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Apple's rise to the top of the tech world has been marked just as much by controversy as it has by success in the mobile market. The company's desire for control has made it a target for critics, and potentially for regulators.
Apple attracted the spotlight when it implemented new rules that essentially killed Adobe's iPhone/iPad ambitions by making it clear that apps developed using Adobe's Packager for iPhone tool contained in the newest version Flash Professional would not make it into the App Store. And its dislike for Flash was made abundantly clear when the iPad was unveiled, sans Flash support.
Shut out of the iPhone/iPad ecosystem by Apple, Adobe declared that it would "try and make the best tools in the world for HTML5." Less than two weeks after that statement was made, Adobe appears to be attempting to follow through.
At the Google I/O conference, the company demonstrated its HTML5/CSS3 update pack for Dreamweaver CS5, the latest version of the Adobe Creative Suite's web development application.
If Adobe can position itself as an open platform advocate, it will be one of the great feats of modern marketing. The company has spent the last few years being bashed — and banned — from Apple's mobile products. After Steve Jobs wrote an open letter explaining Apple's distaste for Adobe's product Flash last month, Adobe is fighting back.
Today, the company launched a digital and print campaign extolling the company's affinity for digital freedoms and openness. The trouble is, Adobe is not an open platform. This could be a hard sell.
HTML5 is coming, and a growing number of companies are trying to kick the Flash habit, even if on a limited basis. The latest: popular online document sharing service Scribd.
According to the startup's CTO, "We are scrapping three years of Flash development and betting the company on HTML5 because we believe HTML5 is a dramatically better reading experience than Flash."
The iPhone OS 4 SDK was released last week, but it's not all good news for iPhone (and iPad) developers. That's because Section 3.3.1 of the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement comes with a new catch:
Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs.
Myriad are the complaints from developers and consumers who have had to deal with wonky Flash programming. But Apple has drawn a line in the sand with its refusal to support Flash on its mobile products, and the repurcussions are continue to be felt.
Flash currently flourishes online, but more and more companies are opting out of using it. First a few publishers came out with iPad friendly websites. And now the Open Video Alliance, which includes Mozilla, Kaltura, and Yale Law School, has announced plans to get video on Wikipedia – Flash-free.
The battle between Adobe Flash and HTML5 is a subject that looks like it will be receiving a lot of attention in 2010. That has a lot to do with the iPad, which, like the iPhone, isn't expected to support Flash.
Some believe HTML5 could kill off Flash (and for that matter Silverlight), others don't. Of course, the full HTML5 spec probably won't be finished for another decade, but the debate over HTML5 and its impact on Flash is heating up because subsets of it are available and being adopted.
Adobe's recent $1.8bn purchase of analytics provider Omniture had many people scratching their heads. While Adobe's CEO called the acquisition a "no-brainer" and it just might turn out to be a very wise strategic move, it's certainly possible that some Omniture customers will ask questions about the future of the company now that it's an Adobe company.
So I was interested to come across a Coremetrics ad addressing the Omniture acquisition. It leads to a landing page designed specifically for current Omniture customers and wastes no time in making a sales pitch.
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.
On the heels of Adobe's quarterly earning call, where they announced the grim news about software sales, they also announced the acquisition of Omniture. Is this a play to be a player in the analytics market, to have a strong presence in the SAAS space, to take advantage of Omniture's recurring revenue model, or something else?
Adobe's Flash product may be one of the most widely used platforms for creating content on the web, but web content today is only as good as the number of people who see it. To help encourage the act of sharing, Adobe announced Monday a new product called Flash Platform Services for Distribution.
Adobe says the online distribution service allows developers to make their applications compatible with most social networks and mobile operating systems, and will make content more easily shareable by users.
If M&A activity is a good indicator of the health of the economy, there's hope for a recovery, at least in tech. Newsworthy acquisitions are becoming more frequent and yesterday saw a billion-dollar deal with Adobe's announcement that it is purchasing business optimization software provider Omniture.
The deal, which is valued at $1.8bn, was hailed by Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen as "a game changer for both Adobe and our customers". And it better be, as Adobe's offer of $21.50 per share for Omniture stock represents a 24% premium to Omniture's closing price on Tuesday.