Is Apple in the same game as Adobe and Microsoft?

As Adobe Apollo and Microsoft Silverlight garner significant attention in the emerging rich internet application space, where is Apple?

With arguably the richest set of consumer, prosumer and professional content creation tools in video, audio and a platform the preferred one for creative professionals, why are they not in this game?

With 100 million iPods sold — and one could assume that easily 50M computers now have Quicktime on them (iTunes download includes Quicktime), then there is a critical mass of players on computers so why are they not playing?

Or are they?

I first began wondering about this last year and was pleased to see Ryan Stewart ask the same question on his ZDNet blog (a month later a wrap up post he did is here about the entire category). He did a great job on the initial post and then received several comments that clarified his position. He’s long since updated the original post which I’ve linked to and it will give you some of the reasons why some people don’t think a cross platform runtime with Quicktime is achievable.

The Quicktime “container” can do numerous interesting media playback like support most major image formats; most video formats; streaming protocols; 3GPP and 3GPP2 for cellular telephony; H.264 (the big deal video codec); and AAC for audio.

Apple says here: When you distribute your media in QuickTime, you automatically gain access to a massive platform. Available for both Windows and Mac, QuickTime 6 was downloaded more than 350 million times. Moreover 98% of those downloads were from PC users, at a rate of over 10 million per month. QuickTime offers a mature platform with thousands of professional and consumer authoring applications.

So where is Apple and why aren’t they positioning this container as one that delivers some (much?) of what Apollo and Silverlight can do…and then some?

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  1. PXLated on April 25, 2007 at 9:11 pm

    Isn’t the whole Apple iTunes ecosystem already the ultimate RIA? It already goes far beyond most RIAs and will probably greatly expand with the iPhone especially if they integrate iChat and other Apple tech.
    Now, it isn’t a dev platform other than for Apple but as I recall, the underlying tech is WebObjects which is available even though Apple hasn’t really pushed it. Do you think they could take that, with Quicktime and other Apple tech, and turn it into something to compete with the Apollos?

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Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.