Cringley wrote a post on his blog today about Adobe Flash and the possibility of its becoming the invisible, ubiquitous platform for the Internet.“The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.” So wrote Mark Weiser in his 1991 paper “The Computer for the 21st Century”.
Cringley’s thesis is that Adobe PDF and Flash have become so ubiquitous that they are now invisible–essentially every computer used for web browsing has Acrobat Reader (or another PDF reader) and Flash Player. And with the Internet being driven more and more to mobile devices, Adobe has the potential to put Flash everywhere and make it the invisible standard for Internet applications. Adobe doesn’t even have to compete with Microsoft in that realm. (.NET has a long way to go before it can even compete with Flash, and Windows doesn’t even enter the picture.)