Adobe quits Flash, goes full HTML5April 1st, 2011 by Jeremy Chone
We’ve received word that, in an unusually honest and brave move from a big corporation, Adobe is going to announce that they will officially deprecate Flash in favor of HTML5 for rich Web and mobile experiences.
A new executive from Adobe is expected to say:
“We recognize the confusion we create for developers and Wall Street when we say that everything is fine with Flash, that developers should double-invest in HTML5 and Flash, and that Flash will catch up in the mobile and tablet market.
“Flash missed the boat on mobile, and while we could try to trick the industry with statistics over the coming quarters, we decided instead to pull a Microsoft-1995 move by completely switching our strategy towards open Web technology rather than continuing to push our single-vendor technology.
“We also recognize that our 99% Flash market share number is no longer relevant, given that the point of growth is the mobile and tablet markets and that the Flash market share in those markets is so low in that we cannot even publish it.
To finally conclude
“Given the innovation and momentum behind HTML5, it would be silly for Adobe to try to convince developers to use an alternative single-vendor technology to create cross-platform Web and mobile experiences.
“Consequently, going forward, we will focus our award-winning tools to empower designers and developers to create rich Web and mobile using HTML5. We will even leverage best-in-class HTML libraries, such as jQuery, to bring the HTML5 experience to HTML4 browsers.
Adobe is also expected to reassure the PC Web community by saying that they will maintain Flash for PC Web.
“We will maintain our Flash for PC Web mostly for video, but recommend that Web and mobile developers move to HTML technology as soon as possible.
We also heard that one of the original Adobe executives will provide some background on why Adobe has gotten confused over the last couple of years.
“While the acquisition of Macromedia was the right move from a market point of view, it also distracted us by making us believe that we should use the Flash market share to create another .Net ecosystem (i.e., runtime and tool). In short, we thought that we could and should become another Microsoft.
“What we need to do now with Adobe is what Steve Jobs did with Apple; we need to return to our roots in order to understand who we are and how we can surpass ourselves. Most importantly, we need to stop trying to create another Microsoft. We must realize that Adobe does not thrive by controlling the end-points, but by being agnostic to them. Obviously, we cannot truly be output-agnostic if we own and promote our own output-format.
“Flash distracted us from seeing the resurgence in HTML and put us in a perpetual defensive mode—but no more. We moved on, and developers and the media should too.
Adobe is also expected to offer some clear guidance to developers as well as leading by example.
“When cross-platform devices make sense, go with HTML5, otherwise go native. We, at Adobe, do not even use Flash or Flex to build our mobile applications, so why should you?”
Indeed, Adobe has been releasing some very nice mobile and tablet applications lately—such as Adobe Idea, Photoshop Express, and Photoshop for iPad—that all seem to have been built with Native API.
This is clearly going to be a big announcement that will save a great deal of money for developers; they will no longer have to spin their wheels evaluating legacy technology only to realize later that it does not fit the bill.
This expected announcement will also prove to all of Adobe’s detractors that Adobe is not run by second-generation corporate executives but by true market and technological visionaries.
After all, Adobe might not be in the second edition of the “Innovator’s Dilemma.”