One thing Steve Jobs won’t unveil during tomorrow’s iPhone software presentation: Support for Adobe’s Flash software.
Jobs said yesterday that Adobe (ADBE) hasn’t created a version of Flash that’s suitable for the iPhone, Dow Jones reports. Flash Lite, Adobe’s phone-focused software, isn’t good enough for the iPhone, Jobs said, and the version of Flash that runs on Mac computers is too slow on the iPhone. “There’s this missing product in the middle,” Jobs said.
Why does it matter? Without Flash, iPhone owners are missing out on a big chunk of the Web. Many companies use Flash for the navigation features on their Web sites, and the vast majority of Web video sites use Flash. (Google’s (GOOG) YouTube has made a special version of its site available for the iPhone, but most others haven’t followed.) Advertisers, no doubt, would also love for iPhone users to be able to see Flash-based ads.
Could this open another door for Microsoft’s newish Flash rival, Silverlight? Yesterday, Microsoft (MSFT) said it would make a version of Silverlight this year for Nokia (NOK) smartphones and phones running its own Windows Mobile operating system. Silverlight seems to run pretty well on Mac computers — it’s the reason that Major League Baseball’s streaming video no longer sucks. Silverlight support won’t mean much until it’s used widely on the Web — which might never happen. But will it beat Adobe to the iPhone?
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