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Handhelds Cellphones Microsoft Hardware

Microsoft Accepts Flash For Windows Mobile 90

Posted by kdawson
from the embrace-is-the-first-step dept.
Ian Lamont writes "Despite Microsoft's aim to take on Adobe Flash with Silverlight, the company has decided to support Flash on Windows Mobile devices. Microsoft has also licensed the Adobe Reader LE software, so owners of Windows Mobile devices will be able to view PDFs. The two companies are working together on integration and OEM distribution, but Microsoft is still mum on when consumers will be able to use Flash or Silverlight on their Windows Mobile phones. The article points out that Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, and LG already support Flash, but only Nokia has announced Silverlight support, and only on some models starting later this year. The other major handset maker — Apple — doesn't support Flash on the iPhone and has no plans to do so in the near future."
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Microsoft Accepts Flash For Windows Mobile

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  • by l2718 (514756) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @04:21PM (#22787468)

    Flash [adobe.com] and Silverlight [microsoft.com] are fully documented, and there exists free implemenetations: Gnash [gnu.org] and Moonlight [mono-project.com], respectively.

  • by Adaptux (1235736) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @04:50PM (#22787826)
    Flash and Silverlight are fully documented, and there exists free implemenetations: Gnash and Moonlight, respectively.

    I tried Gnash recently, and the video that I tried to view simply didn't play.

    In addition, Adobe does not allow the documentation for Flash to be used for making or improving a free software viewer.

    Regarding Silverlight: yes, the docs appear to be not restricted in such a way, however that is not good enough. Who knows whether the documentation is complete? In addition, without formal standardization, nothing stops Microsoft from extending the format whenever they like and forcing free software implementations to play catch-up-if-you-can.

    Furthermore, there is always the potential issue with patents, which means that it is never clear that something which looks like free software really is free software as long as whoever has developed the underlying design hasn't made a a clear patent non-assertion promise. This is particularly problematic with regard to Novell and the Mono project in general, and especially so with regard to Moonlight: It appears that Novell is depending on this non-free patent license from Microsoft [microsoft.com] in a way from which I can only conclude that Moonlight is not free software.

  • by orclevegam (940336) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @04:54PM (#22787890) Journal
    I think the point here is more that in the case of things like Mono, they blatantly violate a known patent, and exist mostly by the permission of the patent holder. The risk of implementing anything on Mono (or similar patent encumbered software) is that at any time the patent holder can step in and throw a major wrench in your operations. With a truly "Free" implementation there is no known patent infringement, and even though there's always the chance it violates a patent held by someone somewhere the odds of that are significantly lower as it's essentially a given that the encumbered implementations do in fact violate patent.
  • by Simon Brooke (45012) <stillyet@googlemail.com> on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @05:25AM (#22793200) Homepage Journal

    Are any of those implementations, free or not, really secure?
    Or am I going to have to patch the software on my mobile too?

    Security has a number of dimensions. A heterogenous environment is more secure because a disease vector can spread less rapidly; and in a population with a dominant phenotype, disease vectors which attack that phenotype will be more successful and spread much more rapidly than ones which attack the recessive phenotype. Which is part of why there are fewer successful malware attacks on Linux than on Windows, on Firefox than on IE, but more on Apache than IIS. It's not (only) because Linux and Firefox are open; it also because they're subdominant. So if in future there's a serious malware attack on Flash, it's quite likely that Gnash will be immune, even if Gnash isn't, in and of itself, more secure than Flash.

    That is, until it becomes dominant.

Murphy's Law, that brash proletarian restatement of Godel's Theorem. -- Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"

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