I have been watching the Apple / Adobe tiff for some while now, with a lot of interest. Apple’s stance seems to go in the face of all the media companies that have invested in their Flash Media Server platform. Also it seems to be flying in the face of the Open Source buzz of the last few years. They have a locked down platform, for which to get on and distribute your content you have to use their tools, their guidelines and in the end get their sign off. And after all that, they can just turn around and drop it if they decide to change their T&C’s.
For a developer point of view, this is horrific. From a business point of view it is a very clever move. The hardware and platform is now so attractive to media owners as a way to get people to pay for content, that it is in fact making them turn from Flash to HTML 5. Now, I have used flash for 5 years + , and i have experimented with HTML 5. From early impressions , HTML 5 is not as yet ready, to a degree where i feel content can be made as efficiently, quickly and to the same level of that that can be created in Flash.
And it is this , that has actually impressed me more than anything, the fact that major content owners are now retraining, and investing huge amounts of money and time in changing their internal development capacity. The Apple platform and distribution channel is so good, and so appealing as an income stream that it is not about the best/worst technology, or the cost of development, but the chance to finally start making consumers pay for content again! And no just start paying for it, but changing the mindset away from free content from google, to premium content available on a premium channel.
And for me that is were the real beauty in what apple has done lies. By creating a premium piece of hardware, which is marketed almost entirely on the functionality of the 3rd party software available on it, then after getting thousands of developers on board while while at the same time slowly locking the gate, they have created their own Apple-opia. Regardless of how people feel about it, and how much developers moan about it, companies will do as they are told as the opportunity to make money (or the apparent one) is just to great to ignore now. And whats makes this more impressive is the relatively small market-share apple still has.
A great step for open source and freedom ? – possibly not. One hell of an envious business position to be in ? – hell yes. For all the complaining i probably have and will do about it, i wish i had thought of it first