Adobe CEO Responds To Steve Jobs’ Thoughts On Flash
Steve Jobs had posted an open letter elaborating on the reasons why Apple has chosen not to allow Adobe Flash on their platform. The article contains several interesting pointers on why Flash could be an inappropriate plaform for media consumption on mobile devices like the iPhone.
In his letter, Jobs had pointed out that Flash was a proprietary technology that scores low on reliability and security. The Apple CEO had also pointed out Flash's growing irrelevance in the modern era dominated by touchscreen devices and open development standards.
So what does Adobe think of Steve Jobs' opinion? In an interview to the Wall Street Journal, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen has reiterated his earlier stand that Apple's decision to not allow Flash on the iPhone OS is more of a business decision than a technology one. He further questions Jobs' assertions that Flash is a dying technology.
On Flash being a proprietary platform:
Shantanu Narayen noted that the two companies have "different views of the world" and said that he found it "amusing" that Apple has chosen to call Flash a closed platform. He cited the release of the latest Creative Suite software as an example where Adobe was "true to its position" to develop a technology that worked on multiple devices.
On Flash's perceived technology issues:
Echoing sentiments expressed in the earlier media interactions, Narayen dismissed Steve Jobs' statements and instead called upon his accusations as "a smokescreen" that distracted observers from the actual business motive behind Apple's decision to ban Flash. Pointing out that several iPhone apps on the App Store today were built with Adobe's technology, Narayen emphasized on the relevance of Flash on the mobile medium. He further took note of Apple's recent update to the App Developer licensing agreement and said that such attempts to restrict development made it evident that Apple's decisions had "nothing to do with technology".
On being asked about Steve Jobs' observations that Adobe was the number one cause of Mac crashes, Narayen defended his company claiming that such observations have only come from Apple, which could effectively mean that the issues may have something "to do with the Apple operating system."
Narayen further dismissed claims that Flash was a battery hog and said these statements were "patently false". Blaming Apple for the "proprietary lock-in", Narayen said Apple's policies made it difficult for Adobe to work together with Apple to be able to innovate and solve the pertinent issues.
On the road ahead:
Narayen explained that Adobe's policies are rooted in the belief that it is best for businesses to create one set of applications that can work across multiple platforms. This, he said, does not benefit Apple's strategy to lock customers down to their ecosystem. Noting that the iPad was a "good first-generation device", Narayen said he was excited about innovation that was waiting to happen in the tablet space. He also revealed Adobe's partnership with several companies in the launch of tablet PCs.
In conclusion, Shantanu Narayen said that he would ultimately let customers decide and hoped that multi-platform technologies would "eventually prevail". You can watch the entire conversation between Shantanu Narayen and Alan Murray from WSJ in the video below.
Let us know your views on this long drawn battle.
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