Adobe Tries to Regain Edge, Charts Post-Flash Future

Adobe on Monday delivered a public beta version of an upcoming web design and development tool called Edge that appears to be quite similar to its Flash technologies, except that it renders standards-compliant HTML 5, CSS, and JavaScript instead of a proprietary format. Flash was once very popular with web designers but has fallen out of favor after a curiously public attack from Apple and its CEO Steve Jobs. 

“Over the last year, Adobe has delivered on several significant HTML 5 milestones, including contributions to jQuery, submitting code to WebKit, and enhanced HTML 5 output in Creative Suite 5.5,” says Adobe Vice President Paul Gubbay. “Now, with Adobe Edge, we’re taking our HTML 5 tooling to a whole new level and look forward to getting some really useful feedback from the community over the next few months, as we refine the product." 

Adobe is still pushing Flash as its answer for interactive websites, but the arrival of the Edge pre-release version, free for now, demonstrates where the company is heading. Not coincidentally, it's where the rest of the industry is going as well. Apple's well documented battles with Adobe have had many repercussions, but in the end, moving Adobe off of Flash was arguably a worthy goal. Even Microsoft is charting a future of HTML 5 and web standards in products such as Windows 8. 

Adobe doesn't usually open up its software this early in development, let alone for free, but the company clearly wants to get it right this time, so it's asking web designers and developers to look at what it has come up with so far and provide feedback that will chart coming improvements. The risk is great for Adobe, as it has come to dominate certain professional design markets but risks losing influence in one that is key for the future. 

If you're interested in checking out this product now, it's available for free during the beta from the Adobe Edge website.

TAGS: Windows 8
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