Can Flash be saved?

UPDATE: for a good counterpoint to this blog, see my new post titled “Google +will+ save Flash.”

Let’s go back a few years to when Firefox was just coming on the scene. Remember that? I remember that it didn’t work with a ton of websites. Things like banks, ecommerce sites, and others. Why not? Because those sites were coded specifically for the dominant Internet Explorer back then.

Some people thought Firefox was going to fail because of these broken links. Just like Adobe is trying to say that Apple’s iPad is going to fail because of its own set of broken links.

But just a few years later and have you seen a site that doesn’t work on Firefox? I haven’t.

What happened? Firefox FORCED developers to get on board with the standards-based web.

The same thing is happening now, based on my talks with developers: they are not including Flash in their future web plans any longer.

This has Adobe freaked out. Big time.

So, can Adobe save Flash? No.

But Google can.

The thing is, does Google want to? Google has been positioning itself as a company that supports the open web. It doesn’t like opaque boxes that aren’t friendly to the web. Google has been putting a lot of support behind HTML 5, for instance, and just a couple of weeks ago added support for HTML 5 to YouTube, which takes away a big chunk of Adobe’s argument (I bet Hulu and other players will soon jump onto the HTML 5 bandwagon, or, at minimum, will support the iPad/iPhone video streaming technologies. Even Ustream.tv has an iPhone app now that works fine with streaming video).

Google is widely seen as the only company right now that is challenging Apple at all (and even then, Google’s Android is clearly #2 in the race and doesn’t look like it will be able to challenge iPhone/iPad this year). After playing a bunch of great games on the iPhone, I don’t agree with the claims that Flash is needed anymore. If Adobe is losing people like me and the developers that decide the future of the web, they are in big trouble.

Could Nokia help Adobe out? No. The web elite don’t have Nokia phones and don’t care about Nokia.

Could Microsoft help Adobe out? Well, unless the Xbox all of a sudden supported Flash in some major and cool way, I don’t see Microsoft support mattering at all to the Web elite. And Microsoft is pushing its own Flash copy, Silverlight, which NBC is using for the Winter Olympics and RedBull is using for its Stratos event (it is expecting five million to watch a guy skyjump from 120,000 feet for the world record).

Could RIM help Adobe out? No, because its customers can’t use the web browser so it won’t be able to convince developers or consumers that it is a web leader.

Is there some way for Adobe to convince Apple that Flash matters? No. Adobe had three years to do that and has failed. That said, Adobe has invited press to its headquarters in the next few weeks to see its new platform and my friends who are using it say it’s pretty nice. Uses very little memory and is friendly on batteries.

So, Adobe’s best hope is to get Android to support Flash and Adobe’s best hope is that developers ignore the iPad and ignore the iPhone, or, at least, build better experiences on the Android and Google Chrome platforms that include Flash.

Well, it has one other thing it could do: it could come out with a set of developer tools that lets you build apps for the iPhone and iPad but that also let you deploy even better features to Android and other platforms.

The thing is, I bet those broken links start disappearing by summertime, so Adobe’s window to keep Flash relevant is closing quickly.

How about you? Can Flash be saved?

Adobe better have a great story to tell at SXSWi, because that’s where a lot of the Web elite gather each year. That means Adobe has six weeks to get an answer together for why Flash is relevant.

Can it do it? Can Flash be saved?

Comments

    1. MSFT now supports Flash Lite on the Xbox 360 UI after previously forcing developers to use Silverlight directly, or converting Flash to Silverlight.

    2. I don’t think that Flash will survive. The yechnology is too weak against HTML 5 and too many big actors are totally opposed to Flash.
      Youtube and Dailymotion are moving to an openvideo format thanks to HTML 5. Some site are even moving to Silverlight.
      I really think that Flash is in a dead-end.

    1. Javascript is actually getting very powerful and many of the tricks that can be done in flash can be done in javascript if you have a modern browser. There is even a project that implements a flash decoder in javascript. This is not really efficient ofcourse but shows what you can do with javascript
      See http://paulirish.com/work/gordon/demos/

    2. Silverlight is becoming a bigger platform than just the web, with v4.0 it’s becoming a lightweight app development platform for desktops (and perhaps Win Mo 7??).

      The point about flash however, is that even if HTML5 video standard gets solved (perhaps by Google and the ON2 takeover and open sourcing of it’s tech) then past browsers won’t support it, older OS’s won’t have the codecs. That means IE 6/7/8 which are going to be used for 5-10years yet based on the life of IE6. So just as we developers have to support IE6, we’ll have to do it with video, and that means Flash or Silverlight. Not to mention advertisers and their annoying flash ads, who fund sites.

      As for games, I’m not sure they’re important. Flash based games are free little bits of fun, many could infact be implemented with HTML4 and JS/CSS, we called it DHTML back in the day.

  1. If we're ever going to take cloud applications seriously, we need to do away with plugins like Flash. Apps need to work regardless of the browser being used. HTML 5 excites me a great deal and I can't wait until more sites start moving their Flash elements to that.

  2. I agree with most of the points about Adobe being in trouble. But I don't think we can count out Flash just yet. HTML5 is great but I don't think it is ready to replace Flash.

  3. What does Flash let a developer do that isn't possible with HTML5? Or, with other APIs on iPad/iPhone? That is what Adobe needs to answer. Sorry, dead links don't matter in the long run. APIs and functionality do. That's what I'll be looking for from Adobe next month.

    1. Hey Robert.

      HTML5 doesn’t have a decent rich low-latency consistent sound API, that’s why almost all HTML5 demos showing off games have no sound.

      Sound control is something that Flash does extremely well.

      Also, all HTML5 proponents seem to assume that everyone’s a developer.

      Flash will stick around because it’s the tool of choice for multimedia artists, illustrators, animators, and graphic designers. Not everyone is a coder.

      Regarding video, a really nifty thing you can do with Flash and video is easy reskinning of video controls/interface and mixing and matching/overlaying other content over the video like dynamic text, etc.

      Another thing, the upcoming Flash 10.1 has support for multi-touch events. I don’t think you have that for HTML5.

      Finally, SWF compresses stuff down to bytecode. Javascript code is compressible too, but only to a certain extent. If you have a really complex AJAX app, filesize would be bigger. Oh and your code is more viewable online too. (flash actionscript is decompilable too, but it’s not as easy as simply viewing Javascript code);

      1. “Flash will stick around because it’s the tool of choice for multimedia artists, illustrators, animators, and graphic designers. Not everyone is a coder.”

        This is the sad but honest truth. The huge advertising agencies of the world have and will continue to keep flash alive in rich media advertising and promotional microsites. This is not a statement about the capabilities of HTML5/JS/CSS vs Flash it’s more a comment on the fact that the technology decisions in these agencies are dictated by creatives NOT developers.

        Big advertising is married to Flash because of browser consistency and motion graphics-style capabilities. Creatives are dictating how this work is being produced and the vast majority of them don’t even know what HTML5 is.

        Let’s say it takes roughly 2 years for developers to all get on board with HTML5 and cross-browser issues are settled. Triple that time for the “big thinkers” at the top advertising agencies to realize that there are other technologies available to create rich media experiences on the web besides Flash.

        1. well said, i’ve been coding flash for years and am busier and better paid than ever. Flash is no good for serious website development (i hate flex), JS can do it all, but for advertising, fun sites and 3d animations flash is a great tool. How does a designer do animation with HTML5? They can’t therefore they will use flash. And how many of the silverlight sites are paid for by Microsoft?

    2. HTML 5 with the video and audio tag is great, but video is use in many different ways in Flash. Not just click here to play. For instance, have you see the 360 Hati videos?

      In the end its the right tool for the right job. WHATWG and the browser vendors tend to move too slow in implementing new features. Flash has been able to do fully interactive video for a while and browsers are just now getting standard video playback. Given time I’m sure the browsers will all have these features as well. Unfortunately you can’t tell your client to wait a few years for the browsers to catch up when those clients see it available on other sites right now.

  4. Flash itself may not suck, but it would be better if it died, because there's so much clueless misuse. Just go to Mercedes-Benz's website to see what I mean (everything is in Flash, unlinkable, unbookmarkable, I can't even open in multiple tabs, etc). I'm shopping for a new car, and I walked away from their website disgusted. But to be fair, there's abuse of Flash in most automakers' websites.

    And how many other websites use Flash to show static images or page structure that could just as easily be done in HTML with animated GIFs? It's pointless and reduces the value of their website and they don't see it!

    Flash is dead! Long live HTML5!

  5. HTML 5 is maybe the answer… we need something lighter and able to work on cross platform easily… I don't think flash from Adobe is the answer … unless they are able to create a 2010 solution :-)

  6. There is still a lack of good video support for HTML 5 in all browsers. Many browsers canvas support is poor (firefox 3.0 and less) or non existent (IE). The Apple devices are not the web.
    I agree Flash's days are numbered but it's still a long way off. HTML 5 is not there yet, even when it's finished it won't be as feature rich as Flash and performance will still vary significantly cross browser. On top of that there's Flex's success within the enterprise and the wealth of developers out there with flash skills who will be reluctant to change.
    It will happen but as I say, it's a long way off. If Adobe were smart they'd be repositioning to be the company that provides the best tools for rich HTML 5 development Both in multimedia like their flash tools and the enterprise with flex. Maybe that's just what they're doing, I doubt it though, they seem to be keen on owning the “rich web” platform not just supporting and enabling it.

    1. We don’t even need the canvas tag from html5 to get vector rendering, all browsers, except IE, already support SVG and for internet explorer you can use VML.

  7. I'm with you on hoping that HTML5 will replace Flash, because then we have a environment agnostic future, which would level the playing field for all devices.

    However, I think you're overstating a couple of your points. Firstly, Firefox was open to everyone, while Apple, as trendy as it is, is still a niche platform, which isn't going to change the web, and neither should it. My point being, Flash isn't going to die just because Apple didn't support it.

    Also, the so-called “web elite” may not care about Nokia, but the web elite are few, and the mass consumers are many, most of whom don't even know who the web elite are, let alone listen to their opinions. I.e. be careful not to overstate the influence of the 'elite'. All the while, Nokia are continually building up their services portfolio (did you hear the news about Ovi Maps last week?), and improving their devices, while maintaining user-interface diversity (i.e. not everyone wants an iSlab).

    Sure, people can come back to me and say how the iTunes app store is superior because of how many applications there are on offer. However, the notion that the quality of an app store can be measured by how many apps it has on offer is a fallacy. We all know a large amount of apps on iTunes are novelty joke apps that will be lucky to be used more than once. The truth is that most mobile app users only have a core of 5-8 applications which they seriously use and rely on. Every app store has those core needs covered.

  8. “Apps need to work regardless of the browser being used.”

    Flash is currently the only way to guarantee a fully cohesive experience across all platforms.
    HTML5 isn't supported by all browsers, at least not in the same ways, and browser vendors get to choose how it is supported and how it is handled. Just look at the CSS and JS issues across browsers now.
    That's not to say that flash should be used for everything. It shouldn't. Right tool for the job, and all that. There simply are some things that HTML/JS/CSS cannot do right now that Flash can. Flash isn't dying, all of this alarmist talk aside, the competition is just going to drive all the platforms forward to providing better experiences across the web.

  9. Um, sorry, Nokia's devices that have most of its market share are unusable on the web. Only the N900 is really decent for web use. Anyone who tries to tell me Nokia matters to the future of the web is just pulling my leg.

  10. DRM, Alpha Channels in video, Embedded Cue Points, Extended Metadata, online gaming, interactive information graphics (Look at the NY Times infographics, those simply couldn't be recreated as well in any other platform at this time), should I keep going?

    Flash isn't just video playback.

  11. I agree with you. If Adobe comes out with a set of tools that lets developers be cool no matter what platform gets delivered to, then Adobe wins. So far neither Google or Microsoft are willing to do that. Microsoft won't support Flash developers and Google won't support Flash or Silverlight developers. Adobe does have a window that's open, but it quickly will close.

  12. Apple has sold 75 million iPhones and iTouches in the last couple of years. That's huge and puts pressure on the rest of the web, even if they aren't open to everyone. Brands want to reach those consumers. Watch for Flash links to disappear this year from the web in a HUGE way.

  13. Really? You're suggesting taking a step back to animated GIFs as a solution? Yeah, no sense in moving forward with technology I guess. Let's all go back to text only web pages and animated gifs. How about embedded midi files as well.

  14. Online gaming? Have you even been on an iPhone? The games are very rich and are online. The rest of this stuff? Has me falling asleep. And, anyway, Microsoft's Silverlight is coming on strong in these points which is why NBC and RedBull chose it instead of Silverlight.

    1. “DRM, Alpha Channels in video, Embedded Cue Points,” etc. These features may have you falling asleep, Robert, but they are important to those of us who depend on these features for less “sexy” things like online learning development.

      Silverlight? What makes it so different from Flash? Still proprietary, is it not? So, I sell my soul to Adobe or Microsoft.

      And Apple is not the Web. I find it ironic that Apple gets tossed in with all the talk about “openess” and “cross-platform” standards. The iPhone (and I can only assume the iPad, as well) has got to be the most “closed” platform around. So, if Apple doesn’t want to support Flash, nobody should? Some of us who invested in the iPhone (I have a 3GS) are kicking ourselves because we sacrificed content accessibility for life in Apple’s walled garden. Call me sentimental, but I miss “choice”. I agree, Adobe has to stop being complacent and start reacting to the changing landscape. And all this doomsday banter has probably got their attention. But I don’t think Flash needs to be “saved” right now.

      And for those who lament the cheesy, annoying Flash banner ads: don’t blame the tool. I’m sure you could create equally obnoxious content with HTML 5, JS, and CSS 3.0.

  15. Dude, have you ever played a game or an app on the iPhone? Sure doesn't look like animated GIFs to me. Have you watched the Google video I linked to above about HTML5? Sure doesn't look like animated GIFs to me. Your argument is lame and wrong.

  16. There is no questioning about the capabilities of HTML5. The problem is that right now is that the HTML5 standard is not complete. Take the HTML5 video tag for example, HTML5 does not define the codec to be used. So, Chrome and Safari are supporting the h.264 codec while Firefox and Opera are supporting Theora.
    I do hope HTML5 will replace Flash soon. But I don't see it happening for atleast 2 years.

  17. iPhone apps aren't web apps, they aren't cross browser/cross platform, and they are built on a system very similar to flash. A coded app running through a proprietary runtime. Like it or not, Flash is THE content platform for gaming on the web. A lot of the performance and usage hatred comes from the developer, not from the platform.

    Again, it's all about the right tool for the job. Flash shouldn't be used for everything, but JS/HTML/etc. cannot replace everything that Flash does right now. HTML and JS in particular has a long way to mature in order to compare to AS3, C#, or Objective-C, in terms of performance and development.

  18. I think that you are right on Robert: Flash and Silverlight were temporary patches to some of the limitations of the web development model. HTML5 is/has addressing most of those issues. Once the video codec licensing issue is addressed and the <video> tag becomes as popular as the <img> tag, Flash and Silverlight will loose a ton of developer mindshare (See Beautiful HTML5 “Sublime” Video Player http://bit.ly/bVZXAa as and example of video become a first class citizen of the web model). I am not surprised that Microsoft missed this shift because their perspective has been “how can we save Windows Presentation Foundation?”. But Adobe missed a huge opportunity: they could have embrace HTML5 and make flash the container for HTML5 concepts in browsers which do not support HTML5 yet. Too bad, to late. Apple, Google and Mozilla are going to collect the fruit of this transition.

  19. What's lame and wrong is your delusion that iPhone apps/games are in any way comparable to web based usage scenarios, and that they are based on an open codebase and runtime. Apple has a huge userbase with the iPhone and iPod Touch (I have an iPhone myself), but that's not the web, and developers would be immensely foolish to go around thinking it is.

  20. ” Adobe is trying to say that Apple’s iPad is going to fail”

    Where is the Adobe blog post / article that you linked does it say that the iPad is going to fail if it doesnt support Flash?

    I dont think anyone from Adobe has been saying that. What they have been saying is that:

    1. Regardless of what Apple says you do not have the complete web experience on these devices.
    2. Expressing concerns about Apple increasingly moving to a closed, restrictive platform model. Flash is only one of many examples and content / applications Apple has rejected for one reason or another.

    I posted some thoughts on the second point on my blog:

    http://www.mikechambers.com/blog/2010/01/28/som

    mike chambers

    mchamber@adobe.com

  21. Agreed, but for most developers and most scenarios HTML5 is already winning. Look at this video with NextStop for a good example of why: http://scobleizer.com/2009/12/16/iphone-develop… but the real pressure point here isn't developers, it's brands who pay the developers, and they tell me they want to be on iPhone and have their websites available to iPhone users, which means getting rid of the Flash, no matter what kind of cool experiences that Flash helps deliver. And iPhone apps prove that they are plenty willing to pay for apps anyway, which are cooler yet still.

  22. Check out the Cringely Post on iPad – interesting thoughts on why Apple does not use Flash – CPU utilization …
    http://www.cringely.com/2010/01/ipad-therefore-

    It is true that Apple & Google can push Adobe out. The challenge with Adobe is that it is NOT an open-source model for Web Browsing. Even with all the specs being published – Adobe's business model is to sell pricey Adobe Flash Development Kits. Also I am still trying to figure out the whole bit about Flash Video – my understanding is that the video is “containerized/encapsulated” using Flash developed technology – but the encoding can be and many times is H.264.

  23. But, Mike, that's implicit in that article. If it's not, then who cares? It sounds like the same cries I heard about Firefox when it first came out — that it didn't support the already-existing web. And it didn't. And it didn't matter. Developers switched the technology because they wanted to reach the customers who were using Firefox, just like developers will switch out the Flash players they are using because they want to reach iPhone and iPad users. As to the concerns about Apple, yes, they do piss developers off. Which is why Android matters.

  24. How quickly we forget things. When the iPhone was first released there was no native SDK. Users and developers didn't like having a platform that relied wholly on a web connection and Mobile Safari to function. While some companies may turn to Safari for their needs, it's not going to replace the iphone app development growth. But that's really all beside the point, as now you're talking an iPhone sdk vs. HTML5 argument, rather than the Flash/HTML5 discussion you began with. To the HTML5 vs. Flash argument, the iphone app environment is irrelevant, as it's not based within a browser, as HTML5 and Flash, at least within this discussion, are.

    1. I’m with Quentin, you seem to mix and match your arguments as you see fit Robert. If you compare HTML5 to Flash then compare the entire platform, not just video (and even there HTML5 is a mess, with no agreement on a decent codec). While HTML5 is great – and about time too – it is nowhere near ready to be widely used.

      Flash does not need to be saved, it’s doing just fine. And even when HTML5 is ready one day it won’t magically mean that every piece of Flash content will disappear. If you knew what Flash is capable of then you’d also know that it already has far more capabilities than HTML5 ever will. The right tool for the job and all that…

  25. “There simply are some things that HTML/JS/CSS cannot do right now that Flash can.”

    I've got to disagree. With HTML5 and CSS3 bringing in everything from Web Sockets to CSS Animation down to native 3D, the most I see Flash useful for is Peer to peer networking (which HTML5 was supposed to get, and may still get).

    “Flash is currently the only way to guarantee a fully cohesive experience across all platforms.”

    I've written site designs that use a lot of the HTML5 spec, and the only browser that didn't support them was Internet Explorer, and that problem was fixed by supporting Chrome Frame and only focusing on IE7 and 8.

    I feel writing once and expecting it to work everywhere is just plain lazyness, a good web designer/developer writes code that will work on all major browsers (IE7/8/Chrome/Safari4/Opera10/Firefox3) not support a proprietary plugin that isn't guaranteed to work everywhere.

  26. Right tool for the job. How many times must that be stated?
    HTML/JS/CSS isn't going to always be the right answer.
    Though, in most cases, it will be.
    But, with regards to the HTML5/Flash debate, which is really centered around video, HTML5 won't be killing flash's penetration until the browser vendors can at least settle on a codec standard so that developers don't have to encode several versions of the same content. Writing once and expecting it to work everywhere may seem like laziness to you, but it's efficient. As web developers we shouldn't be so used to the idea that we have to develop over and over again to fix bugs across browsers due to the vendors doing things differently. The real problem here is that the future of the web isn't decided by the developers of the websites, but rather the developers of the browsers, because in the end, it is the browsers that we all bend over backwards to make our stuff work in, not HTML or Flash or Silverlight, etc.

  27. The only meaningful image in Adobe's little gallery is Farmville… Zynga really needs to get an app out for that. The rest are broken links that will be gone by next year as everyone transitions either to HTML5 or a hybrid “HTML5 for Chrome & Safari/fall back to Flash for everyone else” approach.

    For now, though, it isn't really Flash that's dying; it's FLV. Once the stragglers switch to h.264, Flash becomes entirely optional on the web.

  28. There is reason to ignore Flash but there is more reasons to ignore Apple. The only choice is Android now but i want my full laptop in my hand and thats the only posible future… No more fights, no more restrictions, no more closed source, no more forcing others, no more Apple monopoly willing… If you think you do the things good do not bring you the right to decide about everything. Apple is arcaic minded.

  29. This is not just about Flash. It's the role of plug-ins in general some people don't seem to understand. We have browser plug-ins since Netscape 2.0 and I can't see why in 2010 we suddenly wouldn't need them anymore. Browser plug-ins have always leaded the innovation on the web. HTML 5 will not be the last version of HTML and we need plug-ins to figure out the missing features for future HTML versions. No plug-ins, no innovation. Design by committee is good for standards but not for innovation.

    To say we don't need Flash anymore because HTML 5 is good enough is like saying we don't need Firefox add-ons anymore because the next version of Firefox will be good enough.

  30. For video.
    Flash isn't just video.
    This really isn't a difficult concept to grasp.
    And until there is DRM support for HTML5 Video, don't expect sites like Hulu to be moving from Flash anytime soon. Their content providers won't allow it.

  31. “But, Mike, that's implicit in that article. If it's not, then who cares?”

    Well, I care. In order to strengthen your post, you suggested that Adobe said something which it neither said nor suggested. i.e. your assertion is factually incorrect.

    Regardless, maybe some sites will move away from using Flash for video (although given varying browser codec support, I dont think that will happen for a while). It wouldn't be the first time that developers moved away from using Flash for something as HTML evolved. However, Flash will continue to evolve and innovate, much faster that HTML will. I personally think that is good for the web, as a lot of the investment and risk is taken on by Adobe / Flash, and once it becomes clear what is going to work, HTML can follow.

    And that is not a knock on HTML / open standards. Because of the consensus process they use, and the fact that they require multiple vendors to implement and update, HTML evolves much slower than Flash, which is controlled and distributed by a single company.

    And don't forget, Flash isnt just video. Before Flash included video support, it already had over 90% browser penetration. For example, the vast majority of online games are created and deployed with Flash.

    mike chambers

  32. “I feel writing once and expecting it to work everywhere is just plain lazyness” – it's insane comments like that that got the web into this mess. Why the hell is it lazy to expect consistency when developing towards so called “specifications”. If i develop for an iPhone I expect it to work on the iPod touch not behave completely differently. Calling people lazy because they complain about cross browser insanity shows a lack of understanding and a sad insight into your ego. I'm sure your employer loves the time you waste getting an app to work in Opera 10 for that 2% of users when you could be building revenue generating functionality for the other 98%.

  33. There is no DRM for Flash. All FLV's and mp3's are downloadble when delivered in Flash. Go to your browser's activity window. Look for the FLV or mp3 that is streaming, copy and paste in your download window. That's it and you have now grabbed a Flash video or mp3 to your desktop. No hacks involved. It's just that Flash does not have any built in DRM. It's just a delivery mechanism.

  34. I believe the real reason we're not seeing Flash on these Apple devices is that they aren't powerful enough. Put another way ,Flash is a resource hog.

    I have extensive experience in my companies developing Flash apps and when you push the envelope the Mac just can't hack it, especially Macbooks. The iPhone would be brought to its knees by Flash.

    Even the iPad would suffer tremendously with Flash eating up CPU cycles.

    1. “I have extensive experience in my companies developing Flash apps and when you push the envelope the Mac just can’t hack it, especially Macbooks.”

      That applies for any web technology. There are plenty of HTML 5 / JavaScript demos that push the envelope and Max out CPU usage.

      Apple controls every other aspect of the iPhone / iPad platform. Why do people have trouble believing they dont want to enforce that same control on the browser on those platforms.

      mike chambers

      mchamber@adobe.com

  35. Most postings here are from a developers point of view… For me (and thus my customers) the only reason not to choose for Silverlight is the fact that not 99% of the customer have this (like flash). Are there other (business/customer) reasons why I should choose Silverlight? In that perspective, HTML5 is not in the shortlist, because of the lack of support.

  36. So to follow your chain of thought, should Apple decide not to support HTML5 on Iphones then the standard is dead in the water? I disagree with the basic logic – if Flash is to die out because a new, open environment has replaced it for rich internet app development, then that makes sense. DRM and consistency of experience across platforms is the key here, and until that happens Adobe still has market viability.

    The core of the Apple argument is that they remain the most closed development environment out there. To put them on the same side as Firefox or any open standard project in this argument is laughable. This was never about Flash being a resource hog. Apple will always fight against any technology that allows development of applications independently of their SDK or App store. Which is why I think Adobe might be onto something if, as rumored, CS5 will allow publishing for Iphones from within their toolsets. That will be the ultimate game-changer for Apple – not Adobe.

  37. This is true for progressive downloading types of videos, but not streaming videos. Something I'm under the impression that HTML5 cannot deliver at this time.

  38. This is, again, a developer issue with encoding, not a problem with Flash itself. I can create flash videos that look as good as broadcast just as easily as I can create OGG or h.264 videos look as bad as an animated GIF. Coincidentally, Flash plays h.264 videos now anyway, so I don't have to encode multiple versions for desktop or mobile browsers, as long as the browser/platform supports either flash or h.264

  39. This is, again, a developer issue with encoding, not a problem with Flash itself. I can create flash videos that look as good as broadcast just as easily as I can create OGG or h.264 videos look as bad as an animated GIF. Coincidentally, Flash plays h.264 videos now anyway, so I don't have to encode multiple versions for desktop or mobile browsers, as long as the browser/platform supports either flash or h.264

  40. This is, again, a developer issue with encoding, not a problem with Flash itself. I can create flash videos that look as good as broadcast just as easily as I can create OGG or h.264 videos look as bad as an animated GIF. Coincidentally, Flash plays h.264 videos now anyway, so I don't have to encode multiple versions for desktop or mobile browsers, as long as the browser/platform supports either flash or h.264

  41. Flash dead, or even dying? I don't think so…

    Flash has a lot of problems, that's to be sure, but the iPad/iPhone's lack of support is not going to suddenly kill them. I will say this, Adobe has made serious mistakes since it took over Macromedia. It's attempt to force ActionScript3.0 on developers for what felt like a completely arbitrary reason didn't win it any friends. In fact, ever since Adobe took over Flash the development tools have become far more difficult to use.

    That being said… the majority of web users, folks who are not part of the web elite, people who have never heard of this blog, are addicted to Flash. I don't care how many iPhone users there are and how nice their apps are, the majority of web-use is still on folks computers. Those people use Flash EVERY DAY.

    I work and take classes at a college campus and if anyone is using their computers in any of my classes, not a day goes by where I don't see them using some form of Flash application or site.

    Yes, the concept of a completely Flash website is pretty much gone. However, Flash is still alive and kicking on the internet. Yes YouTube may support HTML5, but that doesn't mean that a whole generation of developers and coders can suddenly turn on a dime and switch over, or that they'd even want to.

    Add all this to Adobe's announcement that you'll essentially be able to hit a button in Flash CS5 and turn your Flash app into an Apple app and I'd say that Flash has plenty of power left in it. Their many developers are not going to be jumping ship anytime soon.

    People forget just how ubiquitous Flash is. Plugins, Flash and otherwise are not going to disappear to HTML5 any time soon. That's just not how it works.

  42. Flash dead, or even dying? I don't think so…

    Flash has a lot of problems, that's to be sure, but the iPad/iPhone's lack of support is not going to suddenly kill them. I will say this, Adobe has made serious mistakes since it took over Macromedia. It's attempt to force ActionScript3.0 on developers for what felt like a completely arbitrary reason didn't win it any friends. In fact, ever since Adobe took over Flash the development tools have become far more difficult to use.

    That being said… the majority of web users, folks who are not part of the web elite, people who have never heard of this blog, are addicted to Flash. I don't care how many iPhone users there are and how nice their apps are, the majority of web-use is still on folks computers. Those people use Flash EVERY DAY.

    I work and take classes at a college campus and if anyone is using their computers in any of my classes, not a day goes by where I don't see them using some form of Flash application or site.

    Yes, the concept of a completely Flash website is pretty much gone. However, Flash is still alive and kicking on the internet. Yes YouTube may support HTML5, but that doesn't mean that a whole generation of developers and coders can suddenly turn on a dime and switch over, or that they'd even want to.

    Add all this to Adobe's announcement that you'll essentially be able to hit a button in Flash CS5 and turn your Flash app into an Apple app and I'd say that Flash has plenty of power left in it. Their many developers are not going to be jumping ship anytime soon.

    People forget just how ubiquitous Flash is. Plugins, Flash and otherwise are not going to disappear to HTML5 any time soon. That's just not how it works.

  43. Flash dead, or even dying? I don't think so…

    Flash has a lot of problems, that's to be sure, but the iPad/iPhone's lack of support is not going to suddenly kill them. I will say this, Adobe has made serious mistakes since it took over Macromedia. It's attempt to force ActionScript3.0 on developers for what felt like a completely arbitrary reason didn't win it any friends. In fact, ever since Adobe took over Flash the development tools have become far more difficult to use.

    That being said… the majority of web users, folks who are not part of the web elite, people who have never heard of this blog, are addicted to Flash. I don't care how many iPhone users there are and how nice their apps are, the majority of web-use is still on folks computers. Those people use Flash EVERY DAY.

    I work and take classes at a college campus and if anyone is using their computers in any of my classes, not a day goes by where I don't see them using some form of Flash application or site.

    Yes, the concept of a completely Flash website is pretty much gone. However, Flash is still alive and kicking on the internet. Yes YouTube may support HTML5, but that doesn't mean that a whole generation of developers and coders can suddenly turn on a dime and switch over, or that they'd even want to.

    Add all this to Adobe's announcement that you'll essentially be able to hit a button in Flash CS5 and turn your Flash app into an Apple app and I'd say that Flash has plenty of power left in it. Their many developers are not going to be jumping ship anytime soon.

    People forget just how ubiquitous Flash is. Plugins, Flash and otherwise are not going to disappear to HTML5 any time soon. That's just not how it works.

    1. this is complete bullshit, i work at microsoft and the xbox team does NOT use flash. Quit posting lies, it doesn’t make you cool

  44. The codec issue is a large one for Firefox as described by Christopher Blizzard here http://bit.ly/8YKxFq

    The issue is the patent coverage for h.264 which appears to be what Google is currently supporting for HTML5 video.

    This is not just about the general use of flash on the web. There's serious money involved and a potential replay of the GIF compression issues of the early web.

  45. I'd like to see a standard <video> tag too, but I've got a question: can standards-based HTML5 do *streaming* video? Darwin/Quicktime Streaming Server should be able to stream H.264 but I've never seen a demo of Chrome/Mozilla/Safari serving a stream.

  46. IIRC Adobe's ActionScript implementation was blazing fast because they used a fast VM. This VM's been open-sourced (Tamarin), and will probably be used by Mozilla for its next-gen Javascript VMs. A fast VM + an optimized canvas implementation == goodness.

  47. OK! My moment in the sun! I am speaking from a much more simple view of the man in the street not you guys that use far to many initials rather than real words. I see flash as always being essential for the web experience, well at least for the next 2-5 years but will grow ever smaller in use due to html5, by the way I am using html5 from the google labs and the video experience is far, far superior to flash. I think scobie is correct also as regard the Iphone argument, devs want to dev for iphone and thus the apple market and this will be a great incentive for them to slowly move away from flash. I also feel Android is going to have a massive say in the future of flash, will somebody launch an A(ANDROID)Pad soon that will have flash on it? After all, is not part of the Android movements reason to exist to tackle the Apple movement? I dont think we can yet for tell the true impact Android is going to have on the markets, devs and many other aspects of the mobile and web experience. So, in conclusion, yes, flash having less impact as tme goes on but never dead, Android Aliance has an as yet un clear big part to play. All in all it’s up to the Google Gods!

  48. I'm not a heavy iPhone app user, still I ended up with more than 70 apps on my iPod. The whole concept of installing an app, to get the news from Reuters, for example, doesn't make sense. If Reuters comes up with a new or improved feature, I need to update that app…

    Web 2.0 opened up the door to having applications on the cloud. I don't need MS Word any more, I got Google Docs, etc.

    Now what? Web 3.0 will start breaking up the whole Web in download-able, install-able and update-able pieces of apps? As Internet users we're forced on the wrong path with this. I don't care where the solution will come, open source, or Adobe, or someone else, but please, let's have the end users in mind for a moment…

  49. If Apple is indeed a communications company and if 70% of major web sites include Flash on their web sites, it seems to me that you can't ignore Flash when you bill your new tablet as being the perfect interface to access web content. You're probably right, Robert. At some point down the road, Flash may not matter. But for the next couple years (not months), it certainly does. I can't imagine having a cloud computing device that ignored key web components: flash, python, .net, and java (to name but a few). The only real explanation is that Apple wants to protect its App Store gravy train.

  50. Just like we decided on one, single image standard? Oh, wait. We have GIF and JPEG and PNG and TIFF (usually a plugin) and SVG (partial, but more coming).

    As far as video, browsers need to do the same and support several codecs so that developers can, and like they do with images, use the right one for the job.

  51. HTML5 doesn’t have a good sound API and it’s pretty resource-intensive for complex games. You can’t arcade/high action games in HTML5 as smoothly as you can in Flash.

    Also, every HTML5 proponent assumes that everyone is a developer.

    You forget about Multimedia Artists, Illustrators, Animators and Graphic Designers whose tool of choice for deploying interactive content is Flash because it’s easy to author content in Flash.

    You can’t expect these guys to learn complex Javascript if they don’t have a coding background.

  52. “Expressing concerns about Apple increasingly moving to a closed, restrictive platform model.”

    This coming from a company promoting it's own closed restrictive platform model?

    Adobe wants to sell expensive Flash development platforms to developers and advertisers, and that's the level of their “concern.”

    It's not what's best “for the web.” Not what's best “for the user.”

    But what's best for Adobe.


    1. This coming from a company promoting it’s own closed restrictive platform model?

      Adobe wants to sell expensive Flash development platforms to developers and advertisers, and that’s the level of their “concern.”

      Actually, anyone can both create Flash content and deploy Flash content on the web for free. Adobe does not decide which Flash content can run within the Flash Player.

      mike chambers

  53. A new iMac has a quad-core i5 or i7. My MBP has a 2.8GHz Core 2 Duo. Both are as powerful as pretty much any PC on the market. Not powerful enough?

    No, there's another reason Apple (and AT&T) doesn't want Flash on the iPhone.

    Bandwidth.

    AT&T is already bursting at the seams trying to keep up with the current load. So what do you think the net effect would be if every popular Safari web page now also downloaded ten-times its weight in “rich” Flash-based advertising?

    What if millions of people started trying to stream TV shows from Hulu?

    AT&T’s 3G wireless network would melt down.

  54. “Coincidentally, Flash plays h.264 videos now anyway…”

    But, IIRC, it doesn't support devices that have hardware H.264 video support. Everything is done in software.

  55. I don't think that flash will remain the platform that it is. Flash might become more app oriented with power of AS3 and the possibilities of the Flash(Flex) builder.

    I think it is here to stay, but the role it plays on the web will change dramatically.

  56. No one generally cares so long as the terms of use are not overly repugnant whether it is a plugin or native browser code that guides the experience.

    Only mediocre insecure developers, noobs and apparently pedantic bloggers and incessant tweeters who use fud and spin to maintain their prestige get involved in language flamewars and my platform is better than yours diatribes that Scoble is prognosticating for.

    Scoble your presentist history of the evolution of web standards is skewed at best. And saying that somehow you are a part of or connected in a way the rest of us are not to some sort of “web elite” cabal that exclusively carry iphones in their endeavor to lead the web is about as trite and cliche as it comes. The people who generally attend web conferences have little if anything to do with the people leading/creating the web. Those people are usually at home doing the work while a bunch of bobbleheads attend conferences every other week in an effort to garner reputation.

    Let’s see, Nokia: Scoble is a prototypical ugly American and so the web elite must be American therefore ignore nokia… check.

    hmm, RIM: blackberry users can’t use a web browser (lol wtf) ok check.

    Android.. crucial after all it runs on about 10 devices and a few million units.. check.

    I really don’t get what you’re blabbering on about. HTML5 is an overly delayed evolution of the standard. It offers nothing that existing js frameworks don’t already offer ooo a video tag! Flash succeeds because Adobe offers a toolchain that fits the creatives latte gestalt and has an efficient portable runtime. Microsoft and Sun have efficient portable runtimes but they and I hate to tell you this, Google don’t offer tools that people who are not engineers want to use.

    SVG 1.1+ with interactivity has been around forever and never evolved because of the herd that thundered to Flash. Now magically they are going to return for no gain other than some geek cred that you think exists? Umm.. ok. Want to wager some of that hard earned cash? I support HTML5 and have been an advocate of SVG for years only because standards should but ofent do not trump secrets and scalable graphics are portable. Has nothing to do with superiority complexes. Generally leading the web involves ignoring standards not following them.

    P.S. SxSwi was interesting about.. five years ago. Now it’s just a circle jerk of people who think they need to be on a panel to justify their livelihood and sit around trying to impress each other with words like disintermediation. Name one innovation from SXSWi last year that has impacted the web. And if you say the relaunch of dodgeball, I’m just gonna give up on you altogether.

    P.P.S. Flash has nothing to do with mobile app ecosystem per se. Not every mobile application has to be some extension of a web platform. I can understand why you seem to view the world through “web browser” colored glasses but if you’re going to be a prognositcator of trends you need to maybe be a little more openminded. The reason the major players want flash on their handsets is because of the existing content and the tools to bring more developers online.

    Flash means quicker time to market. Less browser testing, less headache, cheaper employees. Period. It’s pretty simple. HTML5 doesn’t change that value proposition.

    A web browser is actually an extremely bad way to navigate on a small device and represents a real cost in terms of speed and efficiency that isn’t really required to render the user experience. Native/ported applications make for a much better experience but no one wants to pay for the development costs until after they are funded and so the dream of write once run anywhere continues. The browser wars are over! The runtime wars are over! The browser v runtime wars should generate some ad buys! or whatever

    The real issue is that the next generation of apps including those on mobile will need to be getting close to the hardware again in order to offer what users will pay for.

  57. Three last big things that required flash were games, videos and advertising. Flash videos are going to be replaced by HTML5. I can see a switch for games too. But what about advertising. Which format will be usend for fun, interactive ads on the web. No-one talked about it here.

  58. MS supplies the tech for NBC and has a joint venture in MSNBC. I think that's the only reason NBC is using Silverlight for the Olympics. It wasn't that great in 2008 but they can't just drop it like MLB did.

  59. The flash runtime give us developers a guaranteed experience on different OSes; and now with flash 10.1 on different devices (mobile, set-top and desk/laptop). I don't think Adobe is “freaked out”. I do think they know they have to get the runtime on Android, WebOS, WinMo, Symbian and RIM – ASAP. I haven't even mentioned Flex4, Flash Catalyst, LiveCycle, Flash Media Server and Creative Suite 5.
    Now THAT's what has them freaked out!

  60. Will Adobe Flex ( open source ) ultimately replace Flash for a horse race between Flex and HTML 5 with Silverlight in 3rd place?

  61. I guess that Flash has still one card to play: casual web gaming.
    HTML5 still lack one big feature: development tools.

    Adobe offers such tools for Flash. Tools targeted to graphics designers and Flash developpers.
    HTML5 has still no such tools. That the only point it miss that could ensure some more success for Flash as a platform.

    This is where Apple might have something to do, but I’m not sure they will.

  62. AIR and Flex technologies are still some pretty amazing rapid user interface applications. It's nice and easy to package and distribute them as either embedded objects or standalone applications.

    I would assert that Adobe may want to think about launching their own device operating system… perhaps even a phone OS. Microsoft may not be a good target, and Apple has turned its back… perhaps Motorola or Nokia might be.

    Or perhaps CS5 could run on Windows only. :)

  63. I'd *love* to have HTML5 replace Flash. I'd love to have HTML5, period: my code is virtually ready, as it is for CSS3. But so long as my clients have substantial numbers of users who *don't* have modern browsers, HTML5 is not an option. I foresee this as HTML5/CSS3: ETA, close-to-never.

  64. Mike, if you read my blog I've referred to Apple as the Soviet Union of Mobile. It doesn't get more controlling than that. So I clearly agree with you on that point.

    That doesn't justify the poor performance of flash on sub 1Ghz CPU's.

    HMLC, I don't think Apple gives a rats ass about over-utilization of bandwidth. That's antithetical to every public decision they've made to date.

    However, Apple does care (big time) about user experience and I'm willing to bet that the user experience of standard (unmodified) flash on the iPhone or iPad would not be great. More accurately, it would be downright bad.

  65. As I stated above, my experience with Flash on slow CPU's (such as those on iPhones or even the upcoming iPad which at 1GhZ is slow compared to a macbook pro) is downright terrible. Flash is a CPU hog which is often the culprit behind reboots in my home.

    On the plus side, Adobe has the best developer tools going. I hope they translate these tools to HTML 5.X.

    If Adobe were to work with Apple to build a video only version of Flash that wasn't a CPU hog that would be really interesting. On the other hand, I'm sure Hulu via the web is a problem for Apple.

    1. First, that the 1 GHz ARM-based custom processor in an iPad is slow compared to a MacBook Pro may not be a given. Different architecture, no idea about the integrated graphics performance on the new Apple A4 chip, different app environment. So far, the comments I’ve seen about iPad is that it’s “blazingly” fast. That may be only relative to iPhones; I don’t know.

      First-hand experience with my MacBook Pro, as others mentioned, is that Flash is a huge CPU hog on fast processors as well as slow ones. I’ve seen comments that it’s a huge CPU hog even on quad Mac Pro’s. I’ve seen assertions that it’s the number one cause of crashes of the Safari browser, and perhaps even OS X as a whole. So it’s a resource hog and it’s unstable (on OS X). Maybe there are other reasons for Apple to avoid it, but there don’t need to be.

      I personally block it in my browsers, and only turn it on when necessary for site functionality. (One site on which it is intrinsic is, ironically, lala.com, which Apple recently bought.) As more people do this, the ad creators should be paying attention.

      Apple has a chance to leverage its significant market position with the iPhone to encourage the replacement of Flash with web standard tech, and I hope it succeeds.

  66. Um, your 70% figure is WAY off base. And python, .NET and Java are server-side technologies, so referring to a computing device “ignoring them” doesn't make sense.

  67. Anyone can CURRENTLY both create Flash content and deploy Flash content on the web for free.

    There, fixed that for you. Just takes the next upgrade or so to start requiring licenses, as the core of the player is proprietary.

    But as I said, Adobe wants to sell expensive Flash development platforms and creative suites to developers and advertisers. Any other players [sic] in that arena have a miniscule market share.

    Every publicly traded company exists to sell products for profit. Adobe is no different, and in Flash they have a product line to promote and protect.

    Hence you'll forgive me if I take their line about Apple needing to provide the “entire web experience” with a barrel or two of salt.

  68. I find it strange that you tout NBC and Red Bull's adoption of Silverlight as being of some importance. Given that only one of those will be accessible by those outside of the US, and, will likely end up on YouTube in a matter of hours, I don't see either the Winter Olympics or Stratos doing much to save Sliverlight.

  69. Completely right: The JS demos showcased here and around the current discussion are really primative. Flash most likely will evolve into an open platform — AS3 is pretty much identical to JavaScript, so really, Adobe has some cards to play yet: definitely, they have the best tools for developers to create rich applications (that go beyond sets of forms and text interfaces, people, please!)

  70. I'll tell ya one place this question is moot: S. Korea. No Firefox, Facebook and Google who?, ActiveX and IE6 dependent and craploads of Flash everywhere digital (including mobile) , with a market not even CLOSE to not using flash or picking up HTLM5.

    “Yah yah, so what?” you say… but 30+ million on the fastest broadband in the world ain't nuthin to shake a stick at. There you have it.

  71. Flex is just a framework, compiles to flash. Bad branding on Adobe's part, but they're seemingly working on that.

  72. Thx Tom and it appears Adobe must be doing something along these lines or else they're between a rock and hard place.

  73. Personally I'd say this is the beginning of the end for this incarnation of Flash. It will *hopefully* move into a niche area for doing things that it is good at (I'm thinking e-learning etc).

    HTML5 combined with CSS3 + Javascript should be mean that we (as developers) can do most of the stuff that Flash is used for, in a hopefully cleaner, more accessible and semantic way…. well we can always hope eh?!

    Geoff

  74. Make no mistake, Mr. Scoble — 2010 will be the year of Flash. 19 out of the 20 top electronics makers are in the process of porting Flash to their devices. Google is working on this as well as many others including RIM and others. I'm looking forward to coming back to this post in, say, November of this year to revisit your stance on this. Yes, the distortion field that is Apple's marketing machine has you and others doubting the most ubiquitous software that was ever created. It's fashionable to knock Flash, but trust me when I say that time will tell. :)

  75. People addicted to Flash? I HATE FLASH (as a normal Internet user). It are the COOL developers who clueless misuse sucking and fucking Flash everywhere. I'm not a developer, I even can't understand everything what is written on these pages. The title “Can Flash be saved?” just captured my attention. I totally agree with WANDERLEY who gave the example of the Mercedes-site. The CEOs of such companies don't have a clue of software development, and they let some COOL developers screwing around (with Flash). I spend 12-14 hours per day behind the computer, and while browsing around, you would get desperate for less when you've to wait once again till a Flash page is loaded, when pages are unlinkable or unbookmarkable, and when you need to use software utilities to download an swf file just to download a product image. HORRIBLE! If you are all developers here, then I beg to STOP with Flash development. It's NOT cool.

  76. That's a fair point. However, whereas iPhone sales are predominantly US/UK and some others, Nokia's are selling all over the world, and they have web and flash capability.

    Most notably, Nokia are selling in developing economies like India. What you think of as unusable is of course, better than nothing. So I think however a difficult user experience it might be, there are hundreds of millions of people who are going to be using it.

    Of course, the built-in Nokia browser needs improving, and with the releases of Symbian^3 and Symbian^4 I'm sure it will be.

    My point here is that I don't think Apple have the influence to change web technology. Sure, they sell a lot of iPhones, but they're still a minority group of overall smartphone sales.

  77. People addicted to Flash? I HATE FLASH (as a normal Internet user). It are the COOL developers who clueless misuse sucking and fucking Flash everywhere. I'm not a developer, I even can't understand everything what is written on these pages. The title “Can Flash be saved?” just captured my attention. I totally agree with WANDERLEY who gave the example of the Mercedes-site. The CEOs of such companies don't have a clue of software development, and they let some COOL developers screwing around (with Flash). I spend 12-14 hours per day behind the computer, and while browsing around, you would get desperate for less when you've to wait once again till a Flash page is loaded, when pages are unlinkable or unbookmarkable, and when you need to use software utilities to download an swf file just to download a product image. HORRIBLE! If you are all developers here, then I beg to STOP with Flash development. It's NOT cool.

  78. Stats show that people don't use Nokia's phones on the web. Why not? Because those phones are pretty damn impossible to use on the web very effectively. Just because it has a web browser doesn't mean they are usable. Most of the Nokia phones sold around the world have tiny screens, poor navigation, and are designed for voice only.

  79. My previous comment replies to this too.

    What is very interesting though is the seemingly different spin on sales figures between the US and Europe. Nokia is much bigger and more relevant over here than it is in the US.

    Did you read the news about Nokia's guy debunking figures quoted by Steve Jobs? If not I'll dig up the link for you.

  80. In the past two years I've been in Israel, China, UK and mainland Europe. Everywhere I go I see iPhones taking over the Web elite. The Nokia sales around the world are mostly for crappy phones like the N95 or N97, or, really, their cheaper lines that have crappy screens, crappy browsers, etc. Their users are NOT using the Web and both Google and Yahoo's internal web stats proves this. The market is NOT being controlled any longer by Nokia. Those days are over, even though Nokia has a lot of market share.

  81. Couple of years ago, a startup of mine considered developing a service completely in Flash using Flex. Bookmarking, incoming links, and SEO were good reasons it never happened.

    While Flash itself is a resource hog, what developers do with it that makes it even more vulnerable. I would argue that if Apple allowed anyone to develop and deliver apps on the iPhone without any control, you'll find a bunch of Apps that will make the iPhone unusable. If Adobe had to approve every Flash app that goes online (and take a cut of the revenue!), the Flash experience would be better, but unfortunately for Adobe, they do not control any hardware or browsers.

  82. Android will very soon support Flash 10.1.

    Flash is the reason Microsoft and Intel are still in business with X86 based Windows. People couldn't buy Linux computers cause until recently they did not support Flash. Still today Flash doesn't work on ARM powered computers, but thanks to Microsoft coming out with the even worse Silverlight, Adobe has now decided to support Flash on ARM powered Linux devices.

  83. Whatever happened to Laszlo, which was an early-competitor to Adobe's Flex (which is the development platform for Flash)? With Laszlo you could compile programs either to SWF (the Flash file format) applications or to cross-browser Javascript applications. If Adobe added this kind of capability to their Flash development tools, they'd keep all of their current developers happy and they'd probably attract hordes of new ones.

  84. Is there anything to be gained by GOOG purchasing ADBE? Imagine Adobe CS5, 6, 7… optimized to create content for optimal viewing on Android, Chrome not to mention the slurping up of Overture on the cheap.

  85. If Adobe is serious about Flash as part of the web (rather than just another proprietary runtime) they should adjust their tools to generate HTML5 instead of SWF. Like Google is doing with GWT. That would eliminate the badly coded Flash-runtime and developers could continue to use the Adobe Flash developer tools. Not even Apple would stop them – the ipod/iphone/ipad is completely open when it comes to web apps.

    When it comes to iphone SDK apps I dont understand all this “closed” talk. In contrast to Adobe/Java/Microsoft Apple still allows, and encourages, developers to run native optimized binary code on the hardware processor rather than on top of some software runtime. You have some rules around this (dont replace the basic iphone apps) but Microsoft has had the same in their tools licenses forever. Apple also checks the apps for vailidity and security (and adherence to the rules) before letting them into the appstore. As a user I appreciate this – I dont want what has already happened at the Android Market … phishing apps.

  86. I want flash to die too, but I don't want to have to develop in javascript. Javascript is different in a lot of browsers. Javascript does not have many of the features in Actionscript, and no javascript framework has fixed this yet. That is why I continue to make most things that could be done with canvas in flash. If adobe made an actionscript standard (one that most browsers would have the same support for, unlike js), most people that think flash should not die will switch. Standards are good, except when they are bad.

  87. Interesting take on the situation.

    While devices etc are essentially not subscribing to the plug-in model, this doesn't mean these packets of software are likely to fade off onto the horizon. The stark reality is that unless tooling support occurs from both Adobe & Microsoft (mainstream) HTML5 is unlikely to get a massive amount of ground swell anytime soon. Adobe needs to arm the troops with an IDE that can take over the burden of making all of the pieces fall into line. Microsoft needs to also allow browsers etc to make use of codecs – as whilst its a great parlor trick to play video in HTML5, the browsers still need to have the said codecs in place – in order for that to be a viable solution. Even more so, given Hollywood and TV studios are extremely keen to enforce a DRM solution to their high value content (Content is the power base here, not technology enablement).

    Plug-ins are the direct result of “death by committee” meaning the whole reason why they exist in the first place is simply due t the slow stagnant growth of HTML as we know it today. Assume we fast forward and HTML5 is used in a ubiquitous manner, there will still be imposed limitations and again the concept of a plug-in will arise – or albeit the browsers themselves begin to fork off into their own proprietary approach which again, isn't a productive solution.

    Adobe need to simply start less talking and more showing. I've watched this company and competed with them for about 5 years now, and they have simply squandered their IP due to infighting or misdirection. Silverlight has caught up to Flash in terms of features, HTML5 is almost in place to hit the “me to” feature list. Adobe need to provide deeper value in order for them to be taken more seriously than it is today.

    Silverlight will be Microsoft's thing, and whilst consumer facing sites will be a very hard place for the company to attack – it will however be extremely successful in the enterprise and windows mobile / device based markets (which is millions of units etc – iPhone has a large vocal minority but be clear, its a minority still).

    -
    Scott Barnes
    Former Rich Platforms Product Manager Microsoft.
    UX Specialist.

  88. I'm not exactly sure why key features of Flash haven't been brought up in the discussion yet, like, timeline animation and overall rich experiences.The reason Flash is awesome is because it breathes life into the web. Sure, it's a terrible plugin that ruins everyones browser navigation features in the contextual menu and most of the time there's no way to navigate into deeper sections of big Flash sites. But, is there an easier tool to create rich and creative animation that is both extremely lean and ubiquitous? No.

    I'm a developer, so, I completely understand being annoyed when something takes too long to get me to my information. But, I'm also a creative mind, and I don't want to constantly see sterile websites online. I'm on the computer 40 hours a week. Why can't some of that time be spent looking at amazing creative online work? thefwa.com is a prime example of what Flash is good for. Very animated and well designed applications that run and look EXACTLY the same on every browser.

    No need to be a hater, really. If Flash dies, i promise you that there will be another technology very, very similar to fill that void. Then, you will have to hate seeing preloaders for that technology. But, until then, please enjoy some fellow Flash developers preloaders at (prettyloaded.com)

    Cheers!

  89. Robert – it's cool that so many people are commenting and participating in the discussion. I think, though, it's largely academic. Adobe and Flash aren't going anywhere and there are no development tools for HTML5 that come close to delivering the kind of RIA building experience you can achieve with Flex – yet. They will come. But, Adobe hasn't been resting on its laurels. Flex 4 (in beta) is an impressive platform. Perhaps they'll cross deploy to HTML5/CSS one day (like the Laszlo project tried). Two of my companies build cross-browser, OS agnostic apps with Flex and we haven't found another toolset that lets us do the same thing as quickly, as easily.

    I love Apple products and plan to get an iPad as soon as possible. It's just plain silly for Steve to insist that his products don't use Flash. I'm the content consumer – I want to decide. It's tragic that the experience of reading sites like The New York Times will be littered with goofy lego block missing plugin icons because of Apple's policy. Sure the NYTimes will have an “app” (and I'm sure it will be good), but I'll still want to view the web site. And other sites will link there. If I'm the content creator, I also want to flexibility to use Flash.

    If Adobe were allowed to have its Flash plug-in for the iPad I'm confident that they could deliver it in a manner that was both CPU and battery friendly. It's silly to think otherwise.

    Why are we even in this position? I'm guessing it probably all started a few years ago when Adobe did some super bone-headed moves in releasing Win32 versions of Photoshop before Mac versions. The Win32 stuff was faster because Adobe was focusing on it. Jobs has a long memory. Somehow they've got to make amends and convince Apple they're a true partner. Microsoft didn't turn out to be the friend Adobe, perhaps, thought they would be.

    In the short-term, the group loosing out here isn't Adobe. It's me. It's the NYTimes. It's you.

  90. I still don't see flash dying out anytime soon. HTML5 still has a long way to go, and flash is still used for things other than video. Remember the “copy to clipboard” issue?

  91. Why can't we all just play nice. For years to come the open web won't replace flash and vice versa.
    That's a fact.

    If I tell my mom to update her browser or her flash player for that matter. She won't do it in case she “breaks” something. And thats just how it is, in the end, the users decide. There's not going to be some fast, raging epic battle. It will take time.

    Personally I'll march on using both without getting a split personality any time soon.

  92. Great dialog here Robert. Think David is right on. There's way too much Flash out there right now for websites, blogs etc to just pull the plug….. and I'm not sure why they would (except maybe for an incentive from MSFT). HTML5 needs to be refined, possibly changed. Time for Apple to bite the bullet and simply allow Flash. I know it's hard to imagine but if it's really going to deliver (the iPad) … maybe they should be considering plug-ins for Silverlight too??!!. This is a bigger device than an iPhone and needs to embrace numerous standards to be successful for numerous uses.

  93. the bigger question is, how long until HTML 5 gets here and in full effect. I am sure you will say it is already here. But the specification aren't done yet and and the elephant in the room has not supported it yet in there own browser. so it will provide advertisements for all these you tubers out here. advertisement runs the web for the elite geek

  94. Do you think advertisers (and the sites they support) are going to sit by pouting (like Adobe) that their ads aren't displaying on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad? Or do you think they will display them using some other technology?

  95. FLASH served its purpose – and not to be snarky – it's the animated GIF of the 21st century. It's not as stupid as the REAL NETWORK video format but in a very similar fashion, Adobe's idiotic “scheme” to push it has made them look like annoying idiots. FLASH is a minor footnote to begin with but Adobe's actions on the web has caused people to loath Flash so why would anyone want something that is 75% useless and managed in a manner that annoys people?

    Flash is useful as a shortcut in designing moving elements and as a front end for video, it's acceptable BUT Flash's exclusionary design to drive away users is not helpful. Basically Flash hijacks a bunch of sites that requires the END USER-CUSTOMER to have to do more work to access your site – why is that? Why is FLASH like spam email that requires an OPT OUT be built? Because it's … annoying? PRECISELY!

    Yes, it's cute for designers to win awards because you can get it animate elements but beyond that, what's more useful, Google's basically blank page? Or Disney's BluRay site that goes nowhere because we do not go to Adobe's site to download the latest Flash? Does Adobe pay Disney to lock out a substantial portion of users?

    And that's the second part of equation that Adobe doesn't get. They like to drive traffic to adobe.com by insisting you update Flash every few days – why? No reason that anyone can see. Same asReal Network's player – the end effect is customer unfriendly, and annoying. is Flash 9 any different to the end user as Flash 2? NO. Does Flash play any faster or less buffering. No. Peopel are willing to DL a newer version if there were additiona features but Adobe has basically branded themselves with two annoying apps that require a lot of download (Flash & Acrobat). Adobe doesn't understand that people see them as annoying and or idiotic – or even as a company that cannot get an app right that requires dozens of downloads a year – that's quite a legacy.

    And of course, they also don't make any friends charging $4,000 for apps that are in inverse pricing to the price of PC's – and of course, not bothering to update Mac apps for 5 years … is it any wonder Apple doesn't want anything to do with them?

    So, for buying an outdated suite of apps that Adobe was hoping would be the photoshop cash cow of web 2 has not turned out so so they are whining A LOT. But they created the hostility towards themselves by continually insisting we update flash and acrobat yet each version is larger, slower and takes more resources … and the end effect is that sites are locked out just so the designer can submit it for awards … something no one cares about anymore … and of course, then turning and charging designers $4k to use their apps.

    Flash was fine from 1998 to 2003 but it's time to put it to pasture.

  96. Adobe brought this upon themselves by saying screw you to 64bit so now everyone is saying screw you to Flash.
    How many years have we had a 64bit version of windows? I believe 4-5 years ago XP 64 came out OEM release but still then Vista and still where is Flash 64? Now Windows 7 64 is mainstream but where is Flash?

    Adobe is like Microsoft in a way they got most of the web then stop caring ass-u-me-ing they would all ways be king.

    Microsoft did this with Internet Explorer got to version 6 and didn't see a need to do any more then Firefox came and took part of their lunch. Now Microsoft is back hard at work on their browser.

    This is why HTML 5 will kill Flash Maybe adobe will wake up but then again it maybe just too late. Adobe is working on Flash 64 finally but has not set a time frame of when it will be release.

  97. I love it when people get excited like this. But seriously, Flash isn't going anywhere for a long time. It's everywhere. And while the web elite look down on it, there are way too many Actionscript 3 lovers within the industry to let it disappear over night.

    Reading the comments on this article has been far more insightful than the article itself, and I would like to extent my gratitude to Robert for writing the post and to everyone who voiced their opinion. It's been the most educational reading I've come across in weeks.

  98. On Mac OS X 10.6.2 on my (brand new) MBP, Gordon uses about 50% (sometimes less) of the CPU that the Flash plugin does on every single demo I've thrown at it.

    Yes, that's right — an alpha runtime written in an interpreted language that's notorious for its lack of speed stomps on the performance of Adobe's compiled, native code that's been in development for 15+ years.

    There's really no simpler explanation for why Apple won't let Adobe's code anywhere near iPhone or iPad if they can help it — Adobe's code stinks.

    1. Firefox tracemonkey is based on Adobe Tamarin VM, so I doubt Adobe code stinks as much as you think.
      They never cared much about Mac users though, it has to be said

  99. I could easily see advertising being taken over by the Canvas style approach linked above, plenty of interactivity and it really works across all platforms unlike Flash. Flash games will always be with us but any game of note will have an iPhone/iPad version created as well in short order.

  100. One of the reasons we will NEVER see Hulu switch to HTML5 is because the lack of DRM. With HTML5 video, anyone can right click on the video element and click “save as” to save the video. Networks and movie studios, who are every so protective of their content, are not going to switch HTML5 and allow users to so easily download their content. Instead they will stick with plugins like Flash or Silverlight that can protect their content so that users can stream it and watch it without downloading it and owning it (without some really good skills to know how to buy pass it or make a secondary recording).

    If Hulu can work out an encryption scheme inside an iPhone application, you might see that, but you will never see them use the HTML5 video tag.

    I also think Adobe has a lot longer than this summer before people start abandoning Flash. As many companies are more interested in making a dedicate web application for the iPhone or the upcoming iPad, rather than making an optimized version of their website. The web traffic from the iPhone while growing is still under or just around 1 percent for many sites, which means it's still small enough to ignore. Many companies still don't even bother optimizing their websites for Chrome and sometimes even Safari as they own a small enough market share.

  101. Microsoft convinced CBS and Victoria's Secret to make the Victoria's Secret All Access fashion show site in Silverlight. But they also had an iPhone app that had all the same content, but presented without Silverlight.

    It should be noted that Silverlight can and does play h.264 video in a silverlight wrapper as opposed to Flash which uses it's own codec. You can often view the files in a silverlight site right in quicktime if you had access to the URL of the base file (without the wrapper).

  102. That demo looks pretty sweet, except for the fact that it's crashed Safari (4.0.4) three times on my Macbook Pro. Maybe Flash will lose its ownership of web video someday, but I don't think that's going to happen in 6 weeks or 6 months. Maybe 6 years?

  103. If you want everyone to be able to use something, you need to make it available to everyone. HTML is just that. Anyone running any OS on any device can access content. As a developer, I prefer using HTML because that gives my app a broader audience than SilverLight, JavaFX or Flash.
    A couple of years back all browsers interpreted HTML/CSS/Javascript in their own crazy way. Most browsers have gotten better at rendering HTML/CSS/Javascript accurately with way better speeds. I don't see why I should use any other RIA technology.

  104. Are you really suggesting that Flash should die because of misuse of the APIs and a poorly designed site? That's not the platform's fault, that's in the hands of the designers and developers.

    There are tons of shitty Java applications…should Java die too?

    *Disclaimer: I work for Adobe, but I'm not speaking for Adobe.

  105. Mr. Scoble, your post is so arrogant that it makes me wanna puke.
    The web elite? Who the f*** is the “web elite”??? Some Silicon Valley big shots who think they call the shots for the rest of the world? And are arrogant journalists also part of this so-called elite? Let me tell you something. The web goes beyond the municipal boundaries of San Francisco, beyond the state borders of California, also beyond the international borders of the US.
    Flash is going nowhere, and not because it's great technology. I agree with you, it isn't. But the question if Flash can be saved is just as serious as the question if Microsoft Internet Explorer can be saved. This one sucks too, its market share may continue to decline, but it's not going die – not in the near future at least. Installed base is just too big for that.
    A small example. More than 75 million people played Farmville in January. I am sure you scorn them all, as you are part of this so-called elite and not one of the masses. Just to remind you which technology this game is built with. Flash, PHP and Facebook API. But I guess your web elite is smarter than this cash cow of Zynga (and Facebook), so if the elite decides to dump Flash then all of these 75 millions will suffer and Zynga will go bankrupt.
    Others said it here before – when it comes to Flash, there is basically no other technology which can be used to do what you can do with Flash and that has the same toolset for developers, designers and everybody else. It's not that developers love it, they practically have no other choice.
    So, OK, Apple is on a warpath with Adobe. But Apple is not the web. I prefer their products too, and also I suffer here and there from Flash on my MBP, but still I do not forget that the web is much bigger than iPhone + (future) iPad + Macbooks altogether. It reminds a tweet I saw during the ustream live broadcast of leweb in December, just after the camera focused on the audience. @Doyoulovewords wrote: “Hey @leweb This is not LeWeb, this is LeMac”. And they were damn right, there were hundreds of Macbooks and other Apple gadgets over there. This is your “web elite” I guess. But “the web” is hundreds of millions or billions Windows (XP and others) users, including most of these Farmville players, much more than the non-Flash iP* gadgets.
    Just my 2 cents. Good night.

    1. “Could Nokia help Adobe out? No. The web elite don’t have Nokia phones and don’t care about Nokia.”

      lol…. define web elite!

      By the way my N900 or even a N82 can do ALL what i need over and above what ALL that iPad, iPhone and iToy (iPodTouch)

  106. Many good points and differing viewpoints here.

    @David Geller – I don’t understand why it’s silly for Apple to exclude flash runtime from the iPhone OR the iPad. Some things to consider:

    – As mentioned many times in this thread already, flash runtime on the mac sucks badly. Why would Apple want to include a resource hogging runtime in their environment that they themselves don’t control? If I was doing everything I could to create a smooth, fast, and secure experience on a device, there is no way in hell I’d allow flash on my platform.

    – Security: flash runs in it’s own security sandbox that Apple doesn’t control. Perhaps Adobe would be willing to work with Apple on a custom runtime implementation here, but it still wouldn’t be Apple’s to control. Let’s say there is a critical security vulnerability that is discovered in Flash – well, if Flash were on the iPhone/iPad, Apple would have to WAIT FOR ADOBE to patch the issue putting there customers at risk until Adobe could resolve the issue. Why would Apple open their platform to this sort of risk?

    – Competition: This is Apple’s platform, and um… the last time I check, Flash is a platform that belongs to Adobe. I think it’s a mistake to think of Flash as being a mere plugin for your browser. Over the past several years, Flash has gone from being a simple animation tool that had very limited scripting capability to a full blown OOP environment with comm APIs built in. Do you remember when “Rich internet applications” was refrain we all heard whenever Adobe/Macromedia woud talk about Flash? So, from a business perspective, why would Apple let Adobe piggy back on their very successful platform? Would you?

    Even though Flash/Flex are indeed a platform, what you see flash used the most for are banners, slideshows, and video playback. You also see flash games quite a bit(especially for kids). Video is being addressed with open standards as stated in several of the above posts, but slideshows and games? I don’t know, there are a ton of games at the app store. Slideshows like the one that didn’t load in the Stevenote are to be found on many sites, but I’m also seeing a lot more javascript/css based solutions to these than I used to, so maybe this will be less of an issue soon.

    I really don’t see not having Flash as being a deal breaker for most consumers in the iPhone, and I guess other feel the same way when you consider how many iPhones Apple has sold. People seem be getting along pretty well with the many apps they have available to them. What makes the iPhone/iPad such a great device is the fact that Apple creates both the hardware AND the software to bring the end user such a great experience. That the whole deal – Apple is in the unique position of being able to create the whole experience. I wouldn’t give Adobe the chance to compromise my platform either….

    If flash

  107. The big advantage Silverlight has is that it is somewhat trivial to code for it if you are already coding for Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). While MS is positioning Silverlight as a competitor and player in the multimedia web space, a lot of Enterprise development is aligning behind Silverlight as their “web” interface because of the low cost to port a .NET app to Silverlight.

    Still… seems like a brief window of opportunity until customers begin to demand “real” web interfaces again.

  108. Your ( http://www.thefwa.com ) example is

    #1 confusing – click on an icon, and a tiny little box pops up on the right hand side that is easily drowned out by the rest of the content…? among other things

    #2 difficult to read on high resolution displays, both due to the size of the font and the font chosen. I can't increase the font size…

    #3 completely useless in a screen reader (JAWS, and voiceover, to start)

    #4 I clicked on 5 random sites on this “favourite web awards” and they all suffer from similar issues.

    I don't mind if someone does this on their own, but really, touting it as “well designed”?

    They don't even have alternative content, or even Flash's own crappy accessibility support, if you feel like pulling the “flash can be accessible” card.

  109. Flash is a true horror, both as a developer and as a user.

    As developer: expensive tools, proprietary, very limited feature set, everything made in Flash LOOKS like Flash (subtly de-brands your own content), and it gets you onto a nasty upgrade treadmill.

    As a user: slow, clunky, and a 'black box' which means you can't cut and paste out of it, save images or understand what is going on

    Flash needs to do this to survive:

    1 – get cheaper (especially in Europe) for developers
    2 – get more Open
    3 – allow users to 'unpack' the content
    4 – encourage 'speed' over 'useless futz'

  110. most users hate Flash because it only really serves them crappy adverts, and no 'useful content'. Disable Flash on your browser and many of your web experiences IMPROVE

  111. Who are the web elite?

    I think if adobe wants to get on an apple mobile product then they need to build their own browser, The code to webkit is out there, they could sell it and make a lot of money.

    1. Incidentally, Adobe already uses Webkit in its desktop runtime AIR. Guess that makes them as pro-HTML5 as Apple then?
      And anyway, whoever said that it’s one or the other? HTML5 will eventually co-exist with Flash and other runtimes, and not replace them.

  112. Spot on, bbatsell. Didn't know about the Gordon thing, but that makes the evidence all the more damning. My take here-

    http://mindtaker.blogspot.com/2010/01/cry-me-ri

    And, of course, a lot of wannabes are going to be out of a job-

    http://mindtaker.blogspot.com/2010/01/ipad-y-be

    Remember when Real and animated gif were “ubiquitous?” 'Ubiquitous' is the new 'bullshit'.

    -Drunken Economist
    http://mindtaker.blogspot.com/
    http://twitter.com/drunk_economist

  113. I won't argue that the web browsing experience could be better on Nokia's – they certainly could. I only use Nokia phones, but more often than not I'll opt for using Opera Mini instead. However, when I need to see something in flash, I go right back to the S60 Web Browser, because it can do it, while Opera can't.

    What I will say is, don't count Symbian out yet. They've been hunkered down in their bunker, consolidating their forces. They've yet to come out fighting. To make this relevant to the discussion, I'm sure flash support will still be there.

  114. I respect your observations and take them on board. Although I have to say that my personal experience has been to contrary. I see very few iPhones 'in the field', whereas I've been truly surprised how many E71's I see in the hands of consumers. Of course, who know's if they're using the web or not. If they're not, that then, more than anything else, means the mobile web browsing has a lot of expanding to do!

    As I say, don't count Nokia/Symbian out yet, especially of the grounds of what they can/can't do right now. I'd be highly surprised if they cut out Flash.

    We'll have to see how HTML5 plays out, but for now, I think Flash is to ingrained in the web for Apple's lack of support for it to make a difference. More than anything, Apple's lack of support for Flash is just hurting their own users (something which they seem to have no qualms about doing, which is why I don't buy their tech), rather than making some sort of idealistic stand against Flash technology.

  115. Actually, ActionScript 3 is based on what Adobe assumed would become the next version of ECMAScript. It turns out they jumped the ball; the spec-in-progress that they used, ECMAScript 4, was later abandoned in its entirety, based on the consensus that it was unnecessarily complicated, turning ES into something very close to Java (classes, optional static typing, visibility etc.).

    For the new version of ECMAScript they took ES 3, cleaned it up, added a few minor features, and released it as ES 5. ActionScript is _not_ compatible with ES 5. A future ES version may add back the stuff from ES 4, but it’s too early to tell.

    Adobe’s ActionScript 3 VM is blazingly fast in part because it can use the static typing to turn variables into very efficient bytecode that in turn can be compiled into very efficient machine code. For example, when operating on variables declared as an integer means the VM can generate machine code that uses the processor’s native integer instructions, which would not be possible otherwise without first checking at runtime the types of the variables.

  116. dumb apple sheep like you (Robert Scoble) are elite…. yeah i get it.

    “Could Nokia help Adobe out? No. The web elite don’t have Nokia phones and don’t care about Nokia.”

  117. One thing that greatly annoys me is the people blaming Flash for bad resource hog ads or annoying websites.

    Do any of you seriously think that by using the <Canvas> tag instead these people will start optimizing their content?

    Once all the kiddies get their hands on HTML5, you're going to wish you could atleast block the plug-in :)

  118. But it is not Adobe's fault is it? If advertisers will stop using Flash they will use something else. They wouldn't leave such an interactive platform for a static one. I also hate ads but if ADS didn't exist web probably would be less developed today.

  119. I have a fairly low end Nokia E63 that I can use very effectively on the web. Combined with a dirt cheap tariff and a battery life numbered in days not hours makes this a killer device for me. I downgraded to this after my disappointment with the original iPhone.

  120. I was curious about this new term “web elite” and was disappointed that no definition existed in wikipedia. Allow me to craft the beginnings:

    A term used by a very few 'celebrity' bloggers who continue to indicate that their web experience more respected and rich than the countless millions of others. It has been found that the web elite exclusively use iPhone and other Apple devices, and any argument posed by this web elite army [of one] is indicative of total internet failure if the world does not give in to the Apple way of life.”

  121. ^^ While the article contains a rather weak argument, both it and the comments have been extremely educational, and altogether a fascinating read. All criticism aside, I thank you for bringing up the argument, albeit with a sensationalist headline.

  122. Is it so hard for folks to think why Apple isnt allowing flash? ..
    1) because suddenly there will be a huge flood of developers writing apps on the iphone using flash and they wont have to pay Apple their 30% to take a cut out of each app.
    2) Apps written on flash will run on any other device/phone.. so they lose their competitive touch and suddenly a similar number of apps will be running on both iPhone and Android and Nokia etc.

    This is Apple not letting any other development platform on their device.. be it Java or Silverlight or Flash.. they are not against Adobe here or wit a war with them.. they are just insecure of letting other VM/platforms in their device which would make people throw away that XCode/Objective C garbage and start using familiar tools that even designers can use and not just seasoned developers which find hard to program on Objective C

  123. “Those apps brings my iMac 24″ to his knees…” Which is exactly where any Apple product likes to be.

  124. The right tool for the right job, i know… but, it can’t be overstated!
    The Photographers, Designers, Architects, and other design professionals that use Flash to develop their portfolio websites are selling an identity, and concept, and very often Flash is deemed the best creative tool to sell their services. To shut out this demographic and their purpose is a huge mistake in my opinion. I’m sure Html5 will be great for the web… but if you look at the very best examples of Flash portfolio sites, I really doubt that it can come as close to liberating the work of these creative professionals at this point.

  125. @Jeff, my always-overtaxed, 4-year-old CoreDuo MBP with Safari 4.0.4 loved that video. I was surprised to see the source listed as an MP4 because it looked better than some of the more compressed DVDs I occasionally get. Plus, instant scrubbing, no buffering hassles as I often get under Flash, over a WiFi link.

    My “old” laptop doesn't get much graphics help from the GPU even under Snow Leopard, so it took a very manageable 50%–75% of one core for the full-window video. I'd think that anything much more powerful than a Core Solo would be adequate. Looks like it's now up to IE to lead or watch themselves be pushed aside.

    Not six weeks, probably not six months, but for Adobe's sake, I hope they don't believe their own PR BS, and have a high-priority business plan for Flash content creation with multi-format delivery. The site suggests it ain't perfectly easy to develop that quality level, so it looks like Adobe isn't dead unless they volunteer to be.

  126. @Jeff, Netflix is a commercial enterprise and will choose the format that works best for getting the most customers without major tech hassles. Silverlight looks OK for now, but what commitment would YOU make to a format that MS could drop as quickly as it trashed PlaysForSure if you were the CEO of Netflix?

  127. @Kaan, it's not about “fault.” It's about moving forward so we can all benefit from news, entertainment and other connections. Who's going to lead?

  128. “Flash is currently the only way to guarantee a fully cohesive experience across all platforms.”

    Well, that just isn't so. How many millions of Apple iProducts are there busily surfing the we? How many million more each quarter? How many older smartphones have even a tiny fraction of Flash capability? How many tech elites run Flash blockers?

    We're to the point that reliance on Flash is now a major problem for the bottom line of sites that run ads, and a significant threat to repeat visitors (i.e., customers) of sites that insist on Flash for content, as the original post sez.

  129. Silverlight is great for captive audiences, where you can tell the clients what to use.

    Fr'instance, for intranets, especially because MS owns a lot of the inhouse IT teams. Little retraining from their existing code development approaches; lots of re-use potential if the shops have been good little boys & girls and committed whole hog to .NET.

  130. Totally agree. Silverlight is *mainly* for LOB applications, not for the most customer facing applications.

  131. yeah very good point, they have the webkit skills so they should get on with it….

    Flash is not going anywhere just because a couple of apple products dont support them. Android have flash coming so I dont see this really being an issue.

  132. “I'm guessing it probably all started…”

    … and has been continuing with Adobe's ignoring Apple's requests to use its best APIs for exploiting OS X's power.

    Apple has a strong interest in keeping the CS crowd on its platform; from their perspective, Adobe might as well be trying to migrate the user base to Windows by not utilizing the 64-bit and parallel processing tools that can make the Mac machines go like a bat flying out of Hell.

    If this little standoff continues, I wouldn't be surprised to see Apple lob an cross-platform content creation tool for HTML5 at Adobe to make it as easy to post web videos and rich media. Not like they haven't already done similarly with video and photos.

  133. So Flash is coming from a creative perspective with a large base, Silverlight is coming from a application (C) development perspective and will grow. And HTML5 will overtake all in two years?

  134. I think there are a few issues:

    1. Video Support – HTML 5 doesn't have a standard codec and no IE support. At best it will be offered alongside flash for the next few years. And the arguments of H264 vs Theora are valid. H264 is popular, well supported, and probably the most universally supported video codec to date (at least since mpeg2). It's also better than theora, particularly with HD content. So which would you choose? Free but nobody elses it, or the industry best that everybody already uses (but non-free). I doubt they will answer that. So for now flash has it's place in video.

    2. Everything else flash does. Games/Adverts/sockets/webcam chats/etc. I don't see people switching from flash to html 5 for these anytime soon. Why? Flash is already available and works in all browsers?

    3. Apple not supporting flash I think is largely as others have indicated. It may be too slow on their cpu's and give a bad experience. It's also obvious that apple and their itunes store is designed to be the only avenue to your wallet on apple devices. Eventually they'll get nailed with anti-trust lawsuits and be forced to open up somewhat, but obviously they are waiting to get a monopoly first, which from a business point of view makes a lot of sense. Of course then they'll be like Microsoft, unable to innovate or make their products all they could be because they are hampering competition….

    I agree with Adam Sofineti, apple's version of web 3.0 is that you pay for and download and install/update apps. That's a step backwards from web 2.0 which tried to break that cycle from the desktop.

    Even yesterday I was considering the platform for a new application I was writing and had that same choice. Do I write a web app, a winforms app, a wpf app, or a silverlight app? (Obviously I like .net and can re-use a lot of code regardless of what I choose). I was going to write a wpf app but after about 5 minutes I remembered why almost everything I write is a web app. Installing and updating software and keeping it up to date is a pain, so unless my app really needs the performance and system access of a desktop app, I should go with web or silverlight.

  135. There, you nailed it. Apple is simply greedy and overly protective. The fact that their browser happens to use Webkit is more of a coincidence than anything else – and be prepared for it to be further crippled once HTML5 offers a way to side-step the App Store. Do you think Apple congratulated Google on its recent web based voice app (while the iPhone app is still being 'reviewed')? No, me neither :-)

  136. Yeah right, because Adobe doesn't know how to build a decent web authoring tool and Apple could steamroller them if they chose to… Ever heard of Dreamweaver? What makes you think Adobe has no interest in HTML5 and won't fully support it? Half the web is authored and designed using Adobe products.
    And secondly, do you realise that a web video workflow involves a lot more than a decent HTML authoring environment? A *whole* lot more.

    Lastly: “Adobe's ignoring Apple's requests to use its best APIs for exploiting OS X's power.”
    Care to back this up with a link or two?
    A quick fact check proves that the opposite is the case, and several Adobe employees have gone on public record, such as Lee Brimelow: http://theflashblog.com/?p=1703#comment-640520
    But since they are Adobe they must all be lying, right?

  137. Flash is DEAD to me. I use ClickToFlash to block Flash automatically and only use it if forced – which causes a lot of teeth gnashing.

    Note that the Android web browser is BASED ON Apple's Webkit (from which Safari is based). Thus Google would have to bolt on a plug-in architecture to support Flash on Android. Google has shown no inclinations of doing this. Thus Adobe is screwed.

    Steve Jobs is a genius in deciding which technologies are obsolete and thus should be discarded. He did this first with Floppies (and now the world has no floppies). He did this with serial ports and SCSI ports (and how we have USB). He is now doing the same with Flash. Thus, I predict Flash will be dead to the rest of the world soon. When Google has its HTML-5 YouTube up and running, then there will be no reason for using Flash on YouTube.

    HTML-5 allows fantastic video streaming. There is no need for Flash on You Tube.

    1. Have you been living under a rock? They had Flash 10 running even on a G1

      “Google has shown no inclinations of doing this”
      Oh really? So how come they are working with Adobe, just as everyone else is (except Apple of course)?
      http://www.openscreenproject.org/partners/current_partners.html#Google

      Moreover, not only will Flash 10.1 run nicely on the latest smartphones, it will also support H.264 hardware decoding, which means that video playback performance will be hugely improved.

      It’s quite simple. If Apple wants Flash to run well their devices then they can make it happen. Fact is that performance is not the issue, but compromising App Store revenues is. They just don’t have the guts to tell it how it is.

  138. Quentin,

    Trying to have a rational argument with Scoble is futile. You must realize his goal is link baiting and that he suffers from ADD.

    He really isn't interested in learning if Adobe is threatened by technologies like HTML5, he is just posting a provocative post on a slow weekend to boost his website traffic.

    He is also not willing to spend the time learning about the technologies he writes to take a rational position.

    Best not to take him to seriously.

  139. Actually, Silverlight does do video streaming alot better than Flash, which im sure was also a part of the decision to use Silverlight

  140. How is it better than Flash? I watched the Help Haiti video which was live streaming and it looked just about as good as my HDTV. Same with U2 concert, which was live streamed on YouTube.

  141. Maybe in theory but not in practice. From an Olympiophile who watched around the clock, it wasn't good. Hulu has done a good job of streaming live events so it can be done.

    FTR, I would love for HTML5 video to replace Flash.

  142. A few comments:

    1. 'Web elite'? Excuse me? Personally, I think the Web would be a lot better off if California experienced 'the big one' and all of the self-appointed 'Web Elite' slid into the Pacific and stopped screwing up the Web experience for 'Web Users' (both elite and not elite).

    2. Is anyone involving the Web's biggest user of Web video in the dialog on what's going to happen? No, I'm not talking about YouTube or Hulu, I'm talking about the porn industry.

    3. The process is broken. I don't give a damn about flash or html5 or silverlight. I care about being able to watch hulu, news feeds, and anything else i want. The technical elite that refuse to support the most widely deployed technologies for reasons of 'technical purity' are anti-customer and I hope they fail.

  143. I guess what I'm saying is, don't stop supporting flash until the alternative is available. html5 is far, far from ready to take over.

    Give me choices when you're ready to. Don't block my access to flash while you aren't.

  144. How would you 'Web elite types' like it if the 'Telecom elite types' decided that CDMA and GSM were obsolete because LTE and WiMax were looking better… and stopped supporting CDMA and GSM *NOW*?

  145. A bit tetchy, are we?

    “What makes you think Adobe … won't fully support [HTML5]?”
    Please see above, where I said, “…for Adobe's sake, I hope they … plan for Flash content creation with multi-format delivery.”

    I explicitly prefaced these remarks with “If this little standoff continues…” because I don't know enough of Adobe's intentions to make an educated guess. I do observe that Adobe has countered the rise of the Flashless iProducts and other mobile devices with statements about how Flash is available on 98% of desktops. That's okay PR-speak but doesn't sound like a business plan in the rather possible event that people keep buying Apple iProducts as fast as they can crank them out.

    “Care to back this up with a link or two?”
    Adobe's FAQ is dated almost 2 years ago, explaining that (one) advanced Mac capability will wait for CS5. It doesn't exactly confess that they have been stuck on deprecated APIs for a couple of years, but it does document it. Jon Gruber's reportage seems pretty even-handed about the difficulties involved; with hindsight we can say there have been 2+ years during which Apple has added further power- and memory-enhancing techniques only on Cocoa. I'll offer that “ignoring” over-stated the case; I should have said that for years, now, Adobe has stuck to its guns on its plans to defer using Apple's best technologies.

    “…such as Lee Brimelow… must all be lying, right?”
    I regret that my quoting the previous poster's comment on Photoshop left it unclear that I, too, was discussing Photoshop. Mr. Bimelow's link explicitly addresses Flash. (The original topic; fancy that.) I have no quarrel with Mr. Brimelow's frustrations about being caught in this war when I'm sure all he wants to do is good work. It's not my style to think that people are lying, let alone accuse them of it.

    Again, my intention is not to take sides between two parties; I, too am caught in the middle and don't enjoy being collateral damage. Whether it's because Jobs is the meaner SOB or because the internet is going a different direction, I merely expect that we'll see a different Flash environment in the coming years. Ultimately, all of us in this industry thrive on change, no matter how much pain it costs in the short run.

  146. Steve couldn’t have known how much longer he had on this earth. Maybe he never gave into dark thoughts. Or, maybe the iPad is his best effort to secure a legacy for himself and his companies.

  147. flash wont' die, if anything they better figure out a way to make it compatible. Otherwise
    adobe will come up with it's own device and then it will take over.

  148. i don't think it will die so quickly. for instance:

    3 of the top sporting apparel companies (nike, adidas, reebok) have heavily invested in flash technologies (north of several million dollars over the last 10 years) because their (creative) agencies told them that the experience they could create was superior [disclaimer: two of these companies are clients]. Even if today they decide to change direction and get rid of flash/flex all together it will take several years (my bet is at least 3 years if everything goes well). In the meantime if you have an ipad the experience you will get visiting these sites will be far from excellent.

    some more thoughts here http://bit.ly/aGaySt

  149. Flash is an extremely powerful tool in any good developers toolkit and to say HTML5 is anywhere near a replacement is just foolish. I love how many users here believe Steve Jobs can just do away with Flash, like he is some wizard – get real. The entire Actionscript, Flex and Air library has so much potential to create beautiful and powerful multifunctional RIAs, yet so many developers continue to ignore it. While reading this article it became very obvious you are unaware of what Flash can even do. Regardless, it's not going anywhere.

    Mr. Scoble, if you say there are other languages that can make Flash obsolete, then at least give us some examples. Sorry, but this is a very ignorant Apple-fanboy driven argument.

  150. The iPad locks out all plugins… and the only one everyone is talking about is Flash. Just shows how integral Flash really is!

  151. > The Nokia sales around the world are mostly for crappy phones like the N95 or N97, or, really, their cheaper lines that have crappy screens, crappy browsers, etc.

    What a developed vocabulary! The curious reader should also note the availability of factual proof in over why Nokia phones are so damn “crappy” after they re-read your comments & article. Oh, wait, there is none!

    I won't even mention the accompanied bitterness tied into the remarks about RIM and their highly “unpopular” BlackBerries; oh boy, we have an Apple fanboy here on sight, run for your lives!

  152. so much here, my eyes are blurring with much interneting tonight. Why isn't flash on the smart/droid phones? would live on my phone if i had flash available for download on my phone.

  153. Hi Roy,

    Just to add some more thoughts on top of what you pointed out.

    And before that, Mr.Scoble, with due respect, you’re just flamebaiting for trolls with your thoughts posted on this entry.

    Yes, HTML5 is relevant, fast and is the future, but Flash has its stand that Adobe need to wake up and patch up all these loop holes. Alright, let’s step back, say if all of you wants Flash to die, sure, look at what Flash Platform does to the entire creative industry (except web), what will replace that? You want to launch firefox for a kiosk to work?

    I do agree that there is absolutely not much of a versatile choice to choose from, except Flash being the bridge between a designer, a design-develop-er, and developer. Which at least when used right, it doesn’t rape your thoughts mentally and of course, your CPU resources.

    It is all like 10 years ago again, when everyone is discussing the relevancy of Macromedia Director, where Flash is reigning. True, Director was “phased-out” silently from the market where most of the offline-interactive products are made out of Flash. And out of that, there’s definitely a lot of half-a**ed and non-standard compliant one.

    But the same question does apply, you kill Flash, find a replacement, or everyone dies the next day.
    It’s the same metaphor as you use a plastic bag (Flash_ vs. a recyclable bag (HTML5). It will be a never-ending questioning where will this lead to, I doubt at this point you will see HTML5 mature to a point where you will be able to “effectively” build Farmville-like game in a realistic time. In the end it’s still business.

    M$ is like some preachy wannabe hip hop dancer steps into the game looking for some market share pie (look silverlight / bing). Adobe mindlessly bloating their softwares with a lot of features where you doesn’t really need to use (look, newer version, longer to load). Apple on the other hand starts to become what it’s like during their early era. (what ipod you want? we have a, b, c , d, e and you can…listen to music!)

    It has become so apparent that Flash haters and flash-blockers are bubbling just almost everywhere because it feels like during the DHTML days, you see flashing javascript background. All these kind of people should be penalized and fired right away. And the reason why the Apple-experience is better is due to their draconian quality-check standards. Yes, there are a lot of crappy apps, but as long you code/make it the way it should be, you may pass. And that is why there isn’t a breakdown in the experience of using Safari in iPhone. I’d feel Adobe is desperate trying to get into the Apple userbase, but it isn’t going anywhere until there is some unbelievable dictatorism-type of quality check for every Flash made. (And that isn’t going to be realistic :) )

    Thumbs up to the commenter above that coined the perfect summary for all these, “It’s the result that matter, people does not care it’s Bing, Bong, Bung, or Whatever as long as it gets the work done”

    HTML 5 will power the web (partially?). Period.
    Flash lives. Period.

  154. HTML 5 is very over hyped. The only thing it can really do is replace static video… wow, big deal. It is not INTERACTIVE. HTML 5 is very limited in what is can do. Replacing a static video is a very small portion of the interactive pie. Flash has had the ability to play video for years and HTML5 is just now trying to catch up to the basics of that simple task.

    Apple is hardly innovative. The iPhone is popular now, but it may not be so popular in the future especially with AT&T services not getting better. The new iPad is very archaic compared to modern devices. Apple is getting ready to get their puffed up pride knocked down a few clicks.

  155. Silverlight video streaming is apparently better because it has rate-adaptive streaming – i.e. doesn't just freeze if there's a bandwidth problem, the quality of the video just downgrades. Like RealVideo used to do – anyone remember Real Media?!

  156. It *is* Adobe's fault in part for making a plug-in that can hog upto 50% of your CPU just to have some moving graphics in a banner/skyscraper. If they made it more efficient, that would certainly help their chances.

  157. It *is* Adobe's fault in part for making a plug-in that can hog upto 50% of your CPU just to have some moving graphics in a banner/skyscraper. If they made it more efficient, that would certainly help their chances.

  158. Nicholas – your argument is flawed on so many levels. If Flash was to be the saviour of the web as so many, including yourself profess, why are there applications and plugins out on the net to actually disable flash plug-ins on web sites. I use such an application to just deny flash being played on a web site to conserve CPU and memory resources. I performed an independent test – one machine with flash enabled and one with flash disabled. With flash enabled my laptop was driven to 100% on both CPU's.

    Flash is a resource hog – it is badly written code, it facilitates laziness in coders and is the scourge of the HTML industry. The quicker it dies a natural death the better. I navigate away from Flash only websites as a matter of course. Yes, Flash makes sites lovely and nice, but it also makes it a pain to use.

    Apple's stance on not supporting Flash is a good one – if they clean their stuff up and make it kind to the resources that run this stuff, the sooner the better. Until then, off your flash embedded soapbox – before it crashed with an out of memory exception.

  159. Remember the “1984” ad that pitted Apple as freedom and creativity (the girl in red shorts) vs. IBM – the oppressive controlling Big Brother presence.

    Apple is undeniably the new Big Brother, controlling everything from which apps you can download to whether or not you need Flash – a de facto Web Standard.

    Apple Fanboys – you're the mindless drones watching the presentation – in case you don't recognize yourselves.

  160. If I was to use your analogy, no, the Apple faithful are not the open mouthed gaping faithful, you are. Every site will be some homologous “Flash” site with everything done in Flash, navigation, content, applications. Truth be told, Flash is crud. You know it, every web developer worth their salt knows it. If they are lazy Uni students writing web pages they will code it in Flash. Everyone else does the right thing and codes their pages accordingly.

    You, however, will continue to write code in the carbuncle that is the infection on every part of the Internet – Flash. May you be consumed in the circle of fire that is reserved for you in hell. That being the place reserved for Flash developers.

  161. Apple is clearly a closed off dictatorship, whereas Adobe is an open source democracy. Ungrateful Apple owes its existence to the innovative graphical software that Adobe has produced over the years. Apple was just lucky with the iPhone, but won't be so lucky in the future. The new iPad is just a sadly over-priced kid's toy.

      1. Yeah, let me know when you get your new iPad so I can give you some animal crackers and a baby pacifier to go with it!

  162. Re: colin

    Truth be told, your post is full of lies. You have no idea what you are talking about! Go write fiction stories or something and get out of the way of real web developers! HTML 5 is a feature-limited little joke.

  163. As a long-time Netflix subscriber, I'd like to add that their rate-adaptive streaming through Siverlight does indeed work (I've used it successfully in WiMAX situations). Granted it had its hiccups when first starting, but after streaming hours and hours of content on Netflix while on the road, I can say it works.

  164. I would like to know where and how I can find those web elite that you have been referring to.
    They seem like some mythical creatures beyond my comprehension.
    Are there some kind of cocktail-circuits around the world where member elites can flash their latest gears??
    I have an objection to your narrow view of what is and isn't web. And I have an objection to your illogical arguments that IPhone/IPad/IMaxiPad are the only decent devices for surfing the internet. I'm just as happy surfing the net with my good old cheap assembled PC.
    It doesn't restict what I access or what I install.
    Anyone proclaiming Flash is dead or will die in a few months or a year or two, due to lack of support for it in apple's products, is either delusional or is apple-washed, I meant steve-jobs-washed, I meant overzealous apple fanboy, who'll proclaim anything steve proclaim.

  165. erhm.. Has it ever crossed your mind that most crap Nokia users use there 'device' primarily for making phone calls? And therefore don't give a **** about using it in any other way?

  166. Yeah, it has crossed my mind. But those are the least profitable devices and won't be the fastest growing category of phones from now on. So, if Nokia bases its business on people who don't want to join the modern world it sure won't be an interesting business, will it?

  167. I will buy the tablet that best supports Flash.

    I need flash support, it’s as simple as that, even thou I’m usually a loyal apple fanboy.

  168. If it were any other device, by any other manufacture, no one would care. Apple, however, has successfully equated its products with “the future.” Modernity and “the future” have been key drivers of the American economy for the better part of a century. Because we accept this aspect of Apple’s branding whole heartedly, without deeper reflection, it’s no wonder that we are so quick to exclude Flash from the future when it is excluded from the iPad.

  169. I'd argue you'd be hard pressed to create Aviary in js/html at a reasonable cost and performance. JS simply is not up to some things that compiled swf bytecode can do.

  170. No! I don't want no stinking Flash on my phone, let alone a browser. It borks it far to often for my liking and causes crashes. Good riddance to it, is my view.

    One of the main reasons I bought an iPhone was to have a Flash free experience.

    I see more and more companies starting to develop mobile versions of their website without Flash, which is great as I now do most of my surfing in the iPhone. The future will be in HTML5 not Flash.

    1. The main reason that Flash is not on the iPhone is because Apple wants to control the direction of the mobile Web with its own greed. They don’t want Flash on the iPhone because if they did, they know that free Flash applications and games would be all over the Web for people to access freely on the iPhone. This would greatly reduce and hurt the iPhone app. store sales and Apple knows it.

      To further confirm the idea of Apple’s greed. They claim Flash is bad, but yet already and publicly this April they ARE going to allow apps. and games built in Flash to be sold for the iPhone ONLY through the Apple store so they can get their 30% or so cut from each sale. Yes, it’s true, apps and games built in Flash WILL be available for iPhone purchase in the next few months!

      It’s like this… Apple hates free Flash games and applications, but they LOVE apps and games built in Flash going through their iPhone store when they can make money off of each sale. Starting to get the picture now..?

      Apple is a Steve Jobs-dictatorship not a democracy. They could have easily allowed Flash on the iPhone, but had it switched off as a default and allowed the people that WANT Flash to use Flash. In other words they could have allowed iPhone users a choice, but allowing people the freedom of choice is not what Apple is about. And case in-point… now they are pushing their new iPad tablet, which yet again they will not allow people the choice to switch Flash on or off. A lot of people love Flash and want it, but will Apple give those people that choice? No. The lack of not being able to view Flash on the mobile Web is the primary reason I haven’t purchased an iPhone (and AT&T’s iPhone problems with dropped calls and lack-luster iPhone data support too).

      In the next few months Blackberrys, Palms, Androids and almost every major cell device will have a Flash player, so I will wait for one of those instead. By 2011 it is very likely that iPhone and iPad will be the only devices without a Flash player.

  171. There are a couple of simple straightforward reasons why Apple is not allowing Flash on iPhone/iPad or wherever iTunes App store exists:

    - Apps developed on Flash could be delivered directly though web without going through Apple's store and give them a 30% cut

    - If the apps were developed in Flash they could easily be put on Android and other platforms and would not give the edge that iPhone currently has in terms of number of apps on iPhone vs the Android Platform which is currently 100 : 1 .. if Flash could be used to develop that ratio would be significantly decreased.

    I am surprized all these people buy into Steve Jobs bashing and dont see the real reason behind not allowing any platform on iPhone, which is not just Flash but also Silverlight and Java.. .Why arent we talking about Java or Silverlight not being on iPhone? Are they buggy as well? No.. they open iPhone to other developers and designers and not just to XCode/Objective C developers who Apple could control

    1. Great post! Yes… exactly why isn’t Apple allowing Silverlight on the iPhone either? You are correct. It’s never been about performance or crashes it’s all about money for their iPhone store.

      This year Apple is going to see the tables getting turned when the majority of cell phones have Flash players running and iPhone will just be the odd cell out.

  172. At the end of the day, Flash will be confined “up market” to the portion of experiences on the web that only it can enable. Technologies like Html5, Canvas, etc. will take over for a majority of the less intensive things that they and Flash can do equally well.

  173. Hahahahaha, funny .

    Everybody think that Flash will lose to HTML 5, so everybody is think about Flash as a plug in to browser. Our company has been using Flash since 1998 for Digital Signage Project, Multimedia project and eKiosk. And it's fine till now (we just use Windows and Linux for development, we don't need Mac and never will). We use DirectX and OpenGL as a holder for flash display.

    Today, I also doing some research about Silverlight too. Maybe in next years we will develop project based on Silverlight in addition to Flash.

    It's funny, when anybody talk about Flash/Silverlight killer, maybe you can change your title into, Flash/Silverlight plug-in killer (wannabe).

    Now, let's we think about using HTML 5 as a replacement for Multimedia, Multitouch/gesture, 3D animation, Virtual Reality project. Are you kidding me ?

  174. 99% of the comments here seem to be very uninformed, fanboy nonsense, or completely shortsighted. What are we talking about when we are saying “Flash” here? The IDE? The Actionscript programming language? The browser plugin?

    Let's look at one piece at a time. The IDE and Actionscript language will live on. Actionscript is a completely mature language, and there are tons of Flash and Flex projects that are developed for uses other than on the web, even including the dashboard for Jaguar and Tesla cars. CS5 will even let you compile Flash projects into apps that can run on iPhone/iPad. There will be a market for this type of development for a long, long time to come.

    So, what we're really talking about is the browser plugin, right? Well, in all honesty, and as a full time Flash developer myself, who really cares about a plugin? I develop for Flash because I enjoy the workflow and love the results, not because I am a fan of a plugin. Only thing was, up to this point you couldn't see the results on the web without the plugin.

    Adobe has stated themselves that they don't prefer to create and maintain their own runtimes. It is much easier and more profitable for them to simply provide tools that allow people to create standardized files. So they will definitely be creating a tool to create HTML5 animations and applications, and what better than the Flash IDE? The new Flash source files starting with CS5 will be XML based, and the assets will be in folders instead of embedded in the .fla file, so Adobe is already paving the way for the Flash IDE to be a universal rich media creation tool, whether the output is .swf, HTML5, desktop APP (AIR), or Apple App

  175. “it is badly written code, it facilitates laziness in coders”

    Actually, this is only true for older versions of Actionscript. AS3 forces well-written code. If you like, I can show you examples of my squeaky-clean As3 classes :)

  176. A minor and tangential point: calling Silverlight a “Flash copy” is either extremely sloppy or extremely ignorant (worse than the way the Register constantly refers to it as a “media player”).

  177. Actually, there's something called ClickToFlash, not only does it block those annoying flash ads, it also has the ability to play HTML5 videos, which is the default setting, so there's no annoying ads by Google.

  178. Well, Microsoft can pay companies to use their software. And I'm sure that's what they're doing with silverlight… It's not hard to get companies to adopt your software when you can pay them to do so, regardless of whether or not the software is any good.

  179. If Scoble were more educated on the actual technology and terminology, he'd be a lot more convincing.

    I'm not even a Flash fan boy, but I do like facts (correct facts), and I find Scoble's comments full of incorrect information, statements and comparisons…

    Too bad really… I was hoping this blogger was more informed. There are many other bloggers on both sides that actually know what they're talking about.

    Scoble's just one of those over excited technocrat's…

    Study the tech dude, you'll sound a lot more convincing… if you even care about that.

  180. Actually, Maemo 5 does support full online Flash, for gaming for example. So I guess i some way Nokia are supporting Flash

  181. Well, Microsoft can pay companies to use their software. And I'm sure that's what they're doing with silverlight… It's not hard to get companies to adopt your software when you can pay them to do so, regardless of whether or not the software is any good.

  182. If Scoble were more educated on the actual technology and terminology, he'd be a lot more convincing.

    I'm not even a Flash fan boy, but I do like facts (correct facts), and I find Scoble's comments full of incorrect information, statements and comparisons…

    Too bad really… I was hoping this blogger was more informed. There are many other bloggers on both sides that actually know what they're talking about.

    Scoble's just one of those over excited technocrat's…

    Study the tech dude, you'll sound a lot more convincing… if you even care about that.

  183. Actually, Maemo 5 does support full online Flash, for gaming for example. So I guess i some way Nokia are supporting Flash