What Does the Xoom’s Flash-Free Debut Mean for Adobe?

The Motorola Xoom tablet goes on sale tomorrow, but the new device will not immediately feature Adobe Flash support (though Motorola promises Flash will be available soon). Considering the controversy that erupted after Apple unveiled the Flash-free iPad over a year ago, industry insiders like Mashable.com’s Christina Warren are surprised at the omission and wonder if Xoom’s Flash-free debut foretells the end of the popular multimedia software. 

When the iPad debuted over a year ago, Adobe blasted Apple for neglecting to include Flash-support on the device, an omission the company claims will prevent iPad users from being able to access “the full range of web content, including over 70% of games and 75% of video on the web.” Many consumers agreed with Adobe and criticized Apple for failing to support the seemingly-critical Adobe Flash. However, the debut of another Flash-free tablet suggests that Adobe, not Apple, is the problem.

"They (Motorola) are almost admitting that Flash is part of the problem and not part of the solution,” Eric Vaughan wrote in the comments section of Warren’s article. “Launching with it would have been just yet another reason why the Xoom is better than the iPad. Without it, it almost validates Apple.”

Could the absence of Flash on popular tablets like the iPad and Xoom, as well as smart phones and other devices, spell the end for Adobe (regardless of whose fault it is)? As Mashable writer Christina Warren notes, many video publishers have gotten used to a life without Flash and the multimedia software has always been criticized for being annoying, intrusive, and affecting the usability of web pages. 

“Adobe needs to make huge strides in the mobile front in order to stay relevant because although mobile devices are becoming more powerful, people are already adapting their sites to mobile-friendly versions sans Flash,” wrote koolerye.

Suzerain dislikes Adobe Flash in general and hopes to see it gone.

“As a professional web developer, I'd like to say that I'd like to see Flash killed,” he/she commented. “It's great for doing whizbang presentations, and it's good for embedded games, but it actually makes the overall web browsing experience worse, and the sooner we can convert development to HTML5/JavaScript, the better.”

Is Adobe Flash on the way out? Only time tell will tell. However, until a high-quality version of Flash is readily available on smart phones and tablets, Adobe risks fading into obscurity.

Click here to view the full article on Mashable.com.

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Categories: Gadgets and Gizmos

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