Adobe has just announced that Flash will be searchable! This is definitely a great news for a few reasons.
First of all, the obvious one, we all be able to search the content included in Flash objects. This definitely become a relief for many designers and companies who will no longer have to make a choice between having a web site with a great experience and having its content indexed by search engines.
Another consequence of this fact is improving accessibility. Visually impaired visitors will now be able to access the content running inside Flash objects with screen readers they're using for any other content. This will also lead to minimizing the effort required to deliver an accessible web site as one version of the site will target all (or at least most) visitors.
Combining "unlocking" Flash with higher User Agents standardization will hopefully decrease the effort required to deliver high quality web sites and Rich Internet Applications. Considering decreasing budgets for the technology for the coming year in the Netherlands, it might be a great news for companies willing to invest in new web presence/applications.
So far Adobe plans to release the optimized Flash technology to Google and Yahoo! only so they can include it in their search engines. Two questions appear almost immediately: What about Live Search? and When will Silverlight follow?
I'm quite surprised that Microsoft hasn't considered that aspect before releasing Silverlight. I believe that letting web browsers access Silverlight content would be a strong weapon to convince designers to actually use it. Right now the only reason they would leave the technology they know and trust is cooperation with .NET focused development team. I'm really curious about how long will it take for Microsoft to react on this situation and improving the accessibility and searchability of Silverlight.