Explaining Apple’s Flash Killer Strategy: SproutCore

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Apple could find itself in a position in the future when poorly implemented versions of Flash and Silverlight for the Mac could put it at a competitive disadvantage, according to Dan Dilger at Roughly Drafted. Both Google and Apple, for different reasons, have a stake in an alternative technology, and that explains Appleis resistance to Flash on the iPhone.

Web and client technologies have reached the point where Rich Internet Applications (RIA) are viable. One way to achieve that is open standards such as HTML, CSS and Javascript. However, the plug-in architecture of Adobeis Flash and Microsoftis Silverlight seize control of the client and basically put control of the Internet experience in the hands of those two companies. Apple is fighting back.

"...if the web requires Flash or Silverlight to run, Adobe or Microsoft can either intentionally kill alternative platforms like the Mac (or Linux), or simply make them work so poorly due to their own incompetence that those platforms risk becoming non-viable. Adobe has already proven its incompetence in delivering Flash for the Mac (and really any platform outside of Windows), and I shouldnit need to recap Microsoftis historical readiness to destroy anything that isnit Windows," Mr. Dilger wrote.

As a result Apple has been rethinking how this should all work and is promoting SproutCore. SproutCore, a rich way to access Web browser functionality, has none of the weaknesses of the old thin client mechanism. Moreover, "In Mobile Me, its new web apps tie into web services vended by WebObjects and WebDAV servers, but anyone can build SproutCore web apps that tie into PHP or any other existing servers that offer up data in XML or JSON objects," the author noted.

In a sweeping and credible essay, Mr. Dilger outlined Appleis Internet strategy that wraps up Mobile Me, the iPhone, and open Internet standards that will not only put Apple Web apps in front of a lot of Windows users but also put the brakes on Flash and Silverlight.

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