Adobe and Microsoft execs debate the merits of Flash and Silverlight, the looming threat of HTML5, and the battle for mobile dominance in our weekly Fritz & David Show Podcast.

Fritz Nelson, Vice President, Editorial Director InformationWeek Business Technology Network

March 5, 2010

3 Min Read


Finally, we talked about mobile, an area where the companies are, perhaps, on more equal footing in these early days (Goldfarb called mobile the "wild wild west"). Surprisingly (to me at least), Adobe's Murarka said that Flash is the second largest MIME type (behind SMS) in the Japanese mobile market. It also said that given its current roadmap, Flash will run on 19 of the top 20 OEMs building mobile phones (Google has been demonstrating Flash running on Android). In other words, it's just a matter of time.

We talked about Microsoft's support for Silverlight on its own platform, and while Goldfarb acknowledged this was the goal, he wouldn't confirm rumors that Windows Phone 7 Series (Microsoft's just-announced, new mobile platform) would run Silverlight, deferring answers until the company's MIX conference in two weeks (by the way, this will be streamed live from Las Vegas; using Silverlight, of course). Microsoft has announced a Silverlight partnership with Nokia and for the Symbian platform.

And then there's the iPhone, a recently-sharpened thorn in Adobe's side. Adobe has pushed developers to write Flash applications that can be compiled to run on the iPhone, and Murarka talked about Adobe's continued conversations with Apple on running full Flash, but he noted that Apple doesn't allow any interpreted code (Java, PHP, PERL, etc) on the iPhone.

Because there will be, by all accounts, more smart phones in the world than desktop PCs, this could be where we see Microsoft and Adobe compete more aggressively. The idea of running multiple rich application platforms on a phone doesn't seem feasible today, but as processors become more powerful (Google CEO Eric Schmidt talked at Mobile World Congress about how smart phone processors are essentially equivalent in power to the processors being sold when he began at Sun), it doesn't seem far-fetched two or three years from now.

Until then at least, let the Flash/Silverlight debate rage on.

Note: Some will point out that this piece, and our Podcast, ignores Sun JavaFX. We will try to return to this piece of the battle in the future, but we wanted to narrow the conversation for this go-round.

Fritz Nelson is the editorial director for InformationWeek and the Executive Producer of TechWebTV. Fritz writes about startups and established companies alike, but likes to exploit multiple forms of media into his writing.

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About the Author(s)

Fritz Nelson

Vice President, Editorial Director InformationWeek Business Technology Network

Fritz Nelson is a former senior VP and editorial director of the InformationWeek Business Technology Network.

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