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Flash Player and Acrobat Reader merging?

There has been quite a lot of confusion this week over one of the items in the Adobe / Macromedia acquisition FAQ. Specifically, the following question:

What are Adobe’s plans for Flash Player and Adobe Reader?

was not worded well initially. Quite a few people in the community interpreted the answer as saying that the Flash Player and Acrobat Reader were going to combine into one uber web browser plugin.

That is not correct.

We have updated the FAQ answer to try and clarify this:

Our long-term plan is to develop a “universal client” by combining PDF, Flash and HTML in a single, integrated runtime. Of course, we will continue delivering the Flash Player as a small, efficient runtime for content and applications on the web, and Adobe Reader for viewing and interacting with PDF documents and forms. The integration of these technologies into a unified framework creates a ubiquitous platform that runs on virtually every device, and dramatically expands the opportunities to create compelling solutions.

However, there still seems to be some confusion.

So, in order to help clarify this further:


One of the primary reasons for the success of the Flash Player is that we have been able to keep the download size small. While the size will grow in the future, we are not going to do ANYTHING that jeopardizes the ubiquity of the player.

The “universal client” mentioned above is referring to the Apollo project, which is a project in its early stages focused at creating a client that allows developers to create and deploy apps and content using a combination of Flash, HTML and PDF. You can think of it as a successor to Central.

The only public discussion we have had about Apollo has been in some recent keynotes, where Kevin Lynch laid out some of our early ideas / thoughts about Apollo.

You can find a summary of Kevin’s Apollo discussion at MAX here.

You can view a video of Kevin’s discussion of Apollo during the MAX keynote here (Day 1 > Platform Future).

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