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Adobe Flash on the Road to Nowhere

This Wednesday was probably the first day on the (potentially long) path to Adobe Flash decline

This Wednesday was probably the first day on the (potentially long) path to Adobe Flash decline: the most popular video site out there – YouTube – started offering videos in Flash-less mode for browsers which support HTML 5 and h.264 video codec.

This means that today the option is available for Chrome and Safari.

Then at some point they will likely add the Ogg codec and support Firefox, or help Firefox get native h.264 codec support.

And then IE9 ships and all latest browsers will play videos natively. Flash will no longer be required for video, and why would anyone want it then?

The whole story of Flash in retrospect is going to be an interesting one. Adobe had 95-98% penetration in PC market for years and could not expand its adoption beyond video.

They tried: kept improving the tools, added offline, even tried open-sourcing it, and getting to the mobile market – but Flash has not become an application platform – video is what most people use it for, and this exact segment is now under the HTML 5 fire.

Can anything help Flash now?

If Flash failed, does Microsoft’s Silverlight have a chance? So far they are basically following Adobe’s path of pushing it to consumers via video streaming websites while beefing up the developer story. As far as I understand, Microsoft’s thinking is that they can succeed because their development story is much better and their development community much bigger.

I guess we’ll have the answer within next couple of years.

More Stories By Dmitry Sotnikov

Dmitry Sotnikov is VP of Cloud at WSO2, building the cloud business for this leading middleware provider. Check out the WSO2 Cloud platform at http://CloudPreview.WSO2.com