Well, it’s for Macromedia developers in the same sense that Win Forms is for dotNET developers and WebStart is for Java developers. It’s competition, I am sure they want more developers. With a good strategy, they deserve people’s attention. With good delivery of the platform, they could win some. Flash is the #1 plugin on the web, and is the foundation for Central. Central as a vision goes way beyond Win Forms or WebStart.
A service-oriented architecture would be able to plug into server-side and desktop portals. I think this whitepaper expresses the vision of the desktop beyond the browser better than anything else I’ve read. How they deliver on the vision is the key. Portals belong on the desktop, and I think they will get there in the long-run. If Central is successful, maybe it won’t be so long.
I would expect this strategy to shake up Redmond the way Mosaic did almost ten years ago now. Microsoft has not put a vision together like this and will have to respond with more cohesion than what they’ve done lately with InfoPath, Office 11, etc. Whether or not Central succeeds, it should at least move the primary move and shaker up to a new level of vision it probably did not have last Tuesday.