Adobe's keynote at MAX had a mix of technologies - we saw:
- Magazine creation for tablets with InDesign
- Animation of XHTML5 with a prototype timeline tool Edge
- Video playing on TVs with AIR
- Hardware accelerated 3D with Flash molehill
The question that Adobe didn't attempt to answer was
What technology should the 3,500 people in the room focus on for the future?
Adobe seems to be taking a tools strategy going forward - they will let whatever tool you want to use create output for the devices you need to target. Unfortunately Adobe has a broad range of tools, with different histories and strategies - and doesn't seem to have any vision as to where they are going to place their development bets in the future.
This is reminiscent of another large organisation that up until very recently had a multiple tools, runtimes and developer choice strategy. Nokia. If we look back just 6 months to develop for Nokia devices you had a wide choice of Symbian, Java, AIR, Flash, HTML widget runtime, XHTML browser, PhoneGap, Silverlight, Python, Qt and, I'm sure more if I was to look more closely (maybe commenters can fill in the blanks)
All this created confusion and lack of focus - none of the individual solutions was great, and development resource was spread thinly across all of them. The advantage was that this allowed Nokia to claim the broadest set of support for developers - unfortunately in the fight for developer mindshare against Apple and iOS, it didn't work - with Apple's iTunes App Store creating more outright successes than Nokia's Ovi store (or it's multiple predecessors)
With the arrival of Stephen Elop (ex Macromedia, and ex Adobe) Nokia's strategy has changed - they now have a clearly articulated, focussed strategy on just two development environments:
XHTML5 for the web
Qt for the device
While this strategy is painful for the developers who have been excluded (Java, Flash, Python, Silverlight etc) it does allow Nokia to focus it's resource on creating the best possible experience, and without the strategic limit of a virtual machine in Qt, I expect Nokia to be able to squeeze more performance per $ of cost and mW of battery out of it's phones hardware than it's competitors using virtual platforms like Android will be able to.
What do I expect? Adobe will start to lose ground against more focussed competitors, while Nokia will surprise people in the US market with significant growth over the next 3 years.