An interesting argument from RoughlyDrafted Magazine:
What better curse could one wish upon one’s mobile platform competitors than a bunch of performance and security problems, poor battery life, a mess of user interface inconsistencies, and a malignant boil upon their efforts to develop their own third party development platforms? Jobs didn’t express such schadenfreude himself, but he can’t possibly not be ecstatic that his competitors are all rushing to wrap themselves around the neck with the dead albatross that is Adobe’s Flash.
Who, in his right mind, expects Steve Jobs to let Adobe (and other) cross-platform application development tools control his (I mean the iPhone OS) future? Cross-platform tools dangle the old “write once, run everywhere” promise. But, by being cross-platform, they don’t use, they erase “uncommon” features. To Apple, this is anathema as it wants apps developers to use, to promote its differentiation. It’s that simple. Losing differentiation is death by low margins. It’s that simple. It’s business. Apple is right to keep control of its platform’s future.
I understand the fury at Adobe over Apple’s moves against Flash development on the iPhone. (And I’m sad that this particularly targeted spat may have incalculable fall-out on the rest of the Adobe-Apple relationship, which will potentially impact both companies’ customers down the road.)
It’s got a bit of the feeling of Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown, but with one key difference: in this scenario, Lucy never asked Charlie Brown to kick that football. Charlie Brown saw a bunch of other kids kicking the football and thought he could run up and kick it too.
Is it mean for Lucy to yank the football away from ol’ Chuck at the last minute? Yeah, absolutely. But it’s Lucy’s football.
A total of 30 e-book readers rely on Adobe software, including Barnes & Noble’s just-debuted, already-delayed Nook and Sony’s popular Sony Readers, according to Nick Bogaty, senior business development manager for digital publishing at Adobe.
Both PDF and ePub are open industry standards, though the optional encryption and DRM provided by Adobe’s Content Server and enforced by the Adobe Reader are not.
Adobe may balk at the comparison, but its role in the e-book market is similar to the one Microsoft Corp. plays in the PC market: It’ a builder of a semi-open ecosystem of partners to whom it sells publishing tools.
In this analogy, Amazon.com is like Apple: successful, but secretive, with a reliance on proprietary formats like the Kindle’s native AZW that creates customer hassle and lock-in.
It’s a site created by a designer who knows and loves Adobe products … and hates their many flaws. Visitors can add new gripes and vote up existing ones – just for fun, check out the top gripes. Most gripes are about Adobe’s installers (horribly awful), prices (sell-your-organs high), world pricing policy (schizophrenic), and bloated software (slow and complex).
Now imagine reading this as an Adobe exec. Do you think:
a. What great client input!
b. Uh oh – bad press!
Your response determines whether social media will be a blessing or a curse to you.
Adobe lists a variety of phone makers and chip manufacturers as its partners in the Open Screen Project, but notably excludes any mention of Microsoft, Apple, and Google. How will ARM, Intel, and Cisco have any relevant impact on pushing Flash on Microsoft’s desktop, Apple’s mobiles and the Mac, or Google’s web apps and Android platform?
And how are the existing licensees of Adobe’s Flash Lite on mobile phones (LG, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba, and Verizon Wireless) going to do anything to promote Flash-based rich Internet apps when their devices can’t even run the full version of Flash?
Adobe seems to be hoping that nobody notices these problems and that its vigilant marketing efforts can entrance the public into thinking that a drawing app extended into an animation tool and then retrofitted into a monstrous hack of a development platform is a superior technology basis for building web apps compared to the use of modern open standards created expressly to promote true interoperability by design rather than retroactively.
Buzzword beats current Ajax-based offerings like Google Docs and Zoho Writer in both usability and aesthetic impact. And in a few months, when a desktop version is released, Buzzword will pose a serious challenge to Microsoft Word, the current king of document editing on the desktop.
But Wired is right: this is an amazing product. I managed to snag an early invite to check out the beta, and it already feels polished and more than usable. It uses Adobe’s Flex to achieve near-desktop feel on the web, and eventually is intended to use AIR to run on the desktop as well.Uploading and placing an image, working with tables, saving and undoing with key commands instead of having to use the menus all the time, plus all the word processing basics … it all seems to be there.Very cool.I’ll play with it a little more and post something a bit more detailed …