If you’ve been using your computer for sometime now (what an understatement!), you might have heard at least one of the three big companies, Adobe, Microsoft, and Sun. Your first computer was probably a PC—a DOS- or Windows-based personal computer—so you’ve probably heard of Microsoft already. As for the other two, I’ve become aware of them about the same time, during high school:
Adobe specializes in graphics software, with Acrobat and Photoshop as its most familiar products. Sun, on the other hand, aside from being a notable hardware company, it is also behind Java, one of the most popular programming languages ever.
The RIA Battle
A few years ago it would be difficult to see how these three companies could ever compete side by side, but here were are in 2007, in the middle of a war for desktop, mobile, and the web supremacy, particularly in the rich internet applications (RIA) arena:
- Adobe, having acquired Macromedia to stengthen its online media arsenal, upgraded the ubiquitous Flash with Flex. (A similar program for the desktop is Apollo.)
- Microsoft swiftly answers with Silverlight, now touted the “Flash-killer”.
- Finally, Sun just announced JavaFX (during the annual JavaONE Conference held this week), also meant for creating and providing highly graphical and interactive media.
What Would You Choose?
All three companies seem to promise compatibility across platforms, mobile devices, AJAX and other web-related acronyms. More importantly, they each want to be the vessel that brings you the most advanced stuff on the internet.
To which company would you trust that (hopefully) mind-blowing experience? The company dedicated to programmers and system administrators? The company catering to graphic and web designers? Or the company that is the most ambitious in the world (next to Google, that is)? Chances are, if you’ve worked closely with either Adobe, Microsoft, or Sun products before, you might be unconsciously biased towards one of them, too.