Monday, May 03, 2010

Adobe Vs. Apple, A War Of Words Part 2

Last week the fight between Apple and Adobe over the inclusion, or rather the lack there of, of Flash on Apple's mobile devices reached a bit of a boiling point with the CEO's of both companies sound off in a war of words.

In our previous post we discussed the open letter written by Steve Jobs and the key points he made as to why the company has decided not to add Flash support for the iPhone, iPad and iPod. The Wall Street Journal's Alan Murray interviewed Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen about Jobs' comments and here are a few of the highlights:

  • Adobe believes in open content; Apple is threatened by Adobe's penchant for creating cross-platform software.
  • Narayen likens the fight between Apple and Adobe to the rift between Jon and Kate Gosselin.
  • The technology problems that Mr. Jobs mentions in his essay are "really a smokescreen," Mr. Narayen says. He says more than 100 applications that used Adobe's software were accepted in the App Store. "When you resort to licensing language" to restrict this sort of development, he says, it has "nothing to do with technology.".
  • Narayen refutes the assertion that Adobe Flash is the main reason why Macs crash.
  • Jobs' comments about poor battery life on machines using Adobe Flash are "patently false".
  • "It doesn't benefit Apple, and that's why you see this reaction".
  • Narayen asserts that the consumer should be able to decide which technologies they want to use and he thinks that a multi-platform world is where the future is headed.

You can view the full interview here at the WSJ's Digits blog.

To me this ultimately comes down to choice. Choice for developers and choice for end users. The Apple vs Adobe debate over Flash debate comes down to principle. Apple wants to keep their overly restrictive tight control over the experience people have on iPhone OS devices, ostensibly for the benefit of consumers but partly for the company's own good.

The problem here is that they keep saying its for the good of the consumer. Well one of the great thing about Flash is that if you don't want it you don't have to have it. You can choose not to install Flash in your Web browser or on your OS. Much like most things its an option, one seemingly that most people want to have. Apple should keep in mind that having choice is a wonderful thing. Why not let us try it on our iPhones, iPad ect and decide?

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