on Thursday, February 18, 2010
Flash is used a lot today. Nearly all videos and games are supported by Flash. The technology is quite slow and requires a real computer to make it work properly. It's also really buggy. But Adobe's era is coming to quite an unavoidable end. Here are the reasons.
The advent of HTML 5
HTML 5 is more and more supported by all web browsers (except Internet Explorer). This enables websites to use it for their content. Your browser doesn't need a plug-in for interactive content anymore. Websites don't need to rely on Adobe's technology, this is quite a relief!
For example, Dailymotion (a French Youtube competitor) has had a HTML5 compatible version for while. You can check it out.
As soon as web surfers will adopt HTML5 compatible browsers (if you couldn't see the examples properly please download the latest version of either Firefox or Chrome), there is just no way for a publisher to keep Flash which is too slow and too buggy.
The success of mobile devices connected to the web
There's this phone... you know... built by Apple. Quite a success... Yes, the iPhone is the symbol of a generation which is allows connected to the web thanks to mobile devices (iPhone, Google Phones, Blackberrys... you name it). These devices aren't powerful enough to make Flash run properly. Google and Adobe recently released the news of a compatible version of Flash for Android. I don't buy it. My eeePc can't make Flash work correctly, I doubt that Flash could be efficient on a mobile device.
This is the reason why the iPhone isn't Flash compatible. Apple knows their product isn't powerful enough to let Adobe's technology work.
The issues with Apple
Speaking of the devils: Apple and Flash are quite in an open conflict. Sure, there's this issue with the iPhone (Flash is not supported on iPhones). But Steven Jobs even said Adobe was too lazy to make its technology better.
Flash works awfully on Macs and on Linux OSs. It's incredible as soon as your on a page with a Flash, the ventilator makes loud noises.
Silverlight is getting better
HTML5 isn't the only threat to Flash. Microsoft also developed its own technology called Silverlight. Silverlight is better and better. Some websites providing videos are switching this technology. Even if it's kind of obvious that it will soon be obsolete.
Adobe Flash greatest strength is to be compatible with all web browsers. Even if there are still some disagreements to standardize HTML5, I'm positive it will work. All actors will win from it. Then, slowly, the on-line world will switch to the open and plug-in free format of HTML5.