There has been a bit of a gap between the connected PC browsing experience and the Mobile user experience in terms of web applications. Most applications which are available in a “mobile” version make use of standard web technologies, html, css, etc.. to be usable by mobile users on cell phones or other mobile devices. The gap that remains is for flash applications which are not very well supported on mobile browsers on Windows Mobile.
Microsoft will be licensing Adobe Flash Lite for the Windows Mobile platform. This means that we should be able to view flash applications on mobile browsers equipped with this technology. Adobe Flash Lite is capable of rendering almost the same things as the standard Flash player that’s on your computer, but there are some differences. One of them, is the inability to run Applications created in Flex, but I hope that’s just for the current version.
There are already 300 million flash-enabled mobile devices in the world, so this has nothing revolutionary about it, except the fact that from now on, Microsoft Windows Mobile users should be able to enjoy flash enabled websites as well. Web developers may have to create mobile-specific versions for users to get the most out of their experience because screen sizes and heavy animation are sometimes a problem for mobile browsers, but at least, they will be able to develop using the same technology.
Apparently, this is a very smart move by Microsoft because they have Silverlight on the way, but it’s nowhere near ready to be deployed on Windows Mobile yet. So this way, they add support for flash and prevent possible antitrust lawsuits for pushing only on Silverlight technology on Windows Mobile. Time will tell which of these two platforms will be the best choice for mobile users, but Adobe will have to make sure that Flash Lite keeps receiving updates and supports the newer versions of flash applications.