Battle for the Web OS

by Luke Wroblewski July 12, 2005

Some analysts believe Adobe bought Macromedia to bulk up against Microsoft and maintain its position as the creative editing and digital document software leader. Microsoft’s recent product assault against Adobe/Macromedia certainly backs this theory up:

Others, however, think the real battle is over Web application platforms and Microsoft’s Avalon & XAML offerings:

“There are three major non-Microsoft platforms that are critical in Web applications - Flash, PDF and Java. This merger puts two of the three together."

Flash has even been characterized as a direct threat to Windows:

“Microsoft has described its vision of Windows applications integrated tightly into the Internet through the company's Longhorn operating system, but numerous delays have allowed alternatives such as Flash and AJAX to gain traction. If you can develop all of your apps in a browser, it makes the OS less relevant."

Which may be Google’s strategy as well:

“In less than two years Google will have a million-node computer operating as a single, optimized operating system for web-based applications. Who needs Windows when anyone can have free unlimited access to the world's fastest computer running the smartest operating system?”

Mozilla and Opera have also teamed up to take on Microsoft’s Web application framework:

“The Mozilla Foundation and Opera Software collaborated on the document, which represents their "consensus" opinion in the context of standards for Web Applications, and Compound Documents.”