SD Times had a recent article discussing Adobe Flex and the recent announcement that it'll be available under the open source, Mozilla Public License (MPL). The article was less than informative, but I found the last paragraph somewhat interesting. Adobe spokesperson, Jeff Whatcott, vice president of product marketing, took what jabs he could against Microsoft regarding the recently anounced Silverlight product. Apparently, Whatcott claims he's "puzzled by Microsoft." I don't buy it. If Adobe doesn't see the possibilities with Silverlight, they have no chance. I do wonder how well Adobe will be able to compete in the long run, tho. As I see it, Adobe has three major products: Photoshop, Flash, and Acrobat. Then again, it's not really Acrobat, it's the PDF document format. Either way, Adobe has built itself around these products and hasn't done a whole lot to maintain that. Adobe's been lucky to have had enough of a lead to keep its head above the water, but this isn't the first time a market-leader has led with a lack-luster product. Hell, look at IBM Rational and their Rose tool. Honestly, if you ask me, Adobe isn't very good at software. Outside of the Macromedia tools, Adobe doesn't have what I'd consider quality tools -- they're slow, bloated, and less than user-friendly. It's only a matter of time before they become obsolete. I'm not saying it'll be Microsoft or that Microsoft "get's it," because I think there's a long way to go. On the other hand, I believe Microsoft has a decent chance. Now, if only they'd perform at their peak.
Whatcott continued by saying, "[Microsoft is] doing what they need to do to have a story in the marketplace." I thought this was funny. He obviously is trying to insinuate that Microsoft doesn't have a chance and is only giving Silverlight a shot to roll the dice. I have to say that this is definitely not the case. I see Silverlight as a serious competitor to Flash. True, Microsoft is quick to state that Silverlight isn't a "Flash killer;" but think about it, they're simply staying away from that because they know Silverlight isn't quite there yet -- heck, it hasn't even been released. Let's face it, how cocky would it be to say, "We have Flash++ right here." That's just not a smart move. That'd be just as moronic as the "unbreakable" campaign Oracle ran for a while (see also: Oracle Unbreakable No More? ) or the funny ad I saw for Sun Solaris stating that it was the most complicated operating system available -- seriously, does that make you want to buy it? There's a long road to go for this interactive media game and my money's on Microsoft... literally. I think Microsoft has the superior solution, roadmap, and game plan. Adobe has the marketshare, but that's fairly volatile. I expect to see Silverlight on most people's computers within two years of its release, if not one. As-is, Flash is rarely used for truly interactive content. Macromedia never really pushed it enough to squeeze out its potential and now, with Silverlight integrated into the client and server -- especially with .NET -- Flash's time is limited. Flex is merely a gasp for air. Ok, maybe it's not quite that dire, but the future will definitely be interesting and I think Microsoft has the upperhand... even tho it's starting from the bottom. Heck, Adobe is grasping for straws with comments like, "[Microsoft is] simply trying to drive more people to Windows," and, "We're not about any particular operating system." First off, Silverlight is being released for multiple browsers on multiple platforms with plans to expand that fairly quickly to mobile devices. That's only the start. So tell me, what does that have to do with Windows? Absolutely nothing. Nothing about Silverlight requires Windows. You can create your Silverlight apps in vi, host them on Unix, and view them on a Mac. Where is Windows there? Whatcott's follow-on comment is even funnier. No, Adobe's not about any particular operating system because it's not an OS company. Whatcott is throwing out comments that have nothing to do with the discussion to gain favor of the anti-Microsoft zealots and make it seem like Microsoft is all about the almighty dollar. Believe it or not, there's a bigger picture and Microsoft sees and pushes towards that more than any other software company in the world. Just look at how much money Microsoft puts into research and development. What has Adobe done to progress the industry?