Adobe opens up Flash to 3rd Party Player Developers

Today, Adobe announced the Open Screen Project, which is “supported by a group of industry leaders, including ARM, Chunghwa Telecom, Cisco, Intel, LG Electronics Inc., Marvell, Motorola, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics Co., Sony Ericsson, Toshiba and Verizon Wireless. The project is dedicated to driving rich Internet experiences across televisions, personal computers, mobile devices, and consumer electronics. Also supporting the Open Screen Project are leading content providers, including BBC, MTV Networks, and NBC Universal, who want to reliably deliver rich Web and video experiences live and on-demand across a variety of devices.

No doubt in response to the growing threat to Flash from Silverlight (and a possible, maybe, vague, one day threat from JavaFX, which Sun plan to push at JavaOne in a few days), Adobe has been slowly opening up Flash over the last year. One area that remained completely verboten though was 3rd party players. Creating something that could render a SWF was strictly against the rules. The Open Screen Project though appears to relax these rules as of Flash 10. Adobe are publishing the details of the porting layer APIs and are removing the royalties involved in using Flash on anything but desktop machines.

This means we might finally see Flash 10 and Flex on Windows CE, the iPhone, Symbian OS phones etc, without havign to wait for Adobe to deliver it. We might even – fingers crossed – see the death of the awful Flash Lite.