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Flash and H264…together!

This week, Adobe announced and posted a Flash player that included H264 decoding, essentially adding a new video codec for playback.  Flash 6 was the first video codec with Sorenson Spark.  With Flash 8, we added the much improved on2 VP6 codec.  In the meantime, H264 has grown in adoption and it seemed to make sense to add an open codec to the Flash platform. 

So, if you’re interested in giving it a test drive, mosey on over to Adobe’s Lab website labs.adobe.com

As an aside, the thing that flabbergasted me was how quickly all of our customers knew about this!  The independent artist that attended last night’s AENY meeting as well as the large NYC broadcasters and everything in between.  I guess 98% market penetration has that affect on people! 

Flash Player penetration stats


Could H.264 support in Flash be what Apple was waiting for on the iPhone before distributing a Flash Player?

[DR – good question and one that I don’t know the answer to. My guess would be no though. ]

Well Dennis, penetration definitely has something to do with it but I would really contribute a lot of it to Silverlight’s HD support. I know of a few circles where it sparked some…ummm…well…healthy conversations. 🙂 Rivalries definitely seem to have that affect. 😉

Penetration is def’ great though.

[DR – Thanks for the comments and reply. Competition is certainly something that benefits the customers and the industry at large. I’d like to think that Adobe has had a large hand in innovating and spurring on technology too. We certainly have a lot of great competitors as well: Microsoft, Google and Apple to name three. They’re also partners – go figure… 😉

I have to be candid and say that personally I much prefer the chances of Flash’s continued dominance vs. Silverlight. Granted, with Microsoft behind it and its ability to push out Silverlight to all of it’s OS clients, it is something to give healthy respect to. It will certainly give Adobe careful consideration as we continue to develop Flash.

But…If I were to say that Adobe was writing a new Word Processor application what would you think? My hunch would be that you’d say that Adobe is one of the few companies that could write a competitive product to Word and give it a chance. But who would you bet on? I’d bet on Microsoft because everyone already uses it and has no compelling reason to switch.

There’s also already a million Flash developers and coupled with the broadening of the Flash Platform to include the Adobe Media Player, Flash Media Server and Flex, it’s a veritable cornucopia of Flash goodness that allows designers (like yourself) to create fascinating work and present it to the widest audience.

Finally, I think that the software penetration of Flash is remarkable and really can’t be underestimated. It is the most widely installed piece of software in the world. More than Windows, Internet Explorer, Windows Media and Quicktime. It begs the question (to me), “Why do I need Silverlight?”

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