I'll go ahead and call it. This will probably be the last edition of ColdFusion from Adobe. There's several reasons and people to blame, but basically they have taken too big of a sales lost over the past few versions to keep things going. Given the lack of features, the EULA and pricing changes, that trend will only continue. It's interesting how this version was suppose to be a big game changer. Several of us knew better.
Adobe is a company very much run by the numbers and senior management probably already has his mind set to end this. Sure they will continue to say they are working on the next version and it's one of their most profitable products, etc., etc. But I'm fairly certain, based on my information, that this is it. By the way, a small note here for some who haven't been to B school, it's profitable for Adobe only because they hardly spend any money on the product. That's what you do when spin down a product line. You maximize the profits out of it as much as possible before you halt production. All companies follow that pattern not just Adobe.
ColdFusion has been moved to the Print and Publishing division of Adobe (their graveyard of products). And they no longer have a dedicated CF sales engineer for the North American market (the biggest market for ColdFusion). I would have far more respect for Adobe's management, if they were up front and honest with their customers, but I guess I expect too much.
As always, I could be wrong, but my instincts and predictions have been pretty good so far.
I doubt Adobe will open source CF or sell it off to someone like Railo. Adobe has a pretty infamous history in this regard and let's face it. It costs almost nothing to keep a download purchase of the product going. They will simply halt further development and support, and many would argue that the support was killed off long ago. Also, the smaller engines don't have the cash to purchase the product from Adobe.
They did open source Flex to Apache late last year, so anything is indeed possible, but frankly, I suspect the internal coding of the engine is so messed up at this point that no one will want to tackle it. Regardless, the brand has also been completely trashed now. Railo and OpenBD are still very small and so they may be able to fill the void, but only time will tell.
The last remaining large CF shops here in Atlanta have moved on. Sure, they have existing CF apps but anything new has to be developed in other technologies. Don't get me wrong, ColdFusion will exist for some time still. Technologies don't die over night, they very slowly fade. So there will be future demand for programmers to keep things running, etc, but this is certainly the twilight for the language.
As I have said many times, all of this could have been different, but sadly the people in charge at Adobe lacked even the most basic business sense, and sadly, several of the people directly responsible are still working at other areas within the company, and as one should expect, we are starting to see the same mismanagement in the other product lines. Maybe one day Dan Loeb will come along a shake things up at Adobe, but he currently has his hands full with Yahoo.
There are still several great and talented people at Adobe, but there are a few that you just can't expect anything from. People who are so arrogant, unaware and lack even a basic sense of responsibility for their actions. There is one basic truth in business. Companies rise and fall on its people. You can patent all you want. You can make the biggest claims and promises, or buyout your biggest competitors but without the right people in place you will fail in time.
Adobe is running on borrowed time in many respects. The fall of Flash and Flex from last winter was just the first step.They finally made a major strategy change late last year which I mostly agree with and had been pushing for some time, but they have the same people in critical positions within the company that have failed several times before. I can't expect them to execute the new strategy any better than the old. At least they now have Omniture analytics to show how quickly they screw it up. The company is still too dependent on Photoshop and PDF. They have only survive this long because no one has really challenged those critical product lines since the days of Macromedia. That will change.