Saturday, November 12, 2011

Flash bites Adobe Again!

The news about Adobe shredding its plans for Mobile Flash has taken the mobile industry with mixed surprise. Some expected this while the others did not. Despite having allied with almost all big shots in mobile industry (except Apple, off course) to pursue on mobile flash platform, Adobe abandoned it. This is what people never expected. Since Late Steve Jobs cited battery drainage issue (and many others) with Flash platform, Adobe faced criticism many a times.

Adobe's history with Flash had never been smooth. Once it was her competitor's product, Adobe planned to race against it and promoted SVG (which it shelved it later). After acquiring Macromedia, Adobe claimed to own platforms (PDF and Flash) with universal coverage of more than 96% outperforming Windows Media Player.  Microsoft tried to sabotage postscript market by launching XPS and making Office XML format as ISO standard. At the same time, You Tube made her realized that she just lost a Billion dollar market. You tube owned billion dollars worth content and users community by leveraging flash platform. I believe this made Adobe to develop Adobe Media Player and tried to en-cash it using similar model, but it didn't bear too many fruits. Adobe also initiated a miniaturized flash like platform for mobile devices, called FlashLite. It died when, no body heard of it!

It looks certain, this news of abandoning Flash Mobile might plan for layoffs in Adobe. On market front, it also killed the expectations about flash as a platform on embedded devices. Although flash will be available via AIR, unfortunately its has not been accepted very well on desktops. It raises concerns on new platforms in terms of speed and other performance measures.

On a business front, it also raises doubts about the relationships of Adobe with Mobile owners like Samsung, HTC, Blackberry etc. The plan to decommission Flash mobile speculates whether the alliance is having a smooth ride or not.

On technical side,  Adobe, her competitors and consumers are moving aggressively on HTML5. Most of the video players (Vimeo, YouTube...) offer HTML5 based video. Adobe have launched Edge and Wallaby beta versions to create content using HTML5 and CSS3.  Streaming, content protection are still a few concerns in HTML5, let us see how things shape up. 

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