Adobe takes aim at Apple following Jobs' Flash jibes

Company puts its backing behind rivals

Adobe takes aim at Apple following Jobs' Flash jibes
Adobe's response to Steve Jobs' take on the Flash platform has been two-fold. 

Company CEO Shantanu Narayen has given a frank interview explaining the company's position to the Wall Street Journal, while the firm has also published a short, open letter of its own on its website.

The general consensus from both is Apple's refusal to allow Flash on its platforms has very little to do with concerns regarding the technology, but instead is motivated by Jobs' own agenda.

"The technology aspects of this article are really a smokescreen," Narayen told the WSJ.

"We demonstrated through Adobe tools you can actually build content and applications and over 100 applications were accepted on the store. When you resort to licensing language, it clearly has nothing to do with technology."

Dishing out the blame

Narayen also rebuffed Jobs' claims that Flash is the number one reason Macs crash, claiming if there's truth in the allegation, the operating system is just as liable for any breakdowns as Adobe.

Adobe is naturally keen that consumers aren't bullied into subscribing to Jobs' view that Flash is a system designed for archaic architecture.

Instead, it's Adobe's view that Apple is simply being uncooperative and ignoring customer demand for Flash on iPhone, marking off Apple's recent decision to change its licensing agreement almost as an act of provocation.

"Given the legal terms Apple has imposed on developers, we have already decided to shift our focus away from Apple devices for both Flash Player and AIR," the company says in its open letter.

"We are working to bring Flash Player and AIR to all the other major participants in the mobile ecosystem, including Google, RIM, Palm (soon to be HP), Microsoft, Nokia and others."

Strength in numbers

The letter continues, "We look forward to delivering Flash Player 10.1 for Android smartphones as a public preview at Google I/O in May, and then a general release in June.

"From that point on, an ever increasing number and variety of powerful, Flash-enabled devices will be arriving which we hope will provide a great landscape of choice."

By mentioning the platforms Flash does work on, Adobe is both pointing consumers to the support it has within the wider mobile community, and having a dig at Apple.

Of course, the wider debate is just how much control a platform holder should exercise over what tools and software users and developers have access to.

The fact remains that Flash is the most popular web plug-in for rich media, and Apple won't allow it on their devices. And neither two will change in the short term.

[sources: Wall Street Journal, Adobe]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.