Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 16th Jun 2011 22:55 UTC, submitted by lucas_maximus
Linux In a blog post today, Adobe's Director of Open Source and Standards said: "we will be focusing on supporting partner implementations and will no longer be releasing our own versions of Adobe AIR and the AIR SDK for desktop Linux". McAllister says that "way back in 1999" he'd predicted "a significant market for desktop Linux by 2005. Obviously I was wrong. So we, Adobe, also need to shift with the market." Source code for AIR will be made available to partners so they can make their own Linux implementations if they so desire. Is there anyone in the audience who cares about no more AIR on Linux from Adobe? Anyone...?
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No one changes before someone else changes
by lucere on Sun 19th Jun 2011 17:19 UTC
lucere
Member since:
2009-03-22

"a significant market for desktop Linux by 2005. Obviously I was wrong."

Though the significance of AIR is rather low, pulling the support of any application from any operating system is akin to recommending to all users that they not use that operating system. That may not be the intended communication, but that is the perceived communication by the general consumer market.

The quoted statement above is notable because it is companies like Adobe who have a direct impact on what operating systems end users use. If CS6 was released for GNU/Linux tomorrow with Windows and Mac OS X versions following no sooner then four months, GNU/Linux usage would start increasing immediately.

The statement above is interesting because if every company waits for every other company to support something there is obviously no progress. Why was he wrong about his predication regarding the growth of endpoint GNU/Linux usage from 1999 to 2005? Because growth of an operating system is directly proportional to the growth of industry centric applications being primarily created for that operating system.

If Quickbooks, Photoshop, Autocad, Bloomberg Terminal, and other industry centric applications were primarily developed for GNU/Linux, the increase in usage would be immediate.

You may be asking, "Why does the operating system used by end users matter to application developers?". There could be many answers, but lets try these quick points:

- Receive more information easier about the operating system for which you are developing. Instead of battling with unplanned OS changes, trying to pry info from the OS vendor, and generally working as a subordinate of the OS vendors, develop for on operating system that fully works for YOU while they stay in the background. The bottom line is your bottom line development cost decreases over night.

- If your users use better operating systems such as GNU/Linux, then their IT maintenance cost is immediately reduced. Currently the majority of most companies' and end users' IT expense is maintenance such as reinstallations due to instabilities and security vulnerabilities and other issues sourced by inferior operating systems. When they update to modern OSs, those expenses vanish. They now can direct that saved IT budget to more frequent applications upgrades and thus application developers have more funding for R&D thus more funding for innovation and every body benefits from better applications. In short, any money a user spends on maintaining their operating system is money they can't spend on applications. It is therefore in the best interest of every application developer (especially companies such as Adobe) to both enable migration to better operating systems and be extremely vocal in recommending that users do update to better operating systems such as GNU/Linux.

Adobe identified the problem, but failed with the solution. Problem: there are not enough endpoint GNU/Linux systems. Solution: increase GNU/Linux development priority; release primary applications first for GNU/Linux maximizing the flexibility and power such an operating system provides and only later release scaled down versions for legacy operating systems such as Mac OS X and Windows.

Instead, companies that release primary applications only for legacy operating systems keep users trapped using those operating systems; the application developer such as Adobe is not doing the user any favors by requiring they continue to use those systems.

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