I did toy with the idea of running an article on what technologies would be big in 2007.
But the whole idea has been done already, so I let that pass.
Instead, I’m going to focus on a technology that really isn’t a technology at all. Or, at least it’s not one technology. It’s actually an amalgam of many.
And therein lies the reason why I believe Adobe’s Apollo web platform is going to succeed:
What’s known is that Adobe aren’t alone on this. Right now, OpenLaszlo have fixed their gaze on the same spot in the distance:
“OpenLaszlo is an open source platform for creating zero-install web applications with the user interface capabilities of desktop client software.
So far, OpenLaszlo got off to a good start with having the Pandora online radio and music sharing service making use of their platform, but over time, Adobe is going to be the one to watch.
But that’s not to discount OpenLaszlo. Far from it, in fact. As I reported Adobe recently inked a deal with the Mozilla Foundation to share some code:
“Adobe Systems Incorporated and the Mozilla Foundation,… [blah, blah, blah .. PR flanel] today announced that Adobe has contributed source code for the ActionScript™ Virtual Machine,… [blah, blah, blah .. more PR flanel] to the Mozilla Foundation. Mozilla will host a new open source project, called Tamarin, to accelerate the development of this standards-based approach for creating rich and engaging Web applications.”
So what you have is a more open, caring, sharing Adobe — an Adobe less likely to shit on the little guy .. maybe?
In any event, what with Adobe committing to open source through the Mozilla Foundation, I just don’t see this line in the sand dividing the efforts of the two camps.
Besides, because of the truly open nature of the technologies at the heart of either strategy, it would be harder to keep them apart than it would to just allow them to work together.
Harder to keep them apart? But, wouldn’t that mean some kind of proprietary nonsense? Ah, yes indeed! And I just don’t see that in the tea leaves.
Interestingly, it seems that OpenLaszlo is a competitor to Adobe’s Flex:
“OpenLaszlo is often talked about as an open source competitor to Adobe’s Flex, because both are rich client application development platforms. And from the user’s perspective, a website built with Laszlo is almost identical to a website built with Flash (indeed OpenLaszlo has a Flash run-time option). From a company and developer perspective, the competition is pretty fierce between the two.”
However, it’s clear that Apollo is so much more than Flex. Indeed, Flex appears to be just yet another underlying technology used by Apollo.
I don’t know what to read into that at this stage. Whether it’s Adobe pulling away from OpenLaszlo, or Apollo coming at the problem from a different angle, I just can’t see which way.
Even more so since Apollo is still under development and much of the strategy could change in the coming months, not least as a result of pressure from Microsoft.
What I do know is, Adobe’s Apollo has the makings of the next big thing. And with the weight of someone like Adobe behind such an open, expansive web platform, the possibilities are immense and pave the way for an entirely new class of application…