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Adobe Recants: Flash and Interactive Apps Cancelled

[Editor’s note: This was our 2009 April Fool’s Post]

Apparently someone high up at Adobe had the Ghosts of Publishing Past, Present, and Future appear to them last night, because we just received this surprising press release:


SAN JOSE — Adobe Systems, Inc., today announces that effective immediately development and distribution of all interactive technologies have been cancelled, including Adobe Flash, Adobe Flex, Adobe Thermo, Adobe AIR, and Adobe Cold Fusion. Shantanu Narayen, President and Chief Executive Officer, first announced the news in a company Tweet, stating in the usual 140 characters or less: “R U using RIA? No one else is either. We were wrong, RIA just a fad, sorry: #dumbidea #restructure”

RIAs, or Rich Internet Applications, were thought to be the future of the Web. However, the resurgence in popularity of basic HTML apps, such as PageMill and Visual Studio, made it clear that the public didn’t really care for fancy graphics or interactive features. Similarly, repeated delays in releasing Flash for the iPhone brought the world-wide realization that a technology that doesn’t work on an iPhone is an abomination against all that is holy and good.

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Video products such as Premiere and After Effects were not affected by the decision. As Narayen pointed out, “Come on, everyone is still going to watch TV. We have to keep up those products. Besides, After Effects is just too cool to kill. You can paste a movie into a TV screen that’s part of the background of another TV show! My kid showed me, they used it on Two and Half Men last night.”

Similarly, PDF products such as Acrobat will continue, though without their interactive features. Jack Smyth, senior analyst for the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, said, “We rely heavily on PDF technology, so we would have squashed Adobe like a bug if they dropped it entirely. But in a recent audit of Adobe’s business expenses we discovered that Acrobat software engineers and product managers were making PDFs more ‘fun’ and ‘cool’ which are obviously not business-related pursuits. The transition effects were the last straw?’Glitter?’ Seriously??thus we had no choice but to classify all interactive PDF expenses as additional employee compensation, just like any other benefit.”

Adobe has held firm on last year’s decision to drop support for Print Publishing technologies. Adobe’s new focus will be on building 21st century tools that enable total engagement in customer-enhanced experience for knowledge workers. “Adobe’s action plan is to iteratively expose our user-centric feature set via an agile development cycle which synergistically generates top-down functionality out of the box,” clarified chief technology officer and senior vice president Kevin Lynch.

Of course, if you’re still reading this, and haven’t yet noticed the publication date of this press release, we encourage you to buy Adobe Gullible with patented Fu Ling technology.

In other InDesign related news, Adobe announced:

  • Due to recent economic developments, Adobe will be shipping CS5 next month, and future versions will shift to a 4-month release cycle rather than forcing people to wait 18 months before handing over “whatever is in your wallet or purse.”
  • InDesign CS5 will remove the ability to enter arbitrary leading amounts for text, reverting back to the simpler “Single space,” “150% Space” and “Double Space.” As senior product manager Michael Ninness pointed out, “Leading is confusing to users. I mean, even the name is confusing. Is it ‘leeding’ or ‘ledding’? We couldn’t figure it out, so we’re cutting it.”
  • The next version of InDesign will incorporate more technology from other Creative Suite apps. For example, the InDesign team particularly liked Photoshop’s “throw” and “rotate the canvas arbitrary degrees” features. So you will soon be able to spin your InDesign spreads in real time by “flicking” them with a mouse or stylus gesture. The spread can continue spinning while you work, allowing you to unleash your creative potential, such as in this leaked InDesign CS5 document:

  • Martin says:

    I heard the same here from Adobe Europe! Hard to believe… but that’s the buisness!

  • Laurens says:

    I am not surprised leading is thrown out of InDesign. Legislation such as Europe’s RoHS rules simply no longer allow the use of such poisonous metals. Even for the use of spaces, which are nothing but ’empty air’, you’ll soon enough have to buy carbon credits.

  • Mike Coyle says:

    I heard that Adobe has decided to only release future versions of software for English speakers, therefore forcing everyone to learn this beautiful language. My Italian work colleagues are up in arms. Now I’m laughing!

  • Can I have a prize? I’m sure this is an April fool’s joke..

  • In other design software news Quark today announced that they are now supporting direct import of Microsoft Publisher files, while extending the capabilities of Quark’s vista image plug-in to natively handle hand-painted graphics (up to ISO A1 size, but black and white only) without the need for a scanner.

  • James Fritz says:

    Hopefully the rumors of PageMaker 8 replacing InDesign CS5 are true.

    I hope I hope I hope.

  • Alexandre Giesbrecht says:

    So InDesign now will be “unleaded”? I guess it’s their contribution to overcome global heating.

    What about those rumors of Microsoft buying Adobe? “Microsoft InDesign” (I can’t believe I just typed that) or “Microsoft InDesign Word” (worse still).

  • Michael Gaughen says:

    I am quite glad to read this. Seems each time a document would come back from the printer, all the formatting was perfect, all the colors sharp and spot on, but the animations wouldn’t move on the page – no matter how high quality of paper was used.

    Customers stated it didn’t matter how many times they tried turning the pages again or how hard they pushed the button with their fingers, it just wouldn’t go.

    I usually blamed the printer, but had to admit it was likely something about Flash.

  • Jennie says:

    I understand that Adobe has also trimmed their type library to six faces.

    On the InDesign front, Adobe has reinstated two spaces after each sentence and has dumped tabs. You will now type five spaces to indent a paragraph.

  • Gary Spedding says:

    When I got to Leading being eliminated in InD that was the proof of the April the 1st pudding here folks.

  • Eugene says:

    I heard CS5 will not be running on computers. Instead you’ll be shipped a box with an opaque marker, masking tape, scotch tape, a calibrated steel rule, scalpel, 100 sheets of bromide gloss 8×10 and a trusty pencil, as a starter kit for designing, unfortunately it won’t be shipped with imagination you have to supply that yourself. The bad news is that Europeans will have to pay double the price to account for postage and packaging.

  • In other news, QuarkXPress 9 will be released later today. It will be bug free and have every feature of InDesign, plus more. They will also incorporate “true” professional web design technologies like a Dreamweaver editor built in so people can design for both print and web. Quark admitted that their previous attempts failed in this area and didn’t really work in the real world.

    The asking price for the upgrade will be: Free! Quark realized how much they have overcharged in the past and have apologized. This free upgrade is their attempt to make amends and heal the wounds so all InDesign users can “come home to mama Quark.”

    P.S. The next upgrade will need to cost $1000 because otherwise they’ll go bankrupt because of this free version. So start saving now.

  • Jean-Claude Tremblay says:

    But wait …. look at this Breaking news: Adobe opening “Flash City” stores around the world!

  • Tim says:

    You guys are evil! Pretty good. You had me going for awhile.

  • DrWatson says:

    OK, here’s the deal: I’d go with the 4-month-product-cycle (obligatory purchase) if Adobe kills Flash instantly ;)

  • LuisRM says:

    That was awesome. I especially loved this one.

    “InDesign CS5 will remove the ability to enter arbitrary leading amounts for text, reverting back to the simpler ?Single space,? ?150% Space? and ?Double Space.?

  • Fernando says:

    Hello!! April Fool’s Day!

  • Jeff Kew says:

    We’ve also decided to change the name of the InDesign User Groups over to “QuarkXpress wannabees”.

  • Michael Trout says:

    What, I missed this while reading the InXPresign 0.0.1 Alpha announcement?!?!


  • Gary Spedding says:

    Ranks up there with three of the best from England.

    Spaghetti growing on trees – harvest fails – Panorama.

    Superstars disappearing – being colonized on the moon.

    And one today for PS lovers – creating new creatures – The purple furry creature the Lirpa Loof (read that one backwards) with a national show with botanists, geologists and animal scientists showing the history and life of this amazing critter!

    Keep em coming!

  • Klaus Nordby says:

    Hah, I knew it was April’s Fool from the heading on the front page. The best part was the Kevin Lynch quote — hilarious bizniz nonsense! The only phrase missing was how all these terminal terminologies would have resulted in an “even more engaging user experience”. God, how I loathe hearing that inane phrase from the Adobe suits!

  • JB in Reno says:

    I really hope the leading thing IS a joke! As someone who was trained in the art of typography, I cannot imagine not having fine control over the leading in my documents. PLEASE say it isn’t true! There are many of us out here who would be devastated if it’s true!

  • Pariah Burke says:

    ROFL This was a great April Fool’s post! Bravo! Bravo!

  • benc_academie says:

    You got me. Good one ID Secrets!

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