Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Posts Tagged ‘adobe

Flash In The Pan

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I started reading Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs the other day.

No, I’m not reading it on the iPad.  This one, I picked up the actual pulp edition. The weight of the book (it’s some 600+ pages) feels suited to the task of conveying Jobs’ complicated and complex and marvelous life.

And after Adobe’s announcement yesterday that Adobe would no longer use Flash for the browser programs used for smartphones and tablets, you could hear Jobs laughing from his grave.

Surely you remember when Jobs purposely prevented Flash from working on iPhones and iPads — I certainly couldn’t forget, as I have both devices, and the Flash gap on the iPad became obvious very quick.

But there was a lot of history behind this strategy, and Jobs had a long memory. In the book, he recounts the story of asking Adobe to make a Mac version of Premiere back in 1999, and Adobe refused.

Jobs was more than ever convinced he needed to build a strategy that would allow him to tie the hardware and software together, and control the entire ecosystem.

The next thing you know, we had the iPod, iTunes, the iTunes store, the iPhone, the iPad…you get the picture.

But Adobe’s sudden detour, in which they announced they’re instead going to embrace HTML5, could signal a new kind of platform war, one led by programming excellence rather than proprietary regimes.

As more and more of the once open-standards Web starts to see the return of walled (or, at least, semi-walled) gardens, it’s refreshing to see an expanded embrace of HTML5. I believe this will drive innovation and force the mobile and web experiences to compete on usability, merit, and utility, as opposed to plug-in dominance and proprietary lock-in battles.

Of course, there are significant economic benefits this move as well, as Adobe can help its clients develop once to run applications across multiple platforms, eliminating the need for costly platform adjustments and tuning, and freeing up time and energy to focus on innovation.

It’s too bad Steve Jobs wasn’t around to witness this firsthand.

But something tells me he would probably have approved…even if might have done so wearing a big, wide smirk on his face.

Written by turbotodd

November 10, 2011 at 3:43 pm

At the Moevenpick

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It’s morning in Stuttgart.

As I just Tweeted, nothing beats a long, jetlagged, sleep-deprived night of slumber and a proper German breakfast.

It was snowing when I arrived in Stuttgart yesterday afternoon.  But that was nothing new: As I flew north from Austin, starting about Dallas and all the way to Chicago, the entire mid-west was a white cotton patch of snow.

I was last in Stuttgart the week that the financial crisis began in September 2008, so it’s nice to be here when circumstances aren’t quite so dire.  I still remember discovering Lehman was likely going south, along with the rest of the market, and anxiously moving money around in my 401K from equities to bonds.  I wish I had moved more!

Quick and easy Stuttgart travel tip: Stay in one of the two Moevenpick hotels, which you can walk to from the airport.

I was about to hail a taxi yesterday afternoon, when I asked the taxi driver how far it was to the Moevenpick — he pointed across the street.

Ah, that far.  I think I’ll walk!

On the technology front, the major news I saw emerge over the weekend were in the mobile space: Adobe is expecting to announce at today’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Adobe AIR for mobile devices, and will move the Flash runtime to mobile browsers with its 10.1 player update.

This will allow mobile developers to develop consistently across both the desktop and most mobile browsers — except, are you holding your breath? — that’s right, the iPhone.

TechCrunch blogs that this will be great for mobile video, and advertising, as the 10.1 player will provide custom skin and advertising opportunities, as well as consistent metrics capabilities (remembering also that Adobe last year bought Web metrics firm, Omniture).

I say it’s just that much more jet fuel on the mobile marketing fire, and once again we could start to see a major schism in the market: Adobe v. Apple.

Though competition in development tools is goodness, the platform schism isn’t, at least not in the North American market. The wireless telcos have already played the bad guy walled gardens — we don’t need another Java v. NET in the enterprise mobile market to create more variances when the industry is trying to build a broader market (and, dare I say it aloud, a new platform for marketing).

However, I’m not sure Apple can win this one.

Even with all the iPhones that have been sold, some 50M+, that’s an absurdly small number compared with all the other mobile handsets sold around the world.  If Flash even gets a good 50-60% share on those devices, game over.

As for me, I’ve got to grab my own mobile device, the original BlackBerry Bold, and run to the IBM offices in Stuttgart.


Written by turbotodd

February 15, 2010 at 8:35 am

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