Adobe eyes enterprise to shore up Flash development

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Adobe eyes enterprise to shore up Flash development

Apple claims dubbed "ridiculous".

Adobe is looking to boost the use of its Flash and Air development environments in the enterprise market, part of a strategy to diversify its business as it's disputes with Apple threatens traditional revenue streams.

"The multi-screen revolution is clearly coming to the enterprise," Adobe chief technology officer Kevin Lynch [pictured] said at the vendor's Max developer conference in Los Angeles. "There's a lot of potential there for us."

Much of Adobe's historical growth has been through its graphic design tools, a market where Macs play an important role. However, Apple's rejection of Flash has strained relationships between the two companies.

Flash has a dominant role in video streaming online, but Apple's refusal to install Flash on either the iPhone or iPad has driven some developers towards more actively considering HTML 5 and other alternatives for the same task. It has also raised questions about the long-term partnership between the two firms.

Speaking at the Max event, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen rejected Apple's assertion that it had excluded Flash from the iPhone and iPad because of performance problems, noting Adobe's partnerships with Google, RIM and HP for mobile devices.

"The market is breaking wide open," he said. "Any Apple claims about this being a technology issue is just ridiculous. We are on the side of making sure that we have open technologies."

Lynch, meanwhile, said that more than two million Android phone users had installed Flash, and he expected that number to rise to 10 million by the end of the year as a result of installations on newer-generation Android phones.

The crux of his sell, however, was to the enterprise market.

Lynch said Adobe Air would be a key development environment for RIM's forthcoming PlayBook tablet.

"Our enterprise customers want to leverage the BlackBerry platform," he said.

While those additional platforms may help Adobe remain competitive, the company also wants to increase its development presence in the enterprise, promoting the use of Flash and Air for businesses to rebuild application front-ends to make them more consistent and usable.

Lynch said that Adobe was close to completing its acquisition of Day Software - a provider of enterprise content management software - that Adobe announced it would purchase in July.

Disclosure: The writer travelled to Los Angeles as a guest of Adobe.

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