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Flash Rumors Debunked - Adobe Releases Official Flash and Air Roadmap

Tuesday, April 03, 2012 by Sean P

It's been a long time since the rumors that "Apple is killing Flash and Adobe is going to drop it", or, "HTML5 is replacing Flash", or "Flash is dead", yada, yada, yada- all complete crap speculation and rumors from people who probably watched YouTube videos in Flash within 24 hours prior to making the naive statements, and probably the same people who said 10 years ago "Facebook is a fad."  (haha)

I've debated this with people for YEARS now, and finally, I'm happy to say we don't have to debate it anymore.

Adobe's Roadmap Synopsis:  

Flash isn't going anywhere.  It's getting even more powerful, and is going to perform like next-generation video games soon.  No, Adobe is NOT dropping it. They're making it evolve to play nice, natively, with mobile devices.  This speaks volumes about Adobe's ability to stay agile and mold to market needs.  And, Adobe dropping the Mobile Flash plugin is NOT because Flash is dying and can't run on phones (FYI it already does on some devices, for you clueless Apple fanboys), but it's because they've been gearing up Flash to directly deploy for all platforms- like Android (google) devices, iOS (apple) devices, as well as Desktop apps for Mac / PC, etc., so you just don't need the mobile plugin in that case.

But regardless that Adobe has dropped development on Mobile Flash plugin in favor of Flash creating these mobile friendly compiled formats, I would be willing to bet native Flash support on mobile browsers comes back purely out of competition, as Google is still supporting it with their Motorola devices (phones, tablets, etc), and I've watched some of our heaviest Flash Apps run beautifully on Moto Xoom already a year ago, so why get rid of something that's already working, that Apple doesn't have?  Sounds like a competitive advantage to me.  ;-)

Adobe's Release:

HTML: http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flashplatform/whitepapers/roadmap.html

PDF:  http://wwwimages.adobe.com/www.adobe.com/content/dam/Adobe/en/devnet/flashplatform/whitepapers/flash-runtimes-roadmap.pdf

What is New

In the release Adobe openly commits to cater to gaming, 3D, and Video with Premium performance features for additional license fees.  It makes sense, Flash is probably occuring on the web a bazillion times a day for YouTube alone, why not give YouTube better performance and make some money?  It remains to be seen how much it will cost to tap into these additional levels of video and 3d gaming performance, but it does make sense. Huge companies like mega social gaming giant Zynga, or video giants YouTube or Hulu, have extensive budgets for these needs at scale, where lower level independent Flash developers just don't need it, so why not tier the technology to fit the needs of the market at different levels?  Hopefully they can make enough money with these big players to lower the cost for independent developers and small companies to buy Flash software for less in the future (it's gotten a bit pricey over the years).

I think this is a smart move on Adobe's part to cater premium services to the niches that can afford them and would use them massively, and I'm especially excited to see what come corporate sugar daddy funding can do to the technology in the 3D space.  If it truly gets to the GPU accelerated, awesomely fast rendering speeds of current next-gen gaming systems, it could really revolutionize not just online gaming, but UX and rapid 3D development across the board.  I know I've already got a couple ideas in mind. ;)


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Cesar

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