Adobe drops Flash for mobile-browsers, 750 jobs to go in restructure

Adobe has dropped Flash development for mobile-browsers, saying it intends to focus on HTML5.

And the company has said it will cut 750 jobs in North American and Europe, primarily, as it restructures to focus on digital media and marketing.

Vice president and general manager interactive development Danny Winokur said on Adobe’s blog that the company would no longer continue to develop Flash Player in the browser to work with new mobile device configurations, including chipset, browers, OS version and more, following the release of 11.1 for Android and BlackBerry PlayBook.

Mr Winokur said HTML5 was universally supported on major mobile devices, making it the best solution for creating and deploying content in a browser across mobile platforms. 

“We are excited about this, and will continue our work with key players in the HTML community, including Google, Apple, Microsoft and RIM, to drive HTML5 innovation they can use to advance their mobile browsers.”

He said Adobe’s future work with Flash on mobile devices would focus on enabling developers to package native apps with AIR for major app stores.

The history of Apple and Adobe
Adobe Flash has had a chequered history, reported the New York Times, ever since Apple refused to run it on iPhones, iPads and iPods.

Adobe countered at the time, claiming Apple was trying to make more money for its App Store as companies such as Google worked around the problem by creating apps, PC Magazine reported.

Steve Jobs retorted by posting an open letter on Apple’s website detailing reasons for Apple’s refusal to accommodate Flash.

These reasons, he said, were business driven and about technology issues, including reliability, security and performance.  Battery life was another reason, with Mr Jobs going on to say that Flash had been created for a PC world.

“But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short.”

Adobe replied to Mr Jobs’ points, saying Flash performed as well if not better than comparable multimedia technologies, as detailed by the New York Times.

Mr Winokur said the axing of Flash for mobile-browsers would allow an increased investment in HTML5, and innovation in advanced gaming and premium video.

Forbes said the end of Flash development for mobile had proven Apple right with HTML5, while CNN International has more detail regarding the Apple/Adobe scrap here.

750 jobs to go
Meanwhile Adobe also said it was restructuring its business, resulting in the loss of 750 jobs in North America and Europe primarily

This restructure came in order to allow better investment in Digital Media and Digital Marketing, Adobe said.

The company said it believed it would achieve fourth quarter revenue within the $US1.075 billion to $US1.125 billion range previously provided.

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