Monday, September 19, 2011

Trouble is Brewing for Adobe's Flash Technology on Mobile Devices

Flash logo.jpg
Well... the future isn't looking real rosy for Adobe's Flash technology anymore in the mobile environment.  It wasn't always like this.  A couple of years ago when the original iPad was introduced, there was a lot of discussion surrounding the fact that the iPad didn't (and wouldn't ever) support Adobe Flash.
This was seen by some as a flaw in the entire iOS by some.  It was seen as silly and almost bullying by Steve Jobs by others.  This was seen as a big deal by a lot of people.  So much so that when the Android tablets began shipping this year the manufacturers made a point of telling consumers that Flash ran just fine on the Android operating system on both tablets and phones.
As someone who owns both an Android phone (Samsung Galaxy) and an Android tablet (Motorola Xoom) I can attest to the fact that Flash runs on both platforms; although not always as well as I would like.
However, now we get to the real sticking point of this whole blog post...
This past week, Microsoft began showing their next generation operating system, Windows 8.  This new OS is being designed to run on multiple platforms and one of them is mobile devices.  As the new mobile interface was being demonstrated and discussed (in fact every attendee at the MS BUILD Conference got a Samsung Windows 8 tablet) Microsoft's Internet Explorer team leader Dean Hachamovitch stated the Metro mobile OS will not support Adobe Flash or other plug-ins. The reasons given for this were that running the browser without Flash or any other plug-ins “improves battery life as well as security, reliability, and privacy for consumers.”
Now Adobe was quick to point out that Flash will continue to be supported in the desktop and laptop environment.  While that is true, the world is moving (and quickly) to a mobile environment and it's only going to continue to do so.  With that in mind, I wonder how long Flash will continue to be a mainstream technology.  If I was Adobe, I'd be concerned.

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