Ryan, the Adobe blogger helping Microsoft?

I’ve noticed a ton of Silverlight information coming through Ryan Stewart’s Google Reader link blog. He just gave us the stats on how much.

That’s really smart because Ryan is proving that he’s being an authority on the marketplace and not just a corporate shill for Adobe. Smart blogging because it inserts Ryan into the conversation. Why? Because is it more fun to have a conversation with someone who only presents one side of the story or someone who knows all sides of the story and can explain the pros and cons.

When I was on the Adobe bus earlier this week I experienced that first hand. I got a lot less “pro Adobe” talk than I expected to hear on the bus. Both Ryan and Adobe execs actually spent quite a bit of time praising Silverlight to me and telling me what they thought Microsoft did right.

Think that doesn’t work well with developers? Go back and listen to the Jay Smooth video I just posted. Take “churches” out and replace that with “tech companies.” Take “rap music” out and replace that with “developer tools.” Finally, take “kids” out and replace that with “developers.”

The same conversation techniques that Jay Smooth learned on the streets and in the music business works with developers. By not being afraid of Microsoft Adobe has demonstrated a lot more confidence than I’ve seen it exhibit previously. Kudos.

Turn it around now: is there anyone who’s expert on the pros of Adobe’s Flash/Flex/Apollo at Microsoft? Anyone we can go to to have a conversation with?

Who is Microsoft’s Ryan Stewart? Why don’t they have one? Heck, why doesn’t every company have one?

35 thoughts on “Ryan, the Adobe blogger helping Microsoft?

  1. “Is Adobe not the same company that reserves the right to sue, at their whim, anyone that implements PDF export functionality?”

    No. Adobe encourages others to produce PDF and SWF. We have to make sure those formats remain functional, though, and do not become damaged as DHTML and Java were.

    (I agree with Philip and Robert on the difficulty of appearing impartial. Everyone’s got to reach their own understanding of that, though.)

    jd/adobe

  2. “Is Adobe not the same company that reserves the right to sue, at their whim, anyone that implements PDF export functionality?”

    No. Adobe encourages others to produce PDF and SWF. We have to make sure those formats remain functional, though, and do not become damaged as DHTML and Java were.

    (I agree with Philip and Robert on the difficulty of appearing impartial. Everyone’s got to reach their own understanding of that, though.)

    jd/adobe

  3. I gave Ryan the nickname “Almost Famous” before he joined Adobe. As he was the journo getting back stage passes between both Adobe and Microsoft, yet both camps I guess were waiting for that infamous Rolling Stone article to be posted “He said i was a Golem God wtf?”

    I’d personally love to see a colloboration between Microsoft and Adobe on a joint RIA project of some sort (community focus maybe), as in the end, developers & designers are very acute people and they couldn’t give a toss over which brand is better. I tried to illustrate this through my Batman vs Spiderman analogy but came off as if i was smoking crack or something (Yes I read the comments).

    I hope RIA takes off and personally, hope both when there is life after Microsoft I can build some interesting technology by then.

    If you want to find the next “independent” RIA guy, look to Lee Brimelow as he just facinates me and *gets it*.

    -
    Scott Barnes
    Web Developer Evangelist
    Microsoft.

  4. I gave Ryan the nickname “Almost Famous” before he joined Adobe. As he was the journo getting back stage passes between both Adobe and Microsoft, yet both camps I guess were waiting for that infamous Rolling Stone article to be posted “He said i was a Golem God wtf?”

    I’d personally love to see a colloboration between Microsoft and Adobe on a joint RIA project of some sort (community focus maybe), as in the end, developers & designers are very acute people and they couldn’t give a toss over which brand is better. I tried to illustrate this through my Batman vs Spiderman analogy but came off as if i was smoking crack or something (Yes I read the comments).

    I hope RIA takes off and personally, hope both when there is life after Microsoft I can build some interesting technology by then.

    If you want to find the next “independent” RIA guy, look to Lee Brimelow as he just facinates me and *gets it*.

    -
    Scott Barnes
    Web Developer Evangelist
    Microsoft.

  5. Phillip: oh, that is true, for sure. I knew the same thing happened when I joined Microsoft. Good points about needing to be far more careful when you’re a company employee.

  6. Phillip: oh, that is true, for sure. I knew the same thing happened when I joined Microsoft. Good points about needing to be far more careful when you’re a company employee.

  7. Despite the fact this thread is turning into an Adobe vs. Microsoft debate… I’ll comment on the topic of Ryan discussing MS.

    Well, he really tries to be balanced I believe. However, he’s now employed by Adobe so with all due respect long term I don’t think he’s qualified or even able to comment on Microsoft. It’s not because he’s a big liar (which he isn’t)… but rather, it’s impossible to treat his comments as if they’re unbiased. That is, it has little to do with the content or intent of his opinion but the fact it’s coming from someone inside Adobe. In fact, he might want to recuse himself on some matters. (I’m weird, but I view all comments–despite marked as personal blogs–as “official company policy”.) Mostly, I think this will become more of an issue over time. In the meantime, I still read his stuff and get a lot of value from it. But, ever since he started at Adobe I HAD to take treat it slightly differently.

  8. Despite the fact this thread is turning into an Adobe vs. Microsoft debate… I’ll comment on the topic of Ryan discussing MS.

    Well, he really tries to be balanced I believe. However, he’s now employed by Adobe so with all due respect long term I don’t think he’s qualified or even able to comment on Microsoft. It’s not because he’s a big liar (which he isn’t)… but rather, it’s impossible to treat his comments as if they’re unbiased. That is, it has little to do with the content or intent of his opinion but the fact it’s coming from someone inside Adobe. In fact, he might want to recuse himself on some matters. (I’m weird, but I view all comments–despite marked as personal blogs–as “official company policy”.) Mostly, I think this will become more of an issue over time. In the meantime, I still read his stuff and get a lot of value from it. But, ever since he started at Adobe I HAD to take treat it slightly differently.

  9. Is Adobe not the same company that reserves the right to sue, at their whim, anyone that implements PDF export functionality?

  10. Is Adobe not the same company that reserves the right to sue, at their whim, anyone that implements PDF export functionality?

  11. “Agnosticism” is more like knowing the limits of your own knowledge… knowing that you don’t know everything, and being comfortable with that ambiguity. (Atheists have a strong faith that no faith is possible. ;-)

    Being able to see past your own self-interest is a bit closer to tolerance and pragmatism. It’s necessary when trying to make stuff other people will find valuable.

    jd/adobe

  12. “Agnosticism” is more like knowing the limits of your own knowledge… knowing that you don’t know everything, and being comfortable with that ambiguity. (Atheists have a strong faith that no faith is possible. ;-)

    Being able to see past your own self-interest is a bit closer to tolerance and pragmatism. It’s necessary when trying to make stuff other people will find valuable.

    jd/adobe

  13. Good post. We love Adobe. Not only we love Adobe, but we also love working with Adobe Evanagelists. These guys listen to customers and treat them with respect and care.

    Adobe has its open culture that they learn to openly accept user inputs, are keen on making their products best for the users, and are fair about their product evaluation.

    We couldn’t get Microsoft and Adobe to share Silverlight and AIR on the same panel. Many of our fans are very disappointed.

  14. Good post. We love Adobe. Not only we love Adobe, but we also love working with Adobe Evanagelists. These guys listen to customers and treat them with respect and care.

    Adobe has its open culture that they learn to openly accept user inputs, are keen on making their products best for the users, and are fair about their product evaluation.

    We couldn’t get Microsoft and Adobe to share Silverlight and AIR on the same panel. Many of our fans are very disappointed.

  15. … being agnostic doesn’t mean to support or not either one or a different technology, what it means is that you should be as open and knowledgeable as to know all of them in a way of being able to compare those independently of its nature… knowing their strengths and weakness, that where I see Scott Barnes and Ryan feeling the blanks.

    Ryan’s position isn’t new, he’s been writing in an agnostic way both on his own and for ZDNet before he got hired from Adobe… and he made it clear that this position was going to be maintained thru his new career.

    It’s though natural that just as Scoble did before when he was @ Microsoft, u are somehow with a greater exposure to their news and technologies since u r there where the action is happening, so you might end up writing more for that matter… but it doesn’t mean you should forget about the rest! That just would be stupid to do… same goes for Barnes.

    My self? I just try to go with all the great stuff out there and the ones coming after… I have a strong background on Microsoft technologies ’cause my professional life has got me there… but it doesn’t mean I should stop there neither should you, I’m in a process of learning AS3 and AIR right now – and blogging about it both in Spanish and English; will be attending MAX on September and will keep trying to fill the void in my Adobe skills… again you need to keep yourself agnostic, u never know what ur next big project will bring around, u just have to be prepared!

    Keep up the great job Barnes and Stewart!!!

  16. … being agnostic doesn’t mean to support or not either one or a different technology, what it means is that you should be as open and knowledgeable as to know all of them in a way of being able to compare those independently of its nature… knowing their strengths and weakness, that where I see Scott Barnes and Ryan feeling the blanks.

    Ryan’s position isn’t new, he’s been writing in an agnostic way both on his own and for ZDNet before he got hired from Adobe… and he made it clear that this position was going to be maintained thru his new career.

    It’s though natural that just as Scoble did before when he was @ Microsoft, u are somehow with a greater exposure to their news and technologies since u r there where the action is happening, so you might end up writing more for that matter… but it doesn’t mean you should forget about the rest! That just would be stupid to do… same goes for Barnes.

    My self? I just try to go with all the great stuff out there and the ones coming after… I have a strong background on Microsoft technologies ’cause my professional life has got me there… but it doesn’t mean I should stop there neither should you, I’m in a process of learning AS3 and AIR right now – and blogging about it both in Spanish and English; will be attending MAX on September and will keep trying to fill the void in my Adobe skills… again you need to keep yourself agnostic, u never know what ur next big project will bring around, u just have to be prepared!

    Keep up the great job Barnes and Stewart!!!

  17. Stephane – Microsoft sells a platform, so of course it’s not going to be as agnostic as Adobe. Adobe’s strength *is* its cross platform nature. It’s one of its selling points.
    Just like I wouldn’t expect Adobe’s designer tools to support XAML natively any time soon. This is Adobe’s primary revenue stream.

  18. Stephane – Microsoft sells a platform, so of course it’s not going to be as agnostic as Adobe. Adobe’s strength *is* its cross platform nature. It’s one of its selling points.
    Just like I wouldn’t expect Adobe’s designer tools to support XAML natively any time soon. This is Adobe’s primary revenue stream.

  19. Typo : This is the extreme opposite of Microsoft’s mono-platform culture.

  20. Microsoft stated goal to get every single developer to develop stuff using .NET is deservedly welcome with contempt.

    If you put Adobe and Microsoft on the same level, what it shows is that you just don’t get it. Adobe has a history of coming up with interoperable software and formats, a crucial tool to help developers get their job done. This is the extreme of Microsoft’s mono-platform culture.

  21. Microsoft stated goal to get every single developer to develop stuff using .NET is deservedly welcome with contempt.

    If you put Adobe and Microsoft on the same level, what it shows is that you just don’t get it. Adobe has a history of coming up with interoperable software and formats, a crucial tool to help developers get their job done. This is the extreme of Microsoft’s mono-platform culture.

  22. AFAIK, in Australia at least, the MS RIA evanagelist is Scott Barnes, who was similarly an Adobe technology focussed developer recruited to, well evangalise to the dev community. The similarity ends there though as his community involvement has typically been aggressively confrontational and he’s got the backs up of many developers with his attacks on Adobe on mailing lists, blog comments and from his own blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/msmossyblog/ Is this indicative of MS approach to the market…

  23. AFAIK, in Australia at least, the MS RIA evanagelist is Scott Barnes, who was similarly an Adobe technology focussed developer recruited to, well evangalise to the dev community. The similarity ends there though as his community involvement has typically been aggressively confrontational and he’s got the backs up of many developers with his attacks on Adobe on mailing lists, blog comments and from his own blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/msmossyblog/ Is this indicative of MS approach to the market…

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