Competition is great for Rich Internet Applications

With Microsoft uncharacteristically building a cross platform solution, the RIA space is going to see an influx of competition. That competition is going to be great for developers, and I think Adobe will benefit as well.

This article at ITWeek is a very good read and points out a couple of things. One, with WPF/E, Microsoft is changing strategyies drastically. For many years they have relied on their dominance in the desktop to push their ideas and their vision for the future. With the success of web applications, the realize that their once potent OS isn't going to be able to carry them. Two, while Flash has been around for a very long time, it has gone through many identities and has never really been forced to deal with competition. Once it was simply a way to do web animations, but now it's become a way to build applications and deliver high quality multimedia. Now that Microsoft is paying attention, Flash finally has some healthy competition that will make both products better.


I think both Adobe and small development shops are going to benifit from having Mirosoft in the RIA arena. For the first time in a long time Microsoft is going to have to win with new ideas rather than just copying the status quo. While I'm sure we'll see other companies jump on the rich internet and bring cross platform solutions to market, Adobe has the biggest reach of anyone in the forseeable future. But with that reach is going to come a lot of responsibility, and Adobe can't afford to slack off.

I've already started to see more and more people take notice of how great Rich Internet Applications can be. We're still in the infancy, which means a lot more is going to be possible. Anytime you have two very smart companies competing, you're going to make a lot of progress very quickly. I think Flash is a great solution, and I hope that WPF/E keeps pushing it. I also hope companies like Google and Yahoo push Adobe to make Flash better. It will be very exciting to see how this plays out.