Adobe Joins the LF: Developers as Indicator Species

amcpherson's picture

We’re very happy to announce today that Adobe has joined the Linux Foundation as a member. I’m always happy to welcome new members of course and to recognize those companies who make a stand and commitment to paying Linus salary (amongst other things). But I’m especially happy because this is another point in our on-going case that Linux is the platform for Web 2.0 development today and cloud and cross-device development tomorrow. As I’ve said before, developers are the “indicator species” of a platform’s future. (There’s a joke in there about frogs and penguins but I digress . . .)

If you bring the developers, the end users will come. That is why everyone from Microsoft to Apple to Adobe and so on are fighting so hard for developer momentum. So this is why it’s not a coincidence that Adobe joins the LF now, with their current push for cross-platform, cross-device development with Adobe Air.

My favorite discussion of this announcement comes from VentureBeat:

But it [not being a part of the Linux Foundation] could hurt Microsoft in one area where it’s actually the underdog — the company’s web application developer Silverlight, which Microsoft is pushing as an alternative to Adobe’s market leader Flash. Adobe already has a huge lead here, so Microsoft needs to win over a lot of developers.

Now let’s say you’re a developer — again, the very audience that Microsoft needs to befriend — particularly one with an interest in open source, and you’re choosing between Flash and Silverlight. On the one hand, you’ve got a nearly ubiquitous product offered by a company that just joined the Linux Foundation. On the other hand, you’ve got a product that’s the clear underdog, and is offered by a company widely seen as Linux’s number one enemy. Hmm, tough call.

Why is this my favorite take on the announcement? Well, I agree with him, for one, but mainly I liked his headline: Adobe joins the cool kids in the Linux Foundation.
He must not know us very well.