a response to Aral’s Microhoo? post

In response to Aral’s Microhoo? post…

Needless to say, Flash and Flex developers are watching this closely as Yahoo! has traditionally been very supportive of the Flash Platform. Something that will, no doubt, change if Microsoft buys it.”  — Aral

Believe it or not, I think Yahoo! is much less a ‘Flash’ house now than it was when I joined in 2005. Their centerpiece Flash/Flex app, in Yahoo! Maps, was in fact the flagship app for the entire platform. Albeit, it was Flex 1.x, it still represented the largest user base (at 20-30 mil users a month) compared to any other app over a 2 year stretch. The ‘hot’ properties at Yahoo!, namely Flickr, Sports and Local, never really, truly (as in – let’s shift our strategy to) committed to a Flash platform RIA. Only Messenger and Video remain the properties most invested in it – and with an MSFT bid, Video and Messenger, to me, seem like the two properties most likely replaced by MSFT existing technologies in Windows Media and Messenger.

How does this affect the Flash community and Adobe?

For developers, Yahoo!’s API support has been lagging for sometime. Maps, again a flagship API set, has not seen major feature updates in well over a year. Much of Yahoo!’s REST APIs still remain ‘un-Flash-friendly’, a term I used to describe their lack of crossdomain permission. Ironically, the Flash Platform team just officially released their token Flash toolset called “Astra” this week — providing a valuable kit for RIA development but representing little balance to the overwhelmingly successful YUI Ajax components.

Adobe and Yahoo! have been on the mend since Google’s deal to include their toolbar in Flash Player downloads. Case in point – Why has Yahoo! never announced plans for anything AIR? Or Flex 3? Messenger has really been the only ‘major’ app release on Flash Platform technology in some time.

The Adobe Google speculation seems laughable, but Google has been adding Flash technology little by little (and they said it would never be done). Adobe is booming with new partners, especially in SalesForce. Adoptions within these worlds won’t just bring Flash Player downloads (which Adobe seems to get more from MySpace and YouTube these days than Yahoo! anyway), but more developers purchasing applications to build on Flex!

Lastly, with talented Flash developers and friends at Yahoo!, I know all will land on their feet if this deal goes through. And who knows, maybe MSFT will see some light with what success Yahoo! can demonstrate in their Flash Platform oriented properties.


4 Comments

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  1. Aral 01. Feb, 2008 at 1:32 pm #

    Hey Charles, thanks for the interesting follow-up. Good points!

    I don’t know why, but my gut reaction once I read the news was, “if this happens, Google is going to buy Adobe.”

  2. alan brown 11. Feb, 2008 at 8:42 pm #

    For what it’s worth – Yahoo! Maps released an AS3 version of the api today. Check out:

    http://developer.yahoo.com/flash/maps/

    and

    http://ylocalblog.com

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