Did you miss a session from GamesBeat Summit Next 2022? All sessions are now available for viewing in our on-demand library. Click here to start watching.

shantanu narayen kevin lynchAdobe chief executive Shantanu Narayen (pictured with chief technology officer Kevin Lynch) today denied reports that he has been negotiating with Microsoft about a possible acquisition.

The New York Times reported last month that Narayen met with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to talk about an alliance against Apple, which might include an acquisition. Speaking on-stage at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Narayen said the discussion really focused on “how we can be a great ISV” — in other words, an “independent software vendor” reselling Microsoft products. Interviewer John Battelle suggested that the key word there was probably “independent”, and Narayen replied, “Absolutely independent”. (The Times later reported that the discussions did move past the preliminary phase.)

So why the rumors of a Microsoft acquisition gave a big boost to Adobe stock, Battelle asked. Why do investors like the idea of a Microsoft-Adobe acquisition? Narayen responded that acquisition rumors always send the supposed acquiree’s stock price up.

“It’s just the nature of the beast,” he said.

As evidence that Adobe has a future as an independent company, Narayen said Adobe is having “a phenomenal year” and is on-track to grow revenue 25 percent this year compared to last year.

Beyond the finances, one conference attendee discussed how Adobe has changed. The questioner argued that the Adobe he became a loyal customer of 10 years ago is not the Adobe of today, and he asked Narayen how he sees Adobe’s identity now.

“We will continue to change the world through digital experiences,” Narayen said.

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.