Google to Take on Adobe?

Ben Moss By Ben Moss  |  Jun. 05, 2013

The growing dissatisfaction with Adobe’s exodus to the cloud and the accompanying subscription licensing model shows no sign of abating.

Thousands of designers have been searching for alternatives to Creative Cloud products, but with Adobe’s near-monopoly on professional grade web design software alternate applications are thin on the ground.

The time is right it seems, for an internet giant to step into the breach…

The biggest name on the web, perhaps the biggest name anywhere, is Google and they already provide business tools that many professionals can’t live without; most of us use Google Drive where once we may have used Microsoft’s Office, and most people access Google Mail numerous times per day.

Google haven’t previously looked like making a play for the huge web design market however, a curious decision given that they hold exclusive rights to the browser with the largest market share (it’s Chrome for anyone who’s been on the ISS for a decade).

That looks about to change. Buried at the bottom of a DoubleClick blog post, Google ‘let slip’ that its new product “Google Web Designer” will be launching in the next few months:

To help advertisers and publishers more seamlessly unlock the potential of cross-device programs, we are investing in a new HTML5 creative development tool – Google Web Designer. Available in the coming months, Google Web Designer will empower creative professionals to create cutting-edge advertising as well as engaging web content like sites and applications – for free. Google Web Designer will be seamlessly integrated with DoubleClick Studio and AdMob, greatly simplifying the process of building HTML5 creative that can be served through Google platforms.

Let’s be clear: it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be switching to a “Google Creative Suite” style product line anytime soon. “Google Web Designer” is expected to be an enhanced version of Google’s already available Google Sites — which isn’t going to threaten Adobe’s market position.

What we’re expecting — and at this point it’s mere speculation — is some kind of hybrid of Chrome’s Developer Tools and Adobe’s Edge tools.

Whilst details are very thin on the ground, what we do know is that the new application will be free. That should make the likes of Squarespace, 1and1, and sit up and take notice. Google’s revenue stream will be driven by integration with its advertising.

It seems a stretch to think that Google Web Designer could replace Creative Cloud applications, but then it wasn’t that long ago that people thought of WordPress as “just a blogging tool”. So make room on your résumé, you may well find Google Web Designer becoming a marketable skill in the next 12 months.


Do you think Google Web Designer will be suitable for professionals? What features are you hoping to see? Let us know in the comments.

Featured image/thumbnail, web designer image via Shutterstock.