MAX/MSP has been around for almost 20 years, as an object oriented environment for programming custom MIDI, audio and video applications and utilities, its one of the most widely used of its kind, being something that educators focussed on music technology have as dedicated course modules. For some, its a bit too under the hood, but for the adventurous, it can offer a very powerful programming environment. With Ableton's inclusion of MAX as an add on module for its ubiquitous Live DAW, its seen a proliferation of third party devices - our very own Wave Junction Synth being one of many.
After a long relationship, Ableton yesterday announced that they would be doing the honourable thing and acquiring Cycling '74, the company responsible for MAX/MSP, effective immediately. Ableton say that essentially things will remain unchanged from a structural point of view, with all employees being retained and the day to day operation of the company remaining generally as is. Ableton and Cycling 74 have been working closely together for 10 years already, so there shouldn't be any of those awkward - "Your position is now surplus to requirements" moments.
We can assume that integration will become tighter, and continuity will be maintained - something both Ableton and Cycling '74 are keen to reiterate. But we imagine that the pricing structure of adding MAX to Live (Max For Live) is unlikely to change. However, in a long form interview with Ablteon CEO Gerhard Behles and Cycling '74's David Zicarelli over on Peter Kirn's excellent CDM.link, they allude to the fact that new challenges face them with integration of non traditional computing platforms - we read that as iOS and other devices as platforms for Max and Ableton.