Expert: Adobe security fail benefits Silverlight

Will PDF problems make Flash less attractive?

A leading security expert believes that Adobe's business will begin to suffer if it does not make immediate steps to fix its security flaws, with Microsoft's Silverlight a potential beneficiary.

Roel Schouwenberg of Kaspersky Lab points out that tolerance for Adobe is short after a series of high profile security flaws, and that it has mainstream alternatives that are waiting in the wings.

"The constantly growing call to move away from Adobe means the company will feel the impact on its business and cause it to invest in security," said Schouwenberg.

"While it's clearly the market leader, it lacks one critical advantage - there are good mainstream alternatives.

"As I see it, Adobe's in the same situation as Microsoft some seven years ago. However, Microsoft's main competitor wasn't as mature then as Adobe's is right now. Adobe has a number of competitors in a few areas - There's competition for PDF readers/editors and a number are emerging as viable replacements to Adobe Acrobat / Reader."

Flash, aaa-aaah

It's Flash that's perhaps Adobe's most famous product, and although there isn't a direct competitor, Microsoft and its Silverlight rich internet application could begin to gain more traction if faith in Adobe drops.

"Competition for Flash is less clear. Because the Flash format is still proprietary it's pretty much impossible for others to make Flash players that can hold their own against Adobe's own Flash player," added Schouwenber.

"There are open source alternatives but their functionality is limited. And it doesn't solve the issue of creating and editing Flash files.

"The most likely competition for Adobe is going to come from Microsoft. Silverlight hasn't made a real breakthrough so far, but if Adobe (Flash) security issues persist this is undoubtedly going to open a window of opportunity for Silverlight."

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Global Editor-in-Chief

Patrick (Twitter) is Global Editor-in-Chief for techradar, and has been with the site since its launch in 2008. He is a longstanding judge of the T3 Awards, been quoted or seen on everything from the The Sun to Sky News and is on the #CoolBrands Council. He started his career in football, making him one of approximately one journalists to have covered both a World Cup final and an iPhone launch.