Adobe is killing its mobile Flash platform, and cutting 750 full-time positions in North America and Europe, as it seeks to reorganize its business around what reps called "growth opportunities." Foremost among those opportunities, at least in the mobile sphere, is HTML 5, a next-generation coding language currently used on a range of sites.
"For more than a decade, Flash has enabled the richest content to be created and deployed on the web by reaching beyond what browsers could do," Adobe VP Danny Winokur wrote on the company blog. "It has repeatedly served as a blueprint for standardizing new technologies in HTML. Over the past two years, we’ve delivered Flash Player for mobile browsers and brought the full expressiveness of the web to many mobile devices."
However, Winokur continued, "HTML5 is now universally supported on major mobile devices, in some cases exclusively. This makes HTML5 the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms." This is big news, of course, not least because, as Thomas Claburn writes today in Information Week, it seems to validate an assertion made by Steve Jobs in 2010.
"Flash was created during the PC era — for PCs and mice," Jobs argued in an open letter explaining Apple's decision not to include Flash on Apple mobile devices. "Flash is a successful business for Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs. But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces, and open Web standards — all areas where Flash falls short."
For a long time, Apple's competitors in the tablet sphere, such as Motorola and Samsung, stressed that by including Flash on their machines, they were offering customers "full" access to the entire Web. So what will the end of mobile Flash mean for the tablet market at large? Well, over at Business Insider, Steve Kovach points out that Android tablet manufacturers will have to work super-hard to set their devices apart from the iPad.
"One option is to play up the specs: Faster processors, more memory, expandable storage," he writes. "That seems to be Asus' strategy with its zippy new Eee Pad Transformer Prime. The other option is to beat the iPad on price, which is exactly what Amazon and Barnes & Noble are doing with the $199 Kindle Fire and $249 Nook Tablet. Based on the way pre-orders are going for the Kindle Fire, selling at a loss seems to be the only hope for non-iPad tablets now."
That and, you know, making a better tablet. Which is still possible! Right?
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