Flash and Windows Phone 7

From Mike Chambers:

There has been a lot of buzz in the mobile space lately, and I suspect there will be even more around Windows Phone 7 at next week’s Microsoft Mix conference. One thing I wanted to clarify as it may have been lost in some of the other news is that Adobe and Microsoft are working together to bring Flash Player 10.1 to Internet Explorer Mobile on Windows Phone 7 Series.

So if you’re on Windows mobile, you’re not forgotten and you’ll be getting a Flash Player 10.1 on your sweet new phone.

HP’s Flash-enabled Tablet

Some very cool video of Flash Player and AIR running on HP’s Slate tablet computer.

It’s great to see Flash Player running on a tablet. One of the nice things about the tablet versus the mobile device is that because of the larger screen size, more content will work out of the box. Flash on mobile devices performs really well but the screen size is going to require some UI changes for sites that will be visited heavily by mobile devices. Tablets provide a more big-screen experience.

Grant Skinner Speaking at Microsoft MIX

Grant says it best:

While my primary focus is (and remains) Flash, I am an interactive developer. I would be sorely remiss to ignore other technologies. Not only does knowledge of other technologies potentially open new project opportunities, but it lets me reinvest ideas and mental models from them back into my work with Flash. Working with C# has already sparked some new ideas for me (not to mention a few AS3 feature requests). Knowledge of alternative technologies also lets us suggest the best possible solutions for our customers or talk them out of a bad one.

That thought should be extended to all technologies, including HTML5. As an interactive developer you have to be familiar with the technologies around you. The best part is that it’s a great way to get ideas for what you want in Flash/AS3 as Grant is finding with C#.

Gartner RIA MarketScope: A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats

Boats ImageThere’s always a lot of back and forth between the Flash crowd and the Silverlight crowd. And that’s fine, everyone needs an enemy and competition ends up driving everyone to have better features, better performance, and a better platform. But one of the things I’ve always thought was that Microsoft’s entry into the RIA space would end up being good for everyone. Microsoft has a lot of developers but there are also a lot of developers who don’t like and won’t use a Microsoft solution. Those people also need RIAs.

According to the Gartner MarketScope on RIAs it looks like Microsoft jumping into RIAs pushed adoption across the board in 2009. I don’t have the full report yet but here’s the quote from the blog post that stood out:

Now that Microsoft has validated “heavy RIA” in the eyes of many enterprises, interest in RIA technologies is increasing across the board. Frequent Gartner inquiries indicate that clients pit Ajax vs. Flash vs. Silverlight against each other in evaluations for new RIA projects. What does this mean for JavaFX and other technologies? Tough to say for sure, but my bet is that the “heavy RIA” arena comes down to a battle between Adobe and Microsoft, and that there is enough room in the market for both to be successful.

This isn’t supposed to be a happy-feelgood post. I want Adobe and our community to kick ass and continue to be the leaders in the RIA space. But I’m glad Microsoft is raising awareness; it helps when we can talk about why our platform is better for RIAs and not go back to what RIAs are :) .

I’m stoked about 2010. Especially if it’s a battle between Ajax, Flash, and Silverlight. We’re starting to get a big lead in mobile, AIR continues to do well as a desktop RIA solution, and we’re starting to monetize our own RIAs with services like Acrobat.com. There’s been a slight trend towards “native” which is being led by the iPhone, but don’t discount the persistent desire to create rich, desktop-like experiences with all of the flexibility and scope of the web. The web is still going to win and RIAs will be a big part of that.

Photo by Flickr user jal33

Mini-Microsoft Interested in Adobe AIR

Kevin Goldsmith pointed this out and I thought it was awesome. For those not familiar with Mini-Microsoft, he’s (she?) is a highish level Microsoft employee who blogs anonymously about what’s happening at the company. He has a ton of insight about what’s going on over in Redmond and quite a bit of opinion about how things should be. My Microsoft employee friends love him. On Tuesday he did a breakdown of Microsoft’s quarterly numbers and what the status of various parts of the company are. The gem came when he talked about Dev Div (which I think stands for Developer Division), the part of the company with the developer tools and technology. Here’s the quote:

Dev Div: If I had to sit down tomorrow and write a casual application for the PC, my mind would fork itself in about five different directions. Native with ATL? WPF? Silverlight? An HTA? And what’s up with XNA? If I want to write an app for the Zune (which Zune?) what do I do? And can it run on some future mobile device? And the PC? And Xbox?

And how do I share it? How do I sell it? And, ah, crap, you mean you just released a whole new version of C# / Silverlight / XNA that I have to go and relearn? Maybe those free Starbucks coffee dispensers wasn’t a good idea…

If anything, I’d probably be pretty damn tempted to invest time learning Adobe AIR. And I’m thinking that while smack dab in the middle of the Microsoft bubble. There are a lot of Partners in Dev Div, and I’m not seeing any benefit from their concentration. The Windows client should be the premiere development platform. It’s not. What am I missing?

Mini, if you want to learn AIR, you can drop me an email. I’ll drive over to Redmond or even meet you secretly at the Adobe offices here in Fremont and show you the ropes. Anytime :)

UK’s largest commercial broadcaster drops Silverlight for Flash

Following the news last week that Microsoft and UK-based retailer Tesco announced a commercial agreement (no details of the financial arrangements were published) it is interesting to see that one media company who previously adopted Microsoft Silverlight for it’s online TV catch-up service has completely replaced the Silverlight-based player for one built using Adobe Flash Player.

ITV Player

ITV, owner of the UK’s largest commercial television channel in terms of audience share and advertising revenue, had been using Silverlight since the launch of the service, but if the ITV forums and other reports are anything to go by, the use of Silverlight had certainly caused frustration for many visitors to the site trying to use ITV Player.

I have no inside knowledge as to what caused ITV to walk away from Microsoft’s technology and instead use Flash Player to stream programmes such as Coronoation Street, Emmerdale and X Factor on the ITV Player; it seems though that a combination of the reported technical problems experienced by end-users and the relatively low distribution of the the runtime, which required most visitors to install Silverlight, proved to be too much of a barrier for end-user adoption, especially when compared with the successful use of Flash for BBC iPlayer, 4 on-demand and Five TV’s Demand 5 service.

Note: it looks as if ITV are still in the process of updating their site so expect some minor issues whilst they finish the process.

Adobe CEO talks about Flash and new technologies on FT.com

There is a three part video interview with Shantanu Narayen, Adobe’s CEO, up on FT.com today as part of their “View from the Top” series, in which they talk to CEOs about news and trends within their respective industry.
In Part 2 of the interview, the conversation is focused on the adoption of Flash on mobile [...]