Capabilities Not Possible with Silverlight

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2008-10-15 Print this article Print

Flash Player 10 also supports advanced audio processing to deliver improved sound capabilities and leverages the Pixel Bender engine.

Barclay said all the major new features and capabilities in Flash Player 10 "are things that are not possible with Silverlight. We're delivering capabilities that were only possible on the desktop before now."

Justin Everett-Church, senior product manager, Platform Business Unit, Adobe Systems, said Adobe opened its doors to "a couple hundred developers" over the weekend before the release of Flash Player 10 and "the new sound capabilities seemed to be a big winner" amongst the group of developers kicking the tires on the platform. "I think it was because sound is an area we had never really provided support for before."

Barclay said he thinks the Adobe Pixel Bender is among the key new features in the new Flash release, "because you can use the engine for so many different things. I think we'll see some things that will just blow us away."

Meanwhile, as part of its Flash development effort, Adobe delivered a Flash Player public bug tracker, which helped the company decide on and accelerate delivery of some of the new features in Flash Player 10. The sound capability was one such feature that benefited from the bug tracker, but other enhancements that came from that bug tracking system include full screen keyboard access, full screen game access and access to the Flash garbage collection engine, Everett-Church said.

Adobe officials said Flash has an adoption rate of about 90 percent across the market; Microsoft claims Silverlight is available on one in four computers that an individual user has access to. Moreover, Flash Player content reaches more than 98 percent of Internet-enabled desktops, Adobe said. More than 80 percent of online videos worldwide are viewed using Adobe Flash technology, making it the No. 1 format for video on the Web, the company said. And adoption of a previous update to Flash Player 9 set records by achieving nearly 90 percent reach on Internet-enabled desktops in less than nine months. Flash Player 10 is expected to achieve a similar adoption rate.

In addition, Adobe will use innovations from Adobe Flash Player 10 to fuel future Open Screen Project efforts, such as work that will bring Flash Player 10 to mobile devices. The Open Screen Project is an industry-wide initiative to deliver rich multi-screen experiences built on a consistent runtime environment for open Web browsing and standalone applications across personal computers, mobile devices and consumer electronics.

Adobe Flash Player 10 is available immediately as a free download for Windows, Macintosh and Linux platforms here. Support for Solaris is expected later this year. All of the new expressive features and performance improvements introduced in Adobe Flash Player 10 will be available in Adobe AIR later this year for designers and developers to build applications that run outside the browser.  

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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