Yesterday Om Malik broke a story about a team within Adobe working on adding VoIP support to Flash. I was actually at Adobe when this story broke (more on that later this weekend) but was unable to get any additionally information on the team. John Dowdell had some information and a host of others weighed in on the news. I really enjoyed Phil Wolff's post.
It isn't much of a reach to think about Adobe moving into the VoIP space. Breeze, now Adobe Connect, has shown what is possible when you push the Flash Player to its limits, and real time collaboration has been something Adobe has focused on for a long time. That said, the fact that Adobe is exploring the possibility opens up some amazing scenarios. The sheer number of people with the Flash Player and the already rich interactive experiences that Flash is capable of mean that we should see a lot of creative uses for any VoIP implementation of Flash.
This is also fantastic PR for Adobe. After spending a couple of days and talking to the teams, I think Adobe is way, way ahead of the game. They've been defining what Rich Internet Applications mean for a long time, and they continue to push the boundaries of what people should expect from the web. The problem is that many serious developers still dismiss Flash as a second best solution. YouTube and Google Video have help it overcome the perception as just a way to animate the web, but VoIP support could bring a new class of developer to the Flash Platform. Combining those developers with the designers that have mastered Adobe's products, and you will see world class Rich Internet Applications that change people's perception of what the web can be. For me, that's more compelling than being able to install a widget on my MySpace page that lets me talk to my friends.
There is simply no other platform in the world that provides developers the ability to reach as wide an audience, with the rich interactivity, collaboration and media intensiveness that the Flash Platform does. Adding VoIP to that mix just makes the platform an even more complete solution. I hope we get more news on this.