Strong Opinions @marksbirch

Random thoughts from a NYC entrepreneur and investor about start-ups, technology and the people that make it all happen. Also find time for good tunes and good food.
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Flash and the PDF: Computing’s Last Great (and Now Endangered) Monopolies

Given the proliferation of computing gadgets and operating systems, many standards have collapsed. There are few near-monopolies left. Microsoft Office is everywhere, but increasingly unnecessary. Even mighty Google’s search market share is only around 66 percent. 

But you know, there are two 90s-era products that continue to have ridiculous installed bases: Adobe’s Flash and PDF.

Read more. [Image: Asymco]

I am convinced that the only thing keeping Flash alive is restaurants and musicians.  There is some misbegotten belief that it is somehow a more appealing and professional and creative format.  It is not; it is just plain annoying and works poorly on all mobile devices.

As for PDF, while I like to think that restaurant menus are the sole reason for its stubborn existence, the fact is that PDF still dominates in business sales and legal settings (to my great annoyance) as the default format for the exchange of documents.  As with Flash, PDF files generally are not a slick and seamless user experience on mobile devices.

Can somebody please put Adobe out of business?  If anything is going to push users to apps rather than the mobile web, it is the roadblocks put up by the plethora of businesses and people that had their crappy websites built on Abode technology.  And if you are a web developer that is still building websites on Flash, I hope brimstone and fire rains down upon your head.

(via emergentfutures)