Pick a side. That’s the best advice I can give to a business user. The battle lines are being drawn, and it seems that Apple is going on a major offensive. The company is already engaged in a notable war of words and technology with Google, has lawsuits filed with HTC (maker of several Google Android operating system powered handsets), and is sparring with Adobe. The latter is over the Apple’s refusal to support Flash with its iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad devices.
For business users it is pretty much business as usual, unless you rely on Flash of course, in which case an iPad might not be for you. But as the device has recently surpassed sales of one million users it seems that a lot of people aren’t caring so much about Flash. Could one million be wrong? Adobe certainly seems to think so, and the company responded to Steve Jobs statements about Flash. Here is a snippet that was posted by Adobe’s chief technology officer Kevin Lynch in a post:
“Given the legal terms Apple has imposed on developers, we have already decided to shift our focus away from Apple devices for both Flash Player and AIR. We are working to bring Flash Player and AIR to all the other major participants in the mobile ecosystem, including Google, RIM, Palm (soon to be HP), Microsoft, Nokia and others.
“We look forward to delivering Flash Player 10.1 for Android smartphones as a public preview at Google I/O in May, and then a general release in June. From that point on, an ever increasing number and variety of powerful, Flash-enabled devices will be arriving which we hope will provide a great landscape of choice.”
What does this really mean? Well as I noted, the battle lines are drawn, and it seems that the blogosphere is now where the conflict is engaged. As I previously reported, Steve Jobs has made it clear that he doesn’t care for Flash, seeing it as a PC relic from the mouse over era. He doesn’t believe that the technology is right for use on the go with mobile devices. Adobe it seems is countering, and instead of merely letting Apple being anti-Flash is going on the offensive as well.
For the most part this won’t really affect business users, again unless you use Flash. But Flash remains something that is nice to look at, but it isn’t really necessary for doing business. You don’t need Flash to edit documents, check e-mail or stay connected. However, as Lynch points out a lot of devices will take advantage of Flash, and that could change the mobile Web. So don’t rule out Flash just yet.
Where Will Flash War End?
The next part of the equation is whether the spat over Flash will end up in the court of public opinion, with it decided by dollars, or end up in the court of justice with jurors, lawyers and judges involved? The latter could be a possibility it seems as rumors are quickly spreading that the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission are already in negotiations as to which Federal group will look into an antitrust inquiry regarding Apple’s new policy to require software developers who work on apps for the iPhone and iPad using only Apple’s proprietary technology.