Adobe announces plans to halt development of Flash for mobile platforms.
announcing plans to restructure and lay off 750 employees
, Adobe has followed
up with news of plans to shut down its work on the mobile version of its Flash
to a report first seen on ZDNet
Adobe told developer partners of its plans to stop development of its Flash
mobile browser plug-in technology. There is a bit of irony in the news of Adobe
halting Flash for mobile development, as another ZDNet report indicates that
Microsoft may soon be ending
the life of Flash rival technology Silverlight
to the Flash report, Adobe sent a notice out to developers saying:
future work with Flash on mobile devices will be focused on enabling Flash
developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores.
We will no longer adapt Flash Player for mobile devices to new browser, OS
version or device configurations. Some of our source code licensees may opt to
continue working on and releasing their own implementations. We will continue
to support the current Android and PlayBook configurations with critical bug
fixes and security updates."
Luh, CEO and co-founder of Ansca and former lead architect of Flash Lite at
Adobe, told eWEEK
: "It's pretty clear
that Adobe was becoming increasingly irrelevant in the mobile space. Flash just
wasn't getting traction. So they had to do something. That something was
embracing HTML5 and doing what Adobe does best: create the best tools on the
planet for creative professionals. The irony, of course, is one of the main
reasons Adobe acquired Macromedia was because of Flash and the opportunity to
play a dominant role in mobile content."
Luh said he is not surprised at Adobe's decision to abandon Flash mobile
development, particularly after watching the keynotes at Adobe's
conference. Luh said in previous years, Flash was king. "But this
year, Flash was treated as an afterthought, and instead, HTML5 was front and
center-with new tools focused on the latter like Adobe Edge," he said.
Luh was at Adobe from 2005-2007, he said he saw two main problems for Flash in
the context of mobile that Adobe failed to address: "The first was legacy
technology. They had the opportunity to invest in building the next-generation
foundation for Flash very early on, but didn't read the hardware trends
correctly. Instead of making a bet on smartphones, they focused on [at the time]
the mass-market feature phones. The second was ignoring developers. A lot
of the early mobile Flash developers wanted to create stand-alone apps, but
Adobe wanted to build a mobile platform, so they focused on trying to get
distribution of their Web plug-in on mobile phones. There was an impedance
mismatch and Adobe just took too long to come to the right conclusions."
Ansca co-founder Carlos Icaza left Adobe in 2007 and started Ansca Mobile,
which produces the Corona SDK for mobile app development, after Adobe refused
to overhaul Flash for the then-looming smartphone platform, he said.
part, in announcing its plans to restructure, Adobe officials said the company
will focus on two primary markets: digital media and digital marketing. In
digital media, the company is an industry leader in content authoring
solutions, enabling customers to create, distribute and monetize digital
content. In digital marketing, the company intends to be the leader in
solutions to manage, measure and optimize digital marketing and advertising,
Adobe officials said.
digital media growth strategy revolves around its recently announced Creative
Cloud and will enable the company to rapidly deliver new product capabilities
and services, penetrate untapped market segments, and increase overall
engagement with customers, the company said.