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Nikon Turned Down Photoshop in 1988

Did you know that Adobe Photoshop was almost Nikon Photoshop? It’s true — in 1988 at the MacWorld tradeshow, two brothers approached Nikon and offered them the rights to an image editing program they had developed. The brothers were Thomas and John Knoll, and the program they had created was called Photoshop.

While the Nikon teams in the US and Europe were enthusiastic about the idea, the leadership in Japan struck it down, deciding that Nikon was not a software company and that there wasn’t much demand for such a program. Kodak and several other photography industry giants also passed on the program before Adobe finally snatched it up in September of that year.

The early days of Nikon’s European digital imaging division (via Pixiq)


 
  • http://flickr.com/gsimmonsonca GarySimmons

    I can totally understand Nikon passing on Photoshop… I don’t think it would have become a success if they had bought it.

    However, Kodak must be kicking themselves!

  • lloyd

    EAT IT NIKON!

  • http://www.facebook.com/chungdha Chung Dha Lam

    They should had sell it to Canon then now would had free lightroom when you bought the camera next to all the software you get.

  • Ekfrey

    Did you know that the John Knoll works for George Lucas, and rumor has it, that the brothers offered it to Lucas, who also turned it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Nikon had it right back in 1988, they are not a software company. Their software is very poor, they should devote their time to documenting their file formats and proprietary image enhancements and let everyone else build better software for nikon cameras.

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  • http://www.blogcatalog.com/blogs/gatehouse-academy-blog Gatehouse Academy Review

    I can totally understand Nikon passing on Photoshop… I don’t think it would have become a success if they had bought it.

    However, Kodak must be kicking themselves!

  • Firestarplus

    None of the Camera companies has really decent software. They are in business of making hardware. Software is best left to companies specialize in it

  • Scottie

    and if they had bought it, then Photoshop either wouldn’t exist, or it would be rubbish! However it certainly wouldn’t be the photoshop we know and love now!

  • br

    oops

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  • http://mychaelmargott.com/ Mychael Margott

    Their software is very poor, they should devote their time to documenting their file formats and proprietary image enhancements and let everyone else build better software for nikon cameras.

  • niccaa

    in 1988 it was an unheard of product, and isn’t anywhere as evolved as it is today. had nikon taken it, the software would have been biased towards nikon users only and we wouldn’t have the all powerful and over-expensive piece of complex software we have today.
    Rock on MSPaint.