This morning I ‘ve read the blog of Adobe ‘s technical Flex evangelist James Ward, who had a chance to try pre-alpha Flash Player 9 on his Linux machine. James was pretty impressed and his Flex 2 applications work and look the same as in Windows or Mac as expected.
Flash Player 9 on Linux is big milestone for Adobe. Some of my Java peers are loosing one of their strongest arguments against accepting the fact that Flex 2 does your mind and body good. Knowing Adobe ‘s alpha-beta numbering scheme, I can guess that later this month at MAX conference they will announce Flash Player 9 Alpha on Linux, and one standing ovation and three months later, we ‘ll see shiny eye-candy applications running on Linux. The technical crowd (myself included) will write about a thousand of exciting blogs on the subject and will start casually using the product. But where? In the basements where many geeks spend their evenings? The end users won ‘t notice anything, because they are sitting by Wintel machines. But how about enterprises?
Adobe (credit to Macromedia engineers) was able to build a strong and vibrant community of people who enjoy working with Flex. Adobe ‘s technical evangelists deliver impressive presentations at conferences. So the-boat-shaking is working fine. But unless Adobe wants to share the fate of Ruby, which generates loud noise on the streets, but can ‘t pass security officers and sneak into corporate buidings, they should invest some serious dough into marketing. Java is huge not only because it ‘s a great programming language, but mainly because Sun Microsystems, IBM, and other big guys heavily invested into promoting Java.
In the past, Adobe was not a well known name in the enterprise IT departments. Yes, everyone uses Acrobat Reader, but this is pretty much it. It ‘s not an easy job to change the perception of being a designer ‘s vendor. Some serious investments into marketing of Flex 2 for enterprises is required. Need to jump a bit higher to get noticed from the Wall Street highrises. The sooner the better.