Adobe's Change in Strategy
If you haven't watch Adobe's last Earnings Call yet and you're using Flash/Flex/AIR, you should.
As many know, I've been very critical of Adobe management over their handling of CF, Flash, Flex and AIR. During the last earnings call in the "Closing Comments" and the "Content Authoring" sections, Shantanu seems to finally be coming around to my view of the situation. There has been some editing of the remarks since the live broadcast but the main points are still there. They are..
- the shifting landscape is favoring HTML5
- Adobe is a tooling company
- Adobe is doubling down on it's investment with HTML5 work on tools like Muse and Edge and the engines like WebKit.
I'll be one of the first to say, that it was really refreshing to see Shantanu come out and finally say this. I've been pushing for these points for some time now. Unfortunately due to the groupthink within the community and the lack of direction from Adobe, they have lost a ton of time in mapping out this new path. Doubling down may not be enough, but at least they seem to be looking in the right direction. Adobe is a tooling company. Tools like Photoshop, Lightroom and Dreamweaver are where the company really shines. That's their strength. Language and protocol development has had some good moments, but it's not something that the company really understands or knows how to develop and market.
What does this mean for Flash? Well, if you're a developer and you want the greatest possible reach for your content, Flash simply isn't the answer. It's time for everyone to acknowledge that. There might be a small chance that the technology will survive in the AIR realm and in making apps, but that's far from certain and they have a lot of work left to do with that. Native, in the browser, content is still king and that's not going to change anytime soon. Hey, it's been around 15 years. It was a great run. Flash won't disappear overnight and HTML5 is far from perfect or even a set standard, but things are moving in a certain direction and Adobe can't fight that. If they stick to what they do best, things will work out just fine.
Now I can only hope they also make similar changes in their policy of sending jobs overseas and then asking for a tax break in the process and how they're handling CF. They could be a far stronger company with some simple changes but in the meantime this was a positive step forward.