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Adobe plan p2p technology move

an image of the Adobe logoWhen all is said & done, Adobe, and formerly Macromedia are vendors of software tools. They produce software that enables creative people to do cool stuff. What they haven’t done is muscle in on the content side of things. That’s what their customers do, and isn’t ordinarily the domain of the vendor.

Of all the hot ticket technologies right now, Peer-to-Peer sharing is one of them, both politically and technologically:

“There are fears that a coming balkanization of BitTorrent resulting from increased commercial efforts will thwart it from becoming a widely adopted distribution platform. And more and more ISPs are increasingly blocking torrent-based content.”

P2P technologies are at the very core of file sharing networks, which are so much the bane of copyright holders, such as the music labels and the movie studios.

Now, as reported by Om Malik over on GigaOM, Adobe seems to be caught betwixt & between:

“Adobe Systems, now the owner of Flash multimedia technology,… has acquired amicima, a privately held start-up founded in 2004 to ‘develop improved Internet protocols for client-server and peer-to-peer networking, and to develop new applications based on these protocols.’”

On the face of it, this reads like every other strategic buy you’d expect to read about from the likes of Adobe and their ilk, but there’s something strange going on:

“Adobe recently announced a partnership with VeriSign, owners of the Kontiki grid content distribution platform … VeriSign told us, ‘[we] will be collaborating with Adobe for delivery of Flash video including movies, TV shows, broadcast media and user interface technologies.’”

Just reading this through the first time, it just sounds like Adobe paving the way for technologies to integrate into the likes of Apollo, which would free up their developers to churn out some pretty amazing stuff.

But I have this niggling feeling at the back of my mind that Adobe could be keeping their options much more open.

What we now know is that Microsoft has thrown down the gauntlet and made it clear that they’re after the creative market, and Microsoft is not averse to creating their own content.

So is Adobe confident enough in their own customers to make the likes of Apollo fly, or would they consider getting into the content side of things themselves?

There’s no doubt that Apollo has the potential to create a whole new class of application, one neither a web application nor a desktop application, but something more than than the two combined.

Maybe I’m reading too much into this. Maybe this is just Adobe bulking Flash up to fend off whatever Microsoft has planned?

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By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.