Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Abandonment Issues

The last week has seen some significant moves by major players abandoning efforts in the mobile / connected media markets.
The most recent is Logitech's announcement that it is pulling out of its deal manufacturing its Google TV set-top box.  CEO Guerrino De Luca called it's near year-long effort to sell the Revue set-top box based on Google-TV software a "mistake of implementation of a giant nature."  Issues with the implementation of Google TV limited demand, and a price drop from $250 to $99 per unit didn't help.  Logitech reportedly lost $100 million on its Revue player in the last year.
The Logitech withdrawal leaves Sony as the sole remaining hardware firm incorporating Google TV.  The Google TV software is included in some of its connected TVs.

Earlier in the week, Adobe announced that it was abandoning future development and support for Adobe Flash players for mobile devices.  While not giving a lot of details behind the move, there were hints that some of the elements of HTML 5 provided player opportunities surpassing Flash in mobile uses, and Adobe did stress its commitment to contributing to HTML 5 development efforts.  They also indicated that abandoning further mobile Flash development would free Adobe to pursue work on mobile apps.  One apparent advantage in the move is that Adobe can work on a single code platform (HTML 5), or on developing apps for a small number of mobile operating systems (primarily Apple's iOS and Android), rather than having to develop plug-ins for a wide range of hardware chip and operating system implementations.  The move may have a short-term impact on Google's YouTube, which has relied heavily on Flash as a video platform and format.  The move may limit mobile access via Android and Windows-Mobile based mobile devices, at least until new YouTube player apps can be developed, or YouTube can convert the millions of Flash videos it hosts into alternative formats.  Apple already has a YouTube app that translates Flash into alternative formats for viewing.
In a separate announcement, Adobe announced that it was abandoning further development of Flash Mobile Player for connected TV systems and other digital home devices.  This was also a blow for Google TV, which had relied heavily on Flash players for its video content.  In the announcement, Adobe explained the move - "we believe the right approach to deliver content on televisions is through applications, not a web browsing experience, and we will continue to encourage the device and content publishing community down that path." 

Overall, it's not been a good week for Google on the mobile video and connected video fronts.

Sources:  Logitech CEO - Google TV was a 'gigantic' mistakeFierce Cable
Adobe to abandon Flash plug-ins for mobileTechRadar.com
Adobe to abandon Flash on Connected TVs, too,  Mashable

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