Here is a really interesting take on Apple’s recent war on Adobe and their Flash platform by Charlie Stoss (whom I’m not at all familiar with, but has written a nice piece here). His basic take is that the PC industry is in a death spiral (true), wireless broadband and the reality of SAAS/Cloud computing is here, and the companies that will be relevant in this new world order will be the ones that are able to control the delivery (sales) channel and sell the applications/software. In order for Apple to be relevant today and in the future, they can not afford to support a cross platform solution like Flash.
Apple are trying desperately to force the growth of a new ecosystem one that rivals the 26-year-old Macintosh environment to maturity in five years flat. That’s the time scale in which they expect the cloud computing revolution to flatten the existing PC industry. Unless they can turn themselves into an entirely different kind of corporation by 2015 Apple is doomed to the same irrelevance as the rest of the PC industry” interchangeable suppliers of commodity equipment assembled on a shoestring budget with negligible profit.
There is a massive steel cage death match going on in the tech world between Apple, Google, along with HP (now that it has Palm OS) and Microsoft. Microsoft’s head is so “in the clouds” they are rapidly becoming the Sears of the technology world and on the fast track to being “Walmarted” by Google. They won’t know what hit them until its too late (if that has not happened already). From its very early years Apple has always been one to have tight controls over its ecosystem and we are starting to see Apple’s transformation from a PC maker to a platform developer. They acquired Lala recently and just today, I received an email from them saying that they will be shutting their doors. Why shut such a great service? So Apple can seamlessly integrate it into iTunes, put all your music on the cloud, and turning a desktop app into software as a service that Apple can use to charge a monthly/annual fee. Take this model and scale it to everything Apple does. This is where it is going. With all the rapid changes taking place around media, data, technology and how people consumer information, it will be very interesting to see how this all nets out. The big wildcard in all of this? Google and its Android/Chrome OS.