Tag Archives: Adobe

Who owns the platform? Adobe? Google?

Kevin Tofel on the announcement of Android support for Flash:

The key word in Adobe’s press release today being “expected,” which appears three times. Platforms other than Android are expected to integrate and work with Flash Player. All of the latest Android handsets are expected to see Froyo, which is required for Flash Player 10.1. The production version of Flash is expected to be available as a final production release for Froyo devices. Translation: Adobe hasn’t delivered anything to most handsets today and the fate of Flash Player is increasingly out of Adobe’s hands.

Kevin is spot on in highlighting Adobe’s use of the word “expect”, but I disagree with his last sentence. The fate of Flash Player isn’t out of Adobe’s hands: in fact, the fate of a platform which relies on Flash as a development environment is out of the hands of the platform’s creator.

Why Apple doesn’t want Flash on iOS

If you want to know why Apple wants Flash kept away from iOS, you should ask Palm:

Adobe hasn’t given any signs that it’s close to porting Flash to webOS, Palm said in an AT&T online app development seminar on Thursday. When asked about the multiple delays, a representative said that Palm didn’t ‘know what the hold-up is’ with getting it ready. Adobe itself hasn’t commented on the state of the webOS version or of other platforms.

Would Adobe keep Flash updated for iPhone? Yes – as long as it wanted to. And the moment that it didn’t want to, or had other priorities, or simply hit some problems, Apple would have the millstone of an old development platform around its neck.

Apple has been in that position before, and it wont allow itself to go there again.

UPDATE: According to what I’m going to call “informed sources”, Electronista’s report doesn’t represent what was actually said at the event. In fact, what was said was that Palm “had no update” to make – which means that it didn’t have anything to announce at that time, not that it didn’t know what the situation was, which is what Electronista is implying.

In the comments to the story, Palm’s Chuq Von Rospach posted this:

Adobe and Palm continue to work together to bring Flash Player 10.1 to WebOS as quickly as possible. At present, the integration work between the Player and WebOS is undergoing extensive testing to ensure we deliver a high quality implementation.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that the point I’m making here is wrong. Having a third party who has significant levels of control over your platform is exactly what Apple is seeking to avoid with its effective ban on Flash.

ARM’s experience shows why Steve Jobs is right on Flash

Image representing Steve Jobs as depicted in C...
Image via CrunchBase

Think that Steve Jobs is talking out of his behind when he says  that Apple needs full control over its platform? Perhaps ARM’s experience with Smartbooks will help you understand:

‘ARM dominates the mobile phone chip design market and has since 2008 been trying to get into the subnotebook market as well. The plan was to do so through Linux-based, ARM-powered ‘smartbooks’ that would provide an instant-on, longer-life alternative to x86-based netbooks but, according to ARM’s marketing vice president, Ian Drew, events have conspired to stall this plan.

“We thought [smartbooks] would be launched by now, but they’re not,” Drew told ZDNet UK on Tuesday. “I think one reason is to do with software maturity. We’ve seen things like Adobe slip — we’d originally scheduled for something like 2009.”‘

If you hand your developer platform over to a third party, you’re handing the whole platform over to them. You’re effectively tying your fate to theirs, and allowing them control over your future. For some, that might be acceptable. But for Apple, it’s not.

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Adobe set to sue Apple?

Steven J. Vaughn-Nichols:

“Apples iron-bound determination to keep Adobe Flash out of any iWhatever device is about to blow up in Apples face. Sources close to Adobe tell me that Adobe will be suing Apple within a few weeks.”

If Steven is correct – and he’s not the kind of guy to write this without some good sources – then things are about to get very interesting indeed.

The best summary of the Apple/Adobe war

Want a a simple, single-paragraph on what the Apple/Adobe iPhone spat is all about? Jean Louis Gassee supplies it:

“Who, in his right mind, expects Steve Jobs to let Adobe and other cross-platform application development tools control his I mean the iPhone OS future? Cross-platform tools dangle the old “write once, run everywhere” promise. But, by being cross-platform, they don’t use, they erase “uncommon” features. To Apple, this is anathema as it wants apps developers to use, to promote its differentiation. It’s that simple. Losing differentiation is death by low margins. It’s that simple. It’s business. Apple is right to keep control of its platform’s future.”

I think it really is that simple.

Will someone do to Photoshop what InDesign did to Quark?

Back in the days when I did proper print publishing instead of all this new-fangled online nonsense, everyone used QuarkXPress – and everyone hated Quark with a passion. The price of the product always seemed to go up, never down, and it cost a fortune. You could never get a decent discount, even if you were buying hundreds of copies. And support was (ahem) “somewhat hit and miss”.

Unsurprisingly, when InDesign came along, everyone jumped ship as quickly as they could. Quark went from dominating the industry to losing its leading role, because everyone hated them and was looking for an excuse to dump them.

You’d think, having been the beneficiary of this, that Adobe would have learned the simply lesson that ripping your customers off and treating them poorly just makes them hate you – and that if any credible competitor comes along, they’ll be off like a shot. But, it seems, they haven’t. Adobe has just used the excuse of exchange rates to hit British customers hard, again – and, as Charles Arthur elegantly points out, this is complete bunk.

Of course, the difference between Adobe’s situation and Quark’s is that it’s difficult to see where competition for Creative Suite might come from. Adobe bought Macromedia, which was its brightest competitor, and Quark isn’t in that part of the business. I’d be happy for Apple to pick up the ball and kick Adobe hard, but placing even more power in the hands of Apple isn’t something that appeals.

But sooner or later, someone is going to come along and create something that kills Photoshop, just as InDesign killed XPress. And Adobe will deserve it.

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