Steve Jobs, Adobe, and Why Flash is Going Down

Steve Jobs is a smart man. Perhaps one of the smartest men I’ve never met. Not only did he finally take the time to explain to everyone why Apple doesn’t use Flash, he did it on the day when the Droid Incredible was released, putting all the attention back on Apple and its products. Brilliant! Say what you will, but my guess is that the ‘Thoughts on Flash’ blog post was a calculated maneuver by Jobs, and it worked like a charm. Seriously. Droid who?

The fact that Apple doesn’t use Flash on its mobile devices has never once stopped me from buying one of its portable devices. I don’t even remember the last time I watched a Flash video, or played a Flash game on my computer (mainly because it always crashes my system), so really, I’m not missing anything. I’m glad Steve Jobs took the time to break it all down, though, because really, all the people that are complaining about Apple not using Flash…you need to get over it.

HTML5 is the wave of the future for companies like Apple, Google, and yes, now Microsoft. It’s open, which means web developers can do a whole boat load of stuff with it, and unlike Flash, it doesn’t rely on browser plug-ins, or third party software. With so many people jumping on the bandwagon to create apps for the iPad/iPhone, HTML5 is poised to make Flash obsolete, and that’s not a bad thing.

Since its creation in 1996, Flash has been nothing but a concern for security experts, who widely recommend not installing flash, or even go so far as to say to block it. I’m with them on this one. In February, Adobe themselves even apologized for not fixing a known vulnerability for over a year, and as of March 2010, the current Flash player has 75 CVE (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures) entries, with 34 of them being ranked as a high severity. What the hell, Adobe? Is that your idea of making my web experience more enjoyable?

Kevin Lynch’s response to the ‘Thoughts on Flash’ post from Steve Jobs didn’t do much to put my mind at ease, either. It took a jab at Apple’s legal terms, and mentioned that Adobe would be shifting its focus away from the iPad and iPhone, to instead work with other mobile participants. To me, that sounds like the kiss of death right there for Flash. When you can’t make your product available on a device that owns the market in terms of mobile applications, don’t expect to be able to compete. Seriously, in 2009 Apple owned 99.4% of the mobile market. That’s 2.5 billions apps being downloaded in one year, and with the release of the iPad, that number is estimated to double in 2010. That’s 5 billion applications that Adobe is missing out on. What a pity.

Kudos to you, Steve Jobs, for putting Adobe in their place, and setting the record straight. I may not agree with everything Apple does, but in this case, they have my full support.

Sorry, Adobe. I guess you’ll just have to turn me in to an 8-bit game so the Apple haters can shoot me. That is, if their browser doesn’t crash first.