Apple is turning the screws tighter on Adobe to kill Flash — with their latest update to the iPhone OS they’ve now gone as far as to put in their agreement with developers that they can’t use Flash. This got me thinking about the history of Apple: As old time fanboys remember when Steve Jobs returned to the company it wasn’t a happy time. We were all glad to have him back, but upon arrival he killed the Newton and put HyperCard out to pasture. In fact one of the reasons I first dismissed the iPod was that as an old Apple fanboy it was never going to be as cool as the Newton. Little did I know that it would evolve into the iPhone.
And in many ways people forget that with HyperCard Apple really pioneered the idea that non-programmers could program. Sadly Microsoft introduced Visual Basic which ruled the desktop — and then later Flash did the same thing for the web. When I first told a friend of mine who’s a programmer that Apple was blocking Flash his first reaction was that the idea of not having a fourth-generation programming language for a platform was crazy. So there seems to be a real gap which to me is a sign that Apple might be working on that gap.
Add to that the fact that a Flash killer isn’t a new idea: Silverlight is a living example from Microsoft. And while Silverlight hasn’t killed Flash, my guess is that it will keep it off of an future Microsoft mobile platform. In fact you can take this a step further when you look at the entire Adobe Creative Suite. Photoshop is now twenty years old, but we should assume that it will last forever. Apple has shown that they’re willing to go head-to-head with Microsoft in terms of going after MS Office with their iWork suite — so why shouldn’t they go after Adobe’s Creative Suite? In the video world they’ve already done this with Final Cut Pro killing Avid, so how hard can it be to come up with a replacement for Flash, Dreamweaver and Photoshop?