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Adobe on the right track at BlackBerry World

Mike Lazaridis, president and co-chief executive officer of Research in Motion, holds the new Blackberry PlayBook as President and Chief Executive Officer of Adobe Systems Incorporated Shantanu Narayen speaks at the RIM Blackberry developers conference in San Francisco, California September 27, 2010.


Chris Umiastowski spent more than a decade working as a technology analyst on Bay Street. He now works as an independent analyst and strategy consultant. He is blogging from BlackBerry World for The Globe and Mail.

Yesterday I had a chance to visit the Adobe booth in the BlackBerry World solutions showcase area. I wanted to ask the Adobe guys about Creative Suite 5.5. We were told, during the keynote session that morning, that this most recent version of Adobe's developer tools allow you to program a Flash app for Playbook without needing to use any other tools.

As it was explained to me, what actually happens is that a developer creates a project and tells the Creative Suite environment what formats he wants to output in. Imagine building a simple game. You'd tick off the appropriate boxes for whatever formats in which you want to export your game. Android? Apple iOS? Playbook? Check, check and check.

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I've been saying for a while now that developers don't want to pick one platform. They just want to sell as many apps as possible with the least hassle possible. The ideal scenario is to write one set of code and publish it to any mobile platform with no modifications whatsoever. That's the dream.

Adobe's tools make it much easier for a coder to take Flash apps and publish to all three major tablet operating systems. In case you're wondering - no Apple doesn't support Flash but Adobe's tool translates the Flash code into the Objective C language that Apple accepts.

I realize there is a big "app gap" argument out there because RIM definitely has fewer apps. There is no denying it. But it seems pretty clear to me that developers actually want tools like the ones Adobe is creating, and this will dramatically reduce the "app gap" problem over time.

I spoke to a lot of developers yesterday. Not one challenged the idea that Playbook will attract developers. Not a single one.

The author owns shares in RIM, Apple and Google.

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About the Author

Chris Umiastowski, P. Eng., MBA, has over a decade of professional experience analyzing technology stocks as a former top ranked equity analyst on Bay Street. Prior to that, he worked as an engineer in the telecom industry. His deep technology and analytical experience help him identify investment opportunities that come from sweeping change in tech-centric industries. More

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