Feeds

Can't find a smartbook to buy? Blame Adobe

Vendors waiting for Flash, suggests ARM exec

Business security measures using SSL

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
DARPA-backed jetpack prototype built to make soldiers run faster
4 Minute Mile project hatched to speed up tired troops
Hey, Mac fanbois. HGST wants you drooling over its HUGE desktop RACK
What vast digital media repository could possibly need 64 TERABYTES?
Apple's Watch is basically electric perfume
It isn't just me-too Apple that's lost its lustre: Gadget mania is over
In a spin: Samsung accuses LG exec of washing machine SABOTAGE
Rival electronic giant tries to iron out allegations
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.