November 19, 2001

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Burrow into The Gay Blade’s enclave. The Spork Boards

An enthusiastic if slightly addled student of global military machinations ever since the anxious early days of the British Invasion, The Gay Blade finds himself riveted by the blinding speed with which the latest engagement has reversed course into surprising new avenues.

Who, truly, could have predicted the current siege state? A battle-hardened, fanatical cadre of religious purists – which common wisdom had judged determined to battle to the death – now stands isolated and surrounded on all sides by a crazy-quilt of age-old adversaries and new antagonists. Is a negotiated retreat in the cards, or will the coming days bring about a unilateral surrender?

The Blade is referring, of course, to the current explosive situation taking shape within the San Jose, Calif., compound of Adobe Systems Inc., which many political scientists and social historians regard as the true birthplace of the desktop revolution.

Ever since Adobe opened the burqa on its frightful quarterly financial results and the summary dismissal of about 5 percent of its workforce, the bazaars have been abuzz with reports that a dramatic transfer of power may be in the works.

Now it can be told: While the Blade’s rag-tag horde of Mac mujahideen are hardly paragons of scientific precision when it comes to intelligence gathering, this utensil is deeply intrigued by recent suggestions that several familiar factions – each stranger than the next – may be vying for control of the embattled company.

It’s hardly rocket science to implicate the Evil Empire, but one of the most pervasive rumors holds that Microsoft (best known as the developer of flight-simulation software Saudi engineering students ask for by name) is considering an Adobe takeover. Between the Redmond tribe’s longtime outsider status in fundamentalist graphics circles and its considerable cash reserves, the report has significant currency. (At the same time, any Microsoft overtures would doubtless inspire a sweep of known Windows associates by the monopoly-conscious Justice Department.)

The second suspect? None other than Apple itself. The Mac maker is noted for its decades-long association with the Adobe leadership and its recent efforts to develop its own multimedia-software arsenal. An Apple acquisition of Adobe could jump-start the latter’s laggardly efforts at Mac OS X development and shore up Apple’s reputation as a mecca of desktop graphics and multimedia.

The final candidate on the Blade’s radar? The Magic Kingdom. No, not Qatar – Disney. According to this utensil’s strike force of queens and fairies, the House of Mouse may have a taste for Adobe’s storied content-creation tools, although it’s an open question whether Eisner & Co. are actually interested in taking on the sales and support side of the Adobe operation.

Holy Shi’ite! Got some Mac doctrine of your own to lay down? Spill to The NMR Report, and a zaftig mole rat could be yours!

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