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Adobe joins Linux-phone group to spread Flash

Flash isn't on the iPhone, but a Mobile World Congress announcement shows Adobe is working hard to make sure it's available as many other places as possible.

In an effort to spread its Flash technology as widely as possible, Adobe Systems has joined the LiMo Foundation, a group devoted to putting Linux on mobile phones.

Adobe's Flash Player is ubiquitous on computers, but the company's Flash Lite effort hadn't met with much success extending the programming foundation to mobile phones. With a new generation of relatively powerful smartphones on the market, Adobe is trying again with a full-featured but lightweight version of the computer software, Flash Player 10.1, due in the first half of 2010.

Flash is missing from the highest-profile smartphone, Apple's iPhone, though, and the upcoming iPad, a situation that has left Adobe unhappy. By joining LiMo, it gains a new avenue for corporate alliances, including some big names in the mobile phone market. Other LiMo members include LG Electronics, NEC, NTT Docomo, Orange, Panasonic, Samsung, SK Telecom, Telefonica, Vodafone, and Verizon Wireless.

Adobe said its Creative Suite programming and authoring tools for Flash will be able to create Flash programs for LiMo devices, a move it said will simplify building Flash into those devices.

"Bringing the Flash Platform to LiMo opens up a significant opportunity for Adobe to further its goals of open standards and multi-screen interoperability of rich mobile content," said David Wadhwani, general manager of Adobe's Flash business.

The San Jose, Calif.-based company announced the move in conjunction with the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona.