My Thoughts On Steve Jobs’ Thoughts On Flash

Steve Jobs just released an open letter to the mobile community explaining why Apple refuses to put Flash on any of its mobile devices.

It’s an informative read. But if anything stands out, it’s this: we’re at a technology crossroads and Flash as a rich internet application delivery medium is facing extinction (whether proponents of the technology want to acknowledge it or not).

The reason is pretty clear, Flash was a great stop-gap measure for a web without native rich media support. But now that native web technologies have matured some, Flash will begin to lose relevance. In fact, there’s really only one way Flash will survive as a viable option going forward: go open source. Please note, I’m not talking about Flash development tools here, I’m talking about the Flash browser plugin.

You don’t buy it? Remember back when we used to encode all our videos in RealVideo, Windows Media and QuickTime? Remember how, when Flash came out with video support, encoding video in triplicate disappeared over night? It’s the same today with HTML5. Now, instead of relying on a battery-life guzzling, proprietary technology to deliver video on mobile platforms, we’ve got an open, lightweight, battery-life friendly option in HTML5. And with the mobile web exploding, the timing couldn’t have been better.

Open standards are the wave of the future, and unless Adobe opens Flash, they’re going to go the way of RealVideo.

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