When I received my iPod Touch last Christmas I was really excited. I never had an ipod before. I had always been a PC kinda guy. But I really liked it, still do. The one thing that puzzled me was that Flash was not supported. “Hmmm” I thought. There was speculation on the web but nothing really solid.
Now another embarrassment for Adobe makes it way into the light. Jeff Croft was moderating a panel at FlashCamp Seattle and was witness an anecdotal but insightful moment.
…the keynote speaker, Ryan Stewart, a Flash Platform evangelist at Adobe, demoed Flash Player 10.1 running on his Nexus One phone. When I realized he was going to show it, I got excited — I’ve been wanting to see how well Flash really works on a phone for years…
The smart phone crashed twice and when he tried to show an intensive Flash website. He then asked if there was another website the audience wanted to see. The reply was HULU which he then had to admit didn’t work either (but to be fair was likely an issue on HULU’s side not Flash) but still had an impact.
Taking all things into consideration it is seems clear to me that Adobe’s Flash is diminishing, not only because it is not suitable (yet) for mobile devices but also due to the numerous alternatives that exist now and that are in development. Flash is still really great at doing specific things but those applications are eroding quickly. If Adobe wishes to remain a player in Web 2.0 and beyond it needs to invest in creating tools that exploit open source technology. No longer will web developers be held hostage by a single company. Platform wars are for video games and media storage, not the web.