Adobe Makes Move to Keep Flash In-the-Game

With Apple saying “no thanks” to the Flash player on the iPhone, Google doing the same with the mobile Android OS, and Microsoft charting their own course with Silverlight, Adobe made a defensive move yesterday that can only be a strategic attempt to keep Flash the ubiquitous multimedia runtime used by all web users.

The Open Screen Project is a “…collaboration of over 20 companies with one clear vision: enabling users to access, consume, and share rich content seamlessly across multiple screens — regardless of the devices, operating systems, browsers, or networks used. Partners in the Open Screen Project work together to make this vision a reality by enabling a consistent runtime environment across devices, removing development and distribution barriers, and innovating through collaboration…because no one player can do it alone.

Though there seem to be some formidable partners involved with this effort, having been VP of Strategic Alliances at Lawson Software I know all too well how partnering is often a hedge against the possibility a company might actually win (in this case Adobe continuing to win out over Google, Apple and Microsoft, keeping Flash #1).

As both an offensive and defensive posture, Adobe lowered the cost of their Flash server, open sourced Flex and is now essentially doing that with the Flash container. What’s interesting to me, however, is how non-intuitive and challenging it is (and costly) to buy transcoding products in order to take a video and output it to Flash. It’s possible, but to then have it collapse into a Flash player that looks nice is hard.

At the end of the day all of this is good for we, the creators and consumers of content, although it’s not all that easy to bet on a specific horse to win this “runtime container” race.

If you’d like to know more, there is this good interview with Adobe CTO, Kevin Lynch, here.

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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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