Is Flash Still Relevant?

I remember talking with a friend who claimed that Silverlight was going to be the demise of Adobe Flash. That was several years ago and near as I can tell Silverlight hasn’t made a dent. It’s an interesting technology that pops up from time to time but it hasn’t exactly pulled the rug out from Adobe has it?

When news first broke that the iPad wouldn’t support Flash many where aghast and horrified at the prospect. How could a device be released that didn’t support Flash? This would surely lead to chaos. The web would collapse. People wouldn’t be able to function. Dogs and cats would be living together.

Didn’t happen though. The 20+ million iPad users survived and nobody seemed to care it didn’t support Flash.

So one company can’t make a dent in Flash territory and another gets along just fine without it. Is Adobe still relevant?

For the time being yes. Flash is going to be around for awhile, but it has easily been proven that the world doesn’t run on Flash. Plenty of sites don’t use it and they do just fine. It’s also proving not everyone likes Flash – me included. I think Flash is a neat technology but my testing has proven it to be flaky and unreliable. But it can made to do some very worthwhile things so people put up with it. New technologies will replace Flash but it won’t be some closed system like Silverlight. And it will be more than just HTML 5. Just think what could have happened if Microsoft collaborated with Adobe on an enhanced format.

The reign of Flash is coming to an end. Adobe has been sitting on its laurels with PDF and Flash so I think it’s time they got on the ball and brought forth new tools and formats that are mobile ready. Tablets aren’t going away, just FYI. PDFs are readable on my iPad but hardly noteworthy. Do we need Flash on the iPad? I don’t know, do we? Does anyone?

I like Adobe, they make some really good applications. But I think they’re getting stagnant. They’re hitting the wall like Microsoft has. They need to focus on more than just the desktop and Flash in a browser. Many platforms are waiting and will soon be passing them by.

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