Wow. I’m still speechless.
Having spent a significant part of my previous life guiding client research, strategy, and competitive analysis for Openwave, I’m completely floored by this news.
Flash is a jazzy media player. Flash is also a very kick-ass application platform, very much like a browser is. Macromedia has also nutured a huge and formidable Flash developer community, and has leveraged Flash’s strengths extremely well, packaging their core technologies to bring value to customers and users.
And this is quite a story when Macromedia decided to go mobile. Openwave makes a web browser, and let’s face it, when you stack up a traditional mobile web browser against mobile Flash, it’s clear who’s sexier.
And when we (Openwave ‘we’) realized Macromedia was going mobile (this was before they announced it several years ago), our strategic direction shifted. One of those directions was SVG and to a more limited extent, a partnership with Adobe.
One thing I remember vividly is back when Thomas Reardon wanted to show something SVG related at DEMOmobile 2003. So I set about packaging the prototype SVG engine at that time, integrating it into our UI framework, and building several sexy demos to show off our engine’s capabilities. The demo was a big hit, and I heard that Reardon and the Macromedia CEO exchanged some words after the presentation.
Now that Adobe and Macromedia are part of the same family, I hope their respective technologies can stop vesting so much energy in competing and combine their strengths to make forward progress in moving rich internet applications, media, and mobile forward.
Though I do worry, it’s a pretty large company now.
Update: David Shea weighs in.