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News Link • Technology: Software

Adobe Had It Coming: The Long, Slow Goodbye of Mobile Flash

• Wired

It’s all over.

On Wednesday morning, Adobe delivered the eulogy for its multi-media Flash platform for mobile, stating the company would no longer invest resources in porting its once-indispensable cross-browser technology to smartphones and tablets.

It’s a startling admission of failure from a company that vehemently defended Flash and its mobile strategy in the face of Apple’s refusal to allow it on the iPhone and iPad. Adobe even took on Steve Jobs in a war of words over Flash’s viability as a mobile platform, all in the public domain.

But the writing was on the wall for Flash years ago, and Adobe knew it. With no Flash announcements to be heard at its Adobe Max conference earlier this year and with the company slowly beefing up its toolkit of Flash alternatives, Wednesday’s move is in step with Adobe’s broader strategy of migrating its loyal Flash developer base to a new era, one where mobile platforms reign supreme.

Gone are the days of new Android and BlackBerry devices bragging of Flash compatibility as a way to trump superiority over iOS devices. And gone are the days of seeing the web as a dominant platform for Flash code, with Adobe pushing packaging tools like AIR to convert Flash code to native Android, Windows Phone or iOS languages. And while the days of desktop Flash aren’t yet over, some see the death throes of mobile Flash as a harbinger of things to come for PCs.


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