Microsoft Licenses Adobe Flash For Windows Mobile

Flash on WM, Silverlight on the iPhone? This is all getting rather odd.

I think we have every right to be confused…

Let me give you a timeline:

*6 March – Steve Jobs dismisses Adobe Flash on the iPhone labelling the full version too heavy and the mobile version too lightweight

*11 March – Microsoft confirms it will bring a version of its Adobe Flash rival ‘Silverlight’ to the iPhone

*17 March – Microsoft licenses Adobe Flash for use on its own Windows Mobile operating system

Eh? What? Huh? Exactly. Bizarre as it may seem however that is exactly the scenario we find ourselves in. Microsoft licensing a rival product (Adobe Flash Lite) for use with its Internet Explorer Mobile browser while trying to license its own product to Apple.

Here come the quotes:

“People want vibrant web experiences and access to entertainment and information anywhere, anytime,” said John O’Rourke, general manager, Mobile Communications Business at Microsoft Corp. “Bringing Flash Lite and Reader LE to the Windows Mobile experience will give consumers more of their favorite (sic) websites on the go.”

“We are thrilled to work with Microsoft to add playback of rich, web-based Flash Player compatible content and PDF document viewing to Windows Mobile,” said Al Ramadan, senior vice president, Mobile and Devices at Adobe. “Flash has revolutionized the way we experience content on the web and we are excited that Microsoft has decided to extend the experience of Flash technology to Windows Mobile users.”

For those struggling somewhat with this (believe me, you aren’t alone) let me offer these calming thoughts: 1. Silverlight isn’t ready for either platform yet so Microsoft is covering its bases. 2. Apple won’t compromise so is waiting for a) Microsoft to develop Silverlight and/or b) Adobe to do a better job with Flash Lite. 3. Microsoft – while developing for the iPhone – wants to simultaneously get one over on it.

What an odd place the technology world is…

Press Release

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links. Tell us what you think – email the Editor