RIM Pledges Continued Flash Player Support on BlackBerry PlayBook

Hours after Adobe Systems (NAS: ADBE) announced it will halt ongoing development of its browser-based Flash Player application runtime for mobile devices, Research In Motion (NAS: RIMM) stated it will continue to support developers who have created Flash-based applications on its BlackBerry platform.

Adobe confirmed its plans Wednesday morning, stating it will focus its efforts on the fast-growing HTML5 web standard and enabling Flash developers to package native applications with its Adobe AIR runtime for all the major app stores. "We will no longer continue to develop Flash Player in the browser to work with new mobile device configurations (chipset, browser, OS version, etc.) following the upcoming release of Flash Player 11.1 for Android and BlackBerry PlayBook," wrote Adobe Interactive Development vice president and general manager Danny Winokur on the Adobe Featured Blog.

Research In Motion soon responded with an Inside BlackBerry Developer's Blog entry of its own in a move to assuage developer concerns. "What I would like our developer community to know is that RIM will continue to support developers who have built Adobe Flash-based apps on our platform," vice president of developer relations and ecosystem development Alec Saunders writes. "As an Adobe source code licensee, we have a lot of leverage through our own integration and support of Adobe Flash and will continue to provide our desktop-class Flash experience to our customers. On its end, Adobe will continue to support the current BlackBerry PlayBook tablet configuration." Saunders adds that all BlackBerry platforms support HTML5 browsing capability, based on the WebKit engine.

Adobe Systems released Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 just last month, promising publishers the tools to deliver console-quality 2D and 3D gaming experiences to mobile platforms including RIM's BlackBerry Tablet OS as well as Google's (NAS: GOOG) Android and Apple's (NAS: AAPL) iOS (via the AIR runtime). A superset of Flash Player, AIR enables developers to leverage existing code to build standalone applications across devices and platforms -- AIR extensions add support for unique device features and native code libraries, giving developers the flexibility to mix and match elements of Flash, HTML5 and native code.

RIM released an updated version of its BlackBerry PlayBook OS v2.0 Developer Beta last week, touting support for BlackBerry Runtime for Android Apps as well as the latest versions of the BlackBerry WebWorks and Adobe AIR SDKs. RIM recently announced it will delay the official release version of BlackBerry PlayBook OS v2.0 until February 2012, further casting doubt on the manufacturer's ability to effectively compete with market leader Apple in the fast-moving tablet segment. RIM initially stated it would release version 2.0 of the PlayBook OS sometime in October.

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