Since Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) announced in February that it would drop Flash support in its Internet Explorer browser, the company has held its own.
True, relations with the "big dogs" of consumer tech have gotten worse, not better in the meantime. An Adobe employee working for Apache has ignored Microsoft's Do Not Track headers in the Apache server. The company is in a huge flame with Microsoft over the security of Windows 8, which could be vulnerable to an unpatched Flash flaw. (Microsoft hasn't updated its Flash support in Internet Explorer since July.)The Flash Player has been pulled from Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) online store.
What's going on is that Adobe has moved on while the industry hasn't. Adobe is now more about things like "TV Everywhere" and social-mobile advertising than it is about mere video or video editing support. Developers, meanwhile, continue to support Flash - Apple didn't kill it.
Cris Frangold calls Adobe "a smart play on streaming video" and he's right. More vital than its support of video is its support of existing TV content and Pay TV business models.
There is more than one way to play the video game. You can play it either through technology, or through the business models of rights-holders. While much of the tech industry is at war with video gatekeepers, Adobe is supplying them, so if you believe in those gatekeepers, and their power, you have a powerful reason to support this stock.