RIM to keep PlayBook on Flash

Research in Motion will continue to use Adobe Flash Player, at least for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, even after Adobe announced it will discontinue Flash for the mobile Web.

RIM also said in a blogpost that it will push ahead with both Flash and HTML5, aFlash alternative, for the PlayBook, just as it did when the PlayBooklaunched earlier this year.

Google, which launched open-source Android mobile operating system,hasn’t commented on the Adobe decision to ditch the FlashPlayer in future mobile browsers in order to focus on HTML5.

However, many Android developers and partners with Android phone makershave raised concerns with Adobe’s decision, some saying they want tocontinue using Flash and want details on the progression from FlashPlayer to HTML5.

Microsoft decided not to include Flash in its Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” devices, after sayingearlier in the year it planned to work with Adobe to see if Flashsoftware would work with Windows Phone mobile OS.

IDC analyst Al Hilwa said Microsoft’s decision not to support Flash inWindows Phone 7.5 or Windows 8 Metro “has to have weighed in” Adobe’sdecision on Flash. “Deciding how much [Adobe should] invest in Flash isno doubt related to the overall investments that other key vendors aremaking in HTML5 …The support for HTML5 is overwhelming from browsermakers and platform owners.”

IDC predicts that 90% of smartphones and tablets with have HTML5-readybrowsers by 2013. On the other hand, IDC said it will take until 2015for 90% of desktop browsers to support HTML5, which is one reason Adobehas stuck with investing in Flash for desktop browsers.

Jobs never championed Flash
Apple and CEO Steve Jobs never supported Flashon its various iOS devices because of performance problems when runningFlash video that resulted in battery drain.

RIM’s blog, penned by Dan Dodge, the CEO of the QNX division at RIM,gave plenty of credence to HTML5, calling it a “powerful, openstandards-based development platform.”

Dodge didn’t say how long RIM plans to work with Flash, however. “As anAdobe source code licensee, we will continue to work on and release ourown implementations [with Flash] and are looking forward to includingFlash 11.1 for the BlackBerry PlayBook,” he wrote.

Notably, Adobe had said it will release Flash Player 11.1 for Androidand for the BlackBerry PlayBook, then discontinue development of FlashPlayer for browsers in new mobile devices.

RIM was “pleased” by Adobe’s plan to continue development ofFlash-based apps delivered via Adobe Air and through RIM’s BlackBerryApp World, Dodge added.

RIM’s Alec Saunders, vice president of developer relations, added toDodge’s support in a separateblog , saying: “What I would like the developer community toknow is that RIM will continue to support developers who have builtAdobe Flash-based apps on our platform.”

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