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MAX 2006 Show Report - Kevin Lynch's Day One Keynote

"Watch Out Microsoft, The Adobe Vision For 2007-8 Is Huge!"

There's always an inherent danger, for any company getting behind a meta-theme like "revolutionizing how the world engages with ideas and information ­ anytime, anywhere and through any medium," that it has defined a wish rather than a reality. The thousands of developers assembled in the keynote hall of The Sands Expo Center here in Las Vegas are undoubtedly united in a desire to decide for themselves which applies.

This morning they got their chance.

After a wonderfully upbeat, up-tempo performance by current Las Vegas live-act sensation Blue Man Group, the opening keynote by Senior Vice President and Chief Software Architect Kevin Lynch began.

At what he termed "the largest MAX to date," Lynch reminded delegates that there are 300 different team members from Adobe at MAX.

Right from the get-go he demoed Acrobat Reader 8, which allowed a chance to mention ColdFusion guru Ben Forta, before introducing the company's COO Shantanu Naruyen.

Since the Adobe-Macromedia "marriage," great experiences across web, print and multiple devices took a Great Leap Forward, said Narayen.

Flash Lite is now running on more than 1 million devices. 100,000 developers have downloaded Flex 2. Flash 9 has been a "stellar" release. And Flash turned 10.

He drew attention to the puzzle atop Adobe's new building in San Jose, www.sanjosesemaphore.org.

9 months after the marriage, appropriately enough, the new version of Acrobat was born.

Where Next?
Digital content is exploding, video on the Web is booming. Adobe believes "engagement" is a word that captures Adobe's strategy and encapsulates the competitive advantage that its product set gives to those wgo use it.

Lynch then returned to the keynote stage to remind everyone in the hall how the Flash Player is now on 97% of computers connected to the Internet, and how in less than a year a new version of the Player can now be rolled out - faster than any Web browser or Operating System.

Flash video is at the forefront of a video revolution on the Web, enabling people to do interactive video on their sites. There are over 200M PDFs on the Net today.

HTML can be developed all kinds of different ways, so Lynch introduced Greg Rewis from Adobe Labs to demo a typical Web site workflow to show how often everything starts in Photoshop, not HTML. Rewis used Fireworks to show how developers will be able to interact with AJAX just the same way they've been used to interacting with HTML, by using Adobe's SPRY framework for AJAX, posted on Adobe Labs and already on its third version.

Moving on to Flash, Lynch introduced a dynamic media workflow woth Mike Downey and Steve Kilisky. Using a future version of Photoshop, Downey and Kilisky showed how Adobe intends to "get out of the way" of developers and designers. Flash will now allow native imports of Photoshop PSD files, Downey announced.

Lynch then himself showcased some of the early apps that have already been created using Apollo, using the Flex UI running inside Apollo and a combination of PDF and Flash all running harmoniously. eBay has created a neat little app for managing eBay transactions and Lynch even put in a live bid (for a miniature model Jaguar!). An experimental MySpace app was next, and then a word processor app from VirtualUbiquity called Nimbus.

Lynch closed with an Internet TV application being developed in-house at Adobe, called "Filo." If anyone had any doubt that Flash video is at the center of the Adobe vision for 2007-8 and beyond, Lynch's slick demo will have without a doubt showed them that it will be.

He then announced the $100M venture capital fund which Adobe is creating to invest over the next 3-5 years in companies leveraging Adobe platform technologies, particularly companies delivering applications via Apollo.

A shiny new Jaguar was the final prop in Lynch's performance. "The largest mobile device in the world running the Flash Player," he called it. And in case anyone thought he was bluffing, he immediately jumped into the Jag and demo'd live from there how Flash technology was running all the on-board information and entertainment systems.

Microsoft needs to look out that Lynch and his colleagues don't drive down the information superhighway and overtake them: the Adobe Vision for 2007-8 and beyond is huge!

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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