Thursday, July 19, 2007

Position Vacant : Adobe Competitor Required

It's taken a while to sink in. But the biggest disappointment for me post ReMIX is that Expression and Silverlight are light years away from offering any serious competition to Adobe's Dreamweaver/Flash/Flex ( see Expression : Dreamweaver Cloned and ReMIX : Silverlight Surprises) . I guess I didn't really expect Microsoft to offer a genuine challenge in this arena. It's not something they have ever been good at. But I think it's very important that someone does offer an alternative. It's not that I don't love what Adobe has been doing. But monopolies are always bad. Adobe don't quite have a monopoly and it is hard to use that term when Microsoft is the competition.

I find myself thinking over Chafic Kazoum's perspective ; that Microsoft isn't really interested in competing with Adobe. They are just offering their developers an alternative to discourage wandering eyes. In other words the semblance of competition will be enough to satisfy most Microsoft developers. I was sceptical when I first read this view. But my experience at ReMIX suggests it has merit.

But that doesn't help us. We need competition. Competition fosters innovation and competition keeps software prices down. There are options out there (i.e OpenLaszlo) but they are too dispersed and too small to have a real impact. Perhaps what we need is for someone to start buying up all the Adobe competitors to harness their combined potential.

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