Many innovative Flex developers have churned out some quality apps recently, and in the name of “Flex adoption” they’ve been touted by Adobe from conferences to AIR Tour stops to blogs and beyond. As recently as August, I can recall Picnick being proudly displayed during the 360|Flex keynote, with quotes from the Wall Street Journal helping proclaim the app as one that is so good, it ‘can hardly be distinguished from standard programs‘.
Adobe is super good about promoting success stories as well as popular and quality applications built on their technology. Developers see these and get enticed. They want a piece of it and so they download the trial and they just may (and usually do from my experiences) get hooked.
And while companies and projects like Picnick were being showcased around as prime examples of Adobe development technologies Flash, Flex and AIR, their biggest competition was brewing all along. The first glimpse at an online Photoshop, called Photoshop Express, has been released. This creates an interesting crux in both directions.
On one hand, Adobe distributes tools that our so good that they are releasing applications online in the wake of really successful existing ones that, for the good of their platforms, they find themselves promoting and drawing attention to. On the other hand, Adobe’s own product track (in this case, Photoshop) finds that its natural growth has it evolving into a product that competes head on with other applications that developers built with other Adobe products.
I’m not a user of any of these online photo apps, and I’ve only played around with a few. Fireworks (an Adobe inherited Macromedia product) is still my cropping, resizing and red-eye removal app of choice. But based on the huge quality precedence that Photoshop has, I am quite intrigued at how the premiere franchise from Adobe may thrive online.
And speaking of Premiere… should the JumpCuts of the world be concerned? Will Adobe take aim at more Flash/Flex ‘success stories’ in the online video editing space with a more robust Premiere Express? The next startup may think twice about building a super-cool Flex-based app in either of these spaces (and maybe more) knowing that Adobe may put something out there that could directly compete with them.
Or maybe we should be thankful that Adobe gives us developers a head start and helps us get SO MUCH traction by promoting the heck out of our cool apps built on their technology.