Jitters about Adobe becoming “Microsoft of the web”

Ted Leung is bothered about Adobe becoming too sucessful with its Flash/Flex/Apollo technology:

Flash has a great cross platform story. One runtime, any platform. Penetration of the Flash Player is basically the same as penetration of browsers capable of supporting big AJAX apps. There are nice development tools. This is highly appealing.

What is not appealing is going back to a technology which is single sourced and controlled by a single vendor. If web applications liberated us from the domination of a single company on the desktop, why would we be eager to be dominated by a different company on the web?

These are valid concerns though arguably premature – we’ve not seen widespread adoption of Flex yet, let alone Apollo which is not yet released. But is Adobe’s potential monopoly equally as dangerous as what we’ve seen on the desktop? My instinct is that it is not, though I don’t pretend to have thought through all the implications, and I don’t like those proprietary Adobe protocols like Action Media Format (AMF) and Real Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP). I also think it will be healthy for the industry if Microsoft gains some momentum with WPF and WPF/E, and if Java stays alive as a client-side platform, simply because competition is our best protection against vendor greed. And as Leung notes, there is also Open Laszlo.


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One thought on “Jitters about Adobe becoming “Microsoft of the web””

  1. I saw WPF/E at the recent MSDN Roadshow and it was bloody impressive, I can tell you. However, I think that what will definitely spur on competition will be the growing acceptance of the Expression suite of tools. I cannot draw a straight line with a ruler and have no graphical design talent whatsoever, but I’m a good programmer and could easily wire up a jazzy front-end put together with Expression. Anything that smooths the progress of a concept to a usable and attractive Web front end is going to be a winner.

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