When it comes to the desktop, Flash Player is one of the more dominant plugins. Adobe claims it's "the world's most pervasive software platform...reaching 99.0% of Internet-enabled desktops". There's just one problem: internet-enabled mobiles are where much of the internet's future growth is usage is expected to come from.
But Adobe is trying to make sure that Flash Player is as dominant on the mobile as it is on the desktop and is making lots of announcements about its Open Screen Project at the Adobe developer conference in Los Angeles today.
The goal of the Open Screen Project is to provide "a consistent runtime environment for open web browsing and standalone applications — taking advantage of Adobe Flash Player". And today Adobe announced that nearly 50 participants in the Open Screen project, including Google, Microsoft, RIM, Motorola and Nokia, are going to be supporting the newly-released Flash Player 10.1 runtime -- the first "consistent" runtime produced by the Open Screen Project.
According to Adrian Ludwig of Adobe, a developer beta will be available for Windows Mobile and the Palm WebOS later in the year and for the Google Android and Symbian in early 2010. Other mobile players, including RIM, Nokia and Qualcomm will be following suit as well.
Getting Flash on to mobile phones in a big way is important to Adobe for obvious reasons. But it could also be important to consumers and developers. There's still plenty of opportunity to improve the user experience and to build richer applications for mobile users. And given the number of developers who have invested in the Flash platform, being able to extend those investments into the mobile space is certainly an appealing proposition.
Noticeably absent from Adobe's party, however, is one company: Apple. Ludwig told CNET's News.com that "So far, we haven't received the support that we need from Apple". Given Apple's tight rein on everything relating to the iPhone, that's not exactly surprising.
If Adobe can succeed in making Flash as prevalent on the mobile as it is on the desktop, Apple may, however, have no choice but to relent.
Photo credit: Engin Erdogan via Flickr.