Feeds

Can't find a smartbook to buy? Blame Adobe

Vendors waiting for Flash, suggests ARM exec

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Adobe's failure to release a version of Flash optimised for ARM CPUs, not the hardware itself, is what is holding back the release of netbooks based on the chip platform.

That's the clear conclusion to be drawn from comments made by ARM marketing chief Ian Drew in an interview with ZDNet UK this week.

"We thought they would be launched by now, but they're not," Drew said. "I think one reason is to do with software maturity. We've seen things like Adobe [Flash] slip — we'd originally scheduled for something like 2009."

To be fair to Adobe, developing a version of Flash for so-called 'smartbooks' isn't straightforward. The code has to be tweaked for each operating system - despite the prevalence of Android, the OS isn't yet a given - and for the underlying silicon infrastructure.

Different ARM licensees produce different and not always fully compatible ARM-based CPUs, and an app created to run on one is not necessarily certified to run on the other. That means it has to make multiple versions, and it's not going to do that off its own bat - someone has to pay for the development work.

The Android-on-ARM version of Flash is expected to appear in the second half of 2010. It was expected to appear last year. Maybe ARM needs to re-negotiate the development deal its signed with Adobe in 2008.

This lack of a consistent, single version of Flash for ARM devices is what allowed Intel to claim its Atom platform is much more suited to presenting the so-called "full web experience" - Flash support, essentially - in a mobile device. Since Atom runs Windows with the same compatibility as any other Intel CPU, Atom-based netbooks are ready to run that OS, its many browsers and the now well-established Flash plug-ins they all use.

Difficulties encountered in persuading Adobe to create a Flash implementation for the iPhone's OS and hardware combination - or maybe just the cost - is almost certainly why the Apple device has always lacked the capability, which Steve Jobs is now trying to portray as an advantage.

Indeed, the momentum gathering behind HTML 5 - even Microsoft seems keen on it - may shift the balance of power away from Adobe. That will either see Google, ARM and co. making a strategic move to HTML 5 - or Adobe will, sensing the change, decide it needs to develop a broader array of Flash implementations to prevent its technology losing its relevance. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?
Tip: Put the shades on and you'll look less of a spanner
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
One step closer to ROBOT BUTLERS: Dyson flashes vid of VACUUM SUCKER bot
Latest cleaner available for world+dog in September
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Tim Cook in Applerexia fears: New MacBook THINNER THAN EVER
'Supply chain sources' give up the goss on new iLappy
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.