Adobe CEO : "[Windows] becomes irrelevant"

Adobe CEO : "[Windows] becomes irrelevant"

Summary: Well Bruce Chizen is throwing down the gauntlet. SiliconValley.com has an article which covers the present state of Adobe very well. In it they talk about the Apollo project, which I've touched on a little bit here on ZDNet. For a long time Adobe wouldn't talk about Apollo, but it seems that now they're loosening the belt and getting ready for an old fashioned street brawl with Microsoft.

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Well Bruce Chizen is throwing down the gauntlet. SiliconValley.com has an article which covers the present state of Adobe very well. In it they talk about the Apollo project, which I've touched on a little bit here on ZDNet. For a long time Adobe wouldn't talk about Apollo, but it seems that now they're loosening the belt and getting ready for an old fashioned street brawl with Microsoft.

With Apollo, Adobe is aiming directly at the heart of Microsoft. Adobe's goal is to give developers a way to build desktop-level applications in a cross-platform environment. As the article notes, "The notion of faster, easier and better -- gosh, that seems at least compelling, if not the basis for a new religion. The question is: Is Adobe the basis for a new religion?" And that really is the big question, can Adobe totally disrupt software as we know it?

Microsoft has made a lot of missteps with Vista, and it has been such a long haul to bring it to market that it is difficult to imagine what the next version of the Windows operating system will be like. Putting together an OS is such a monstrous task that if Adobe can come along and woo developers with a simple, cross-platform solution there will be some very serious soul searching at Microsoft about what to do next.

Adobe/Macromedia has excelled at providing the tools for people wanting to build their presence on the web. They have a big following of loyal users and those loyal users are excellent evangelists. If Adobe can get them to buy into the Apollo model for delivering software, then there will be a lot of talented individuals developing applications that will rival the offerings from Microsoft and WPF.

I'm sure in the next few weeks we'll start to see more news on Apollo. However at this stage there are a lot of unanswered questions. The two companies are absolutely on a collision course, and anyone who is involved in building web applications should be watching the fight. It's going to be a slug fest and at the end, we should have some fantastic technologies for delivering the next generation of technologies.

Topic: Software Development

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13 comments
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  • Cross platform solutions are the future ...

    because they free the application vendor from dependence on Windows. In the past they have been an unaffordable luxury, but with the relentless march of technology, the cross platform approach becomes more attractive every day. The time is drawing close where the developer will maintain ONE codebase and that codebase will be used to automatically and seamlessly generate binaries for every major platform in one painless operation. It has required a lot of effort on the front end, but the back end will be pure profit as every non-Windows sale will be just that much additional revenue. The race is on!
    George Mitchell
    • Do know how long I have heard this?

      The great promice of write once run anywhere has been around a very, bery long time and it has yet to happen.

      Don't take that the wrong way, it would be wonderful, I just don't see it happening anytime soon.
      No_Ax_to_Grind
      • And, of course, you are right too ...

        But I think we are closer now than we ever have been before. There is simply no reason why the same code cannot be reused. It is just a matter of enhancing the code and making the compilers smart enough. And there is simply no reason that developers should have to rewrite code for multiple platforms. They should be spending their valuable time coding, not having to deal with platform issues, ever!
        George Mitchell
        • Cross-platform Issues

          Code is re-used all the time. There are libraries out there that
          will abstract the graphics APIs of different OS and let you build
          on top. Java, whether SWT or AWT, let's you do the same. . . .

          The problem is that you need to aim at the lowest-common
          denominator, rather than taking advantage of what each
          platform offers.

          Write an OS X app that uses the core text class and you get free
          spell-checking, dictionary, etc. You'll get a free upgrade as the
          core improves (most recently, Google and Spotlight searches for
          key words in any window).

          If your cross-platform runtime is good, you'll get that too - it
          will pass calls down through the native OS.

          On the other hand, you could do what early Java did or Flash
          does - write a virtual machine that ignores the local OS as far as
          possible, in order to create a standard platform. Yes, that is
          great and cost-effective for software developers, but frankly it
          isn't great for consumers.

          Then there is the whole point about HCI and design - can you
          really design one UI that will work on a mobile phone and a 30"
          screen? Even between 800x600 and 1600x1078 on the same
          platform is bad enough. Is someone writing and developing on
          Windows really going to understand - or look at - the Apple or
          Gnome HCI guidelines? To what degree can software automate
          that?
          JulesLt
        • Huh? Mechanics should have to worry

          if it's a Ford or a Chevy? Sorry, don't think so.

          I think the biggest issue to the cross platform desire is that you can't optimize the code. Sort of like , "one size fits all" really means "doesn't really fit anyone well".

          Just my $.02
          No_Ax_to_Grind
        • We Are Close

          We are close, the computers are becoming more powerful and the runtimes are more sophisticated.
          ryanstewart
      • Absolutely correct...

        Once upon a time... there was this marvel called Java....

        ...where is Sun today? Exactly.

        I think Apollo will be doomed to the same fate.
        kckn4fun
    • Deja Vu All Over Again...?

      [b]because they free the application vendor from dependence on Windows. In the past they have been an unaffordable luxury, but with the relentless march of technology, the cross platform approach becomes more attractive every day. The time is drawing close where the developer will maintain ONE codebase and that codebase will be used to automatically and seamlessly generate binaries for every major platform in one painless operation. It has required a lot of effort on the front end, but the back end will be pure profit as every non-Windows sale will be just that much additional revenue. The race is on![/b]

      Didn't we hear pretty much the same bit about Java several years ago?
      Wolfie2K3
  • If all your competitors ?

    ? say you must give up your greatest asset, or downgrade its importance, that is as good a sign as any, that you must guard it, and ever try to increase its value. The client OS will become irrelevant? These guys are dreaming. Which set of creatures do you know have local intelligences that are not unique among its species? Which set of creatures do you know have no local intelligences? The idea that client OSs will one day become irrelevant has no basis in sound thinking. You guys might as well come to grips with this fact.
    P. Douglas
    • Irrelevant How?

      Thanks for commenting P. I don't buy that Windows per se will be "Irrelevant". I think the OS will become much less important, which has a number of ramifications. We will need some kind of OS for the forseeable future, but what OS we use may become unimportant. We'll start to make OS decisions based on features, speed, and stability instead of just "this OS runs what I need it to". Vista looks like a really cool OS, and I think more competition will be good for everyone. Vista might even "win" when it comes to security and other features. But applications should run on everything.
      ryanstewart
  • Ever heard of Java?

    In the 90's it was Java, now its Apollo... same script, different cast.
    kckn4fun
    • I Know, I Know

      I know we've heard this before with Java, but I think we're in a different environment. The web wasn't as advanced in the 90s and the idea of "web applications" didn't have a lot of buy in. Now web apps have gone mainstream and RIAs are a logical extension. Java was just to early for its own good.
      ryanstewart
      • The landscape has changed

        When Java came out, MS jsut created a competing 'version' of Java, and made sure IE would only run it's version. What it did was monopolistic and illegal - facts that were brought out in two cases against it (DOJ vs MS and Sun vs MS) - it lost both cases.

        Now, MS 'has' to compete 'fairly' (relative terms, I concede), and based on the strength of the product. I think this is a good thing, because I believe MS has more bright solutions that it chooses to apply.

        Instead of trying to destroy other peoples innovations, hopefully they will reply with a better mouse trap - that's going to be better for all of us.
        davidmartinomalley