Adobe is expanding on its mobile delivery options with the release of Adobe Flash Media Server (FMS) 4.5 and Adobe Flash Access 3.0 products, which allow its media server products to distribute video to iOS devices.
Flash Media Server 4.5, enables support for HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), a delivery protocol created by Apple for use with QuickTime and iOS by automatically detecting what delivery protocols the client device understands.
The Inclusion of HLS in FMS 4.5 is a pragmatic decision from Adobe as the company tries to secure the position of FMS at the center of its customers media distribution needs. In the background to this decision it has become increasingly clear that Apple is unlikely to add support for Adobe's Flash software to is iOS devices in the near term. (In fact the Cupertino-based company has gone so far as to stop shipping new Macs with Flash pre-installed.) The result is that Adobe's FMS customers have had to look to deploying software from other providers if they wanted to serve video to the iPhone, iPod or iPad.
Adobe's upgrade changes this by allowing Flash developers to continue to use FMS for most of their media delivery needs. Microsoft has enabled HLS from IIS Media Services since 2009.
At the end of the day Adobe is a tools company. Much as it has offered HTML 5 animation tools along with Flash animation, HTTP streaming along with its own Real Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) for Flash Player as part of its tools suite for some time, Adobe also opened up PDF and is now offering HLS along with RTMP. Ultimately, for Adobe it is not about proprietary formats - it's about selling tools.