Adobe: Web standards match 80 percent of Flash features

HTML5 and other standards haven’t yet caught up to Flash Player, but Adobe thinks they can surpass it — and it’s working to make that happen.

SAN FRANCISCO–Adobe Systems, retooling as fast as it can for a future of Web publishing and Web apps, sees the technology as mostly caught up to the Flash technology that Adobe previously preferred.

“I think it’s close to 80 percent,” Arno Gourdol, Adobe’s senior director of Web platform and authoring, said in an interview during the Google I/O show here.

Gourdol, who leads Adobe work to embrace Web standards, has a lot on the line as the company tries to make a difficult transition away from the widely used but fading Flash. He’s eager to convince skeptics that the company is serious about it: “We’re not just looking at parity with Flash. We’re trying to go beyond what you can do with Flash.”

The company for years advocated its Flash Player plug-in as a way to deliver games, video, and slick, magazine-style layouts to Web browsers. But at the same time Adobe was struggling to bring Flash to the new world of mobile devices — including a particularly public fight when Apple barred the plug-in from iOS — the company started branching out to Web standards, too.

With new Web design and programming products such as Muse and Edge, and with an active effort to design new standards, Adobe is fully engaged in the post-Flash world now. Emblematic of the seriousness of the effort: two Adobe employees were the only non-Google people to make presentations at Google I/O show, where Web technology is a major theme.

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