When it comes to rich media on the Internet today, much of the media is powered by Adobe Flash. Flash has some competition like Microsoft Silverlight, but Flash continues to be one of the most supported rich media applications.
The future of Flash is not as clear as it once was with Google touting the ability to support rich media applications online with HTML 5. For its part Adobe insists that Flash will survive HTML 5 and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen went so far as to dismiss HTML 5, reports InformationWeek.
Narayen said, “[T]he fragmentation of browsers makes Flash even more important rather than less important.”
Perhaps the most interesting demonstration that could put fear into the hearts of Adobe and its shareholder is the demonstration by Google at its developer conference of a YouTube prototype using HTML 5 instead of Flash.
Adobe’s John Dowdell posted a blog comment in response to numerous headlines and Tweets that called HTML 5 a “Flash-killer.” Dowdell called Apple, Google, and Mozilla “a consortium of minority browser vendors” and considered the absence of Flash on the iPhone and Silverlight technology as an endorsement of the technology.
Dowdell wrote, “Silverlight’s launch helped boost the popularity of Flash. … iPhone helped to radically increase the number of phones with Flash support.”
Adobe has taken a defensive tact with regards to HTML 5 leading to speculation that the company may be more afraid of the technology that it wants to let on. InformationWeek reports that some readers posted comments to Dowdell’s blog calling the advocacy of Flash another sign of Adobe’s “open standards animosity.”
Adobe is trucking along in the poor global economy, but reported a 41% drop in profits for its last quarter. Despite the decline in profit the stock price remains steady, which InformationWeek believes is a sign that investors see the drop in profits as due to the economy and not issues with the company or its offerings. Strategy Analytics reported in February that MySpace and YouTube were driving the adoption of some forms of Flash. If YouTube movies to another platform it would be a significant blow to Adobe.
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