Hey, Adobe: Dump Apple, go Linux

Who can blame Adobe for being ticked off? They wanted a slice of the lucrative Apple iPad/iPhone application business, but Apple won't let Adobe applications, or even Flash, on either platform. First Adobe responded by cussing Apple out, then thinking about suing Apple; now, they're talking about abandoning the iPad/iPhone platforms. That's lame. Apple's already told Adobe that they're not welcome. I have a better idea. Adobe, forget about Apple; go Linux instead.

Mike Chambers, the principal product manager for developer relations for Adobe's Flash, has already suggested that Flash developers start working Google's Linux-based Android operating system. "The iPhone isn't the only game in town," said Chambers.

Exactly. There are at least a dozen Linux-powered iPad clones on their way to market, and most of the early ones appear to be using Android. In addition, there are already popular Android-powered smartphones like Motorola's Droid. There's money to be made in tablets and smartphones that has nothing to with either iPads or iPhones.

True, Google seems to have its own video plans on Android and both the Chrome OS and browser involving HTML 5 and the VP8 video codec. At the same time, Google has shown that it's willing to integrate Adobe Flash Player into Chrome. Why not work even more closely with Google and Linux?

Think about it. Apple is no friend to Adobe these days. As always, Microsoft has its own agenda, and they'd much rather see Silverlight instead of Flash become the Internet and mobile video codec. Linux vendors and programmers, while they have no love for proprietary formats or programs will work with them, and are more likely to be friendly to Adobe than either Apple or Microsoft.

Besides, Adobe already has its most popular end-user applications, Adobe Acrobat Reader and Flash Player, on Linux. Why not bring over those mobile applications that will never show up on an iPad now?

Or, better still, why not really embrace Linux and port all of Adobe CS5 (Creative Suite 5) to Linux? Dump the Mac. Dump Windows. Make a strategic partnership with Canonical, Ubuntu's parent company, or Google with its Chrome operating system. The timing is good: Canonical is about to release Ubuntu 10.04, the next long-term support version of the popular Linux, and Google's Chrome OS will appear before the year's end.

To make it easy for Adobe's existing customer base, they could bundle Creative Suite 5 with Ubuntu on a ready-to-run DVD. Or offer customers such choices as CS5 Photoshop Ubuntu, CS5 InDesign as a cloud-based Chrome application, and so on. Developers get a ready-to-go Adobe development platform, Adobe gets partners that aren't out to kill it, and users get Adobe Flash and applications on Linux-powered tablets and smartphones.

So seriously Adobe, I honestly think Linux partnerships may be your best move in a business world that's growing increasing hostile to you. Besides, it's got to be cheaper than trying to sue Apple and has a much better chance of success than an Apple lawsuit.

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