Thursday, June 09, 2005

Macromedia & Adobe Gunning for the Desktop

Macromedia has announced the 'Flash Platform', a complete system that includes everything you need to deliver rich content. Built on Java open source Eclipse (which is described as a kind of universal tool platform and an open extensible IDE), the new Flash Platform will encompass a range of authoring capabilities, effectively breaking out of the animation niche and plunging into the broader rich-media document space.

Flash Platform logo

The Flash Platform will provide developers and content authors with a universal client runtime, an openly published file format (SWF) specification, a programming model, development tools, dedicated server technology, integrated solutions, and the support of major systems integration partners, ISVs and OEMs.

It's been quite a week, starting with Apple's announcement that it would abandon IBM PowerPC architecture to embrace Intel's next generation chips. Analysts have been asking what it means (Apple's move that is), especially to Microsoft. The iTunes support for podcasts, and last week's announcement of XML as Microsoft's preferred document format have provided more puzzlers for pundits. It's easy to dismiss this Macromedia announcement as another me-too offering. But make no mistake, Macromedia and Adobe are keen to displace Microsoft's dominance on the desktop, and there seem to be a lot of tigers stalking Redmond these days.