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Adobe Systems Incorporated is an American multinational computer software company. The company is headquartered in San Jose, California, United States. Adobe has historically focused upon the creation of multimedia and creativity software products, with a more recent foray towards rich Internet application software development. It is best known for Photoshop, an image editing software, Acrobat Reader, the Portable Document Format (PDF) and Adobe Creative Suite, as well as its successor Adobe Creative Cloud.
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Adobe was founded in December 1982 by John Warnock and Charles Geschke, who established the company after leaving Xerox PARC in order to develop and sell the PostScript page description language. In 1985, Apple Computer licensed PostScript for use in its LaserWriter printers, which helped spark the desktop publishing revolution.
As of 2015, Adobe Systems has about 15,000 employees worldwide, about 40% of whom work in San Jose. Adobe also has major development operations in Newton, Massachusetts; New York City, New York; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Lehi, Utah; Seattle, Washington; San Francisco and San Luis Obispo, California in the United States.
The company was started in John Warnock's garage. The name of the company, Adobe, comes from Adobe Creek in Los Altos, California, which ran behind Warnock's house. Adobe's corporate logo features a stylized "A" and was designed by Marva Warnock, graphic designer and Warnock's wife.
Steve Jobs asked to buy the company for five million dollars in 1982, but Warnock and Geschke refused. Their investors urged them to work something out with Jobs, so they agreed to sell him shares worth 19 percent of the company, for which Jobs paid a five-times multiple of their company's valuation at the time, plus a five-year license fee for PostScript, in advance. The purchase and advance made Adobe the first company in the history of Silicon Valley to become profitable in its first year.
Warnock and Geschke considered various business options including a copy-service business and a turnkey system for office printing. Then they chose to focus on developing specialized printing software, and created the Adobe PostScript page description language.
PostScript was the first truly international standard for computer printing as it included algorithms describing the letter-forms of many languages. Adobe added kanji printer products in 1988. Warnock and Geschke were also able to bolster the credibility of Postscript by connecting with a typesetting manufacturer. They weren't able to work with Compugraphic, but then worked with Linotype to license the Helvetica and Times Roman fonts (through the Linotron 100). By 1987, PostScript had become the industry-standard printer language with more than 400 third-party software programs and licensing agreements with 19 printer companies.
Warnock described the language as "extensible", in its ability to apply graphic arts standards to office printing.
Adobe's first products after PostScript were digital fonts, which they released in a proprietary format called Type 1. Apple subsequently developed a competing standard, TrueType, which provided full scalability and precise control of the pixel pattern created by the font's outlines, and licensed it to Microsoft.
In the mid-1980s, Adobe entered the consumer software market with Illustrator, a vector-based drawing program for the Apple Macintosh. Illustrator, which grew from the firm's in-house font-development software, helped popularize PostScript-enabled laser printers.
Adobe Systems entered NASDAQ in August 1986. Its revenue has grown from roughly $1 billion in 1999 to roughly $4 billion in 2012. Adobe's fiscal years run from December to November. For example, the 2007 fiscal year ended on November 30, 2007.
In 1989, Adobe introduced what was to become its flagship product, a graphics editing program for the Macintosh called Photoshop. Stable and full-featured, Photoshop 1.0 was ably marketed by Adobe and soon dominated the market.
In 1993, Adobe introduced PDF, the Portable Document Format, and its Adobe Acrobat and Reader software. PDF is now an International Standard: ISO 32000-1:2008.
In December 1991, Adobe released Adobe Premiere, which Adobe rebranded as Adobe Premiere Pro in 2003. In 1992, Adobe acquired OCR Systems, Inc. In 1994, Adobe acquired Aldus and added PageMaker and After Effects to its product line later in the year; it also controls the TIFF file format. In the same year, Adobe acquired LaserTools Corp and Compution Inc. In 1995, Adobe added FrameMaker, the long-document DTP application, to its product line after Adobe acquired Frame Technology Corp. In 1996, Adobe Systems Inc added Ares Software Corp. In 2002, Adobe acquired Canadian company Accelio (also known as JetForm).