By now you’ve surely heard that Adobe has ceased all operations in regard to the mobile browser Flash player. I can’t say that I’m really surprised, but I’m concerned with how they did it and what it means long-term. It was apparently out-of-the-blue for not only the public but also the 750 employees that were let go.
That really sucks for the guys/gals who were let go on such short notice. I know that is one of my biggest fears and I completely empathize with them. The response from the likes of Doug Winnieshow enormous restraint and passion. It makes one wonder how someone with that kind of dedication and passion was let go. The biggest take away here, in my opinion, is that nothing is sacred and everything is open for negotiation. Good and bad.
As many of you know, I recently went all-aboard the ActionScript 3 train via AIR for mobile devices. I’m rattled.
The web was abuzz with all kinds of vitriolic drivel from the likes of mostly Apple fanboi’s. “Steve was right!” is completely and 100% bullshit. We know that from the reading the Walt Isaacson book.
I am rattled, however. I
knewknow learning and using a proprietary solution is dangerous. I saw what happened to the Microsoft Silverlight developers as they were promised the world only to have the rug pulled out from under them in one OS release cycle (Win 7 -> Win 8). Those Silverlight devs that saw it coming but continued to stay the course based on the promise of support are now really angry (22 million views? Wow!) and have every right to be.
So, the question(s) are; Are we ActionScript 3 and Air developers now armed with the same foresight? Is the entire Flash ecosystem on the chopping block? Is Air next as the great migration from Desk to Mobile continues unabated?
I do not have the will power nor the inclination to really debate this. Frankly, at this point I want to use the least proprietary solution available. I don’t trust the IT corporations to have, ultimately, my best interest at heart. Nor are they supposed to, as the bottom line is what keeps the electricity on and paychecks coming. Adobe made a tough decision and they should have handled it better on the employee end. However, make no mistake, this decision took guts and was the right thing to do from a business standpoint.