Saturday, March 03, 2007
(pluck) Adobe *Is* the Next Microsoft, (pluck) Adobe *Is Not* the Next Microsoft...


Andrew Shebanow writes:

Adobe would never try to abuse the dominance of Flash Player because it simply isn’t that kind of company. I’m not saying Adobe has never made mistakes (e.g. Sklyarov), and Adobe certainly has no aversion to making money, but at its core Adobe is the most ethical company I’ve ever worked for, of any size. (Yes, I worked for both Apple and Microsoft previously - there is no comparison.) Holding the Web hostage is something that I believe is completely against Adobe’s values. I realize this leaves me open to charges of naivety, but so be it.

(Source: Shebanation: Why Adobe is NOT the Next Microsoft - wow, Andrew, what a beautiful looking blog site. Very simple. And I love the header graphic. Very now. Very

I hope that Andrew is right and that Adobe is able to take the high-ground here. That would mean not doing to Flash what they've done with Acrobat Reader.

My experience comes from working on Microsoft InfoPath, an electronic forms editor. Our two main competitors in this space: IBM and Adobe.

Adobe has taken advantage of their Acrobat Reader ubiquity to start adding features to Reader to bloat it up into a competitive platform that allows new Adobe initiatives.

I don't blame Adobe. They have a strong beachhead here and are using it as a vector to support growth. And it seems every year Reader is bloating up with new features. Like electronic forms editing coupled to an Adobe Forms Server.

(One of my most treasured setups: an install for Acrobat Reader 5.)

Flash, too, is expanding and being updated at an increasing rate. In fact, after Adobe acquired Flash and Flash started to be rev'd more often, I turned Flash off on most of my machines due to browser stability problems (yeah, I know: "Hey, you! You're one black kettle!").

Of course, as great as that was while it lasted, you can't enjoy the web for too long without Flash, so I compromised and moved to a hosts file that cuts out annoying ad and Flash crap providers so that I could enjoy the occasional good Flash movie (ooo, that reminds me, I have four episodes of Chad Vader to catch up on... oh, no, holy crap, that requires Apple's QuickTime... grr... I'll have to watch that on my QuickTime-vector machine).

So I can appreciate Ted's hesitancy to put blind faith into Adobe - or anyone - here. I can only hope that the Reader / Flash upgrade and bloat train slows down or at least gets componentized into something that makes sense. And I hope that we as a community can come together with a platform to advance creating great features and experiences for all of our users.

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