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It's an odd move, considering Adobe's CTO once fought Steve Jobs over the use of Flash on iOS devices

In a twist of irony, Adobe's chief technology officer has accepted a hiring opportunity from Apple despite the two companies' history.

Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch is leaving the company to join Apple on March 22, 2013. He will become the vice president of Technology, and will report to Senior Vice President of Technology Bob Mansfield.

Lynch joined Adobe in 2005 when the company acquired Macromedia, where he was a key part of the development of web publishing software Dreamweaver. Lynch was also responsible for moving Adobe toward subscription-based services like Creative Cloud software.

It's possible that Lynch could help Apple create more cloud-based services, hence the hiring. Also, some have speculated that Lynch may one day replace Mansfield, since Mansfield announced his retirement in June 2012 (yet later decided to stay to work on more projects).


Lynch's decision to join Apple is surprising, considering the past Adobe and Apple share. Back in early 2010, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs said Adobe's Flash often crashed on Mac computers -- hence, it would be banned from the iPhone and iPad.

Jobs took many stabs at Flash, reportedly calling it a "CPU hog" and a source of "security holes." He even said that Apple doesn't "spend a lot of energy on old technology," referring to Flash.

Lynch responded to Jobs' jabs at that time, saying that Adobe is part of the evolution of HTML and that users should be able to choose which content and applications they view on their devices -- while directly calling out Apple for withholding that choice.

"Some have been surprised at the lack of inclusion of Flash Player on a recent magical device," said Lynch in a blog post in 2010. "We are now on the verge of delivering Flash Player 10.1 for smartphones with all but one of the top manufacturers. This includes Google’s Android, RIM’s Blackberry, Nokia, Palm Pre and many others across form factors including not only smartphones but also tablets, netbooks, and internet-connected TVs. Flash in the browser provides a competitive advantage to these devices because it will enable their customers to browse the whole Web.

"So, what about Flash running on Apple devices? We have shown that Flash technology is starting to work on these devices today by enabling standalone applications for the iPhone to be built on Flash. In fact, some of these apps are already available in the Apple App Store such as FickleBlox and Chroma Circuit. This same solution will work on the iPad as well. We are ready to enable Flash in the browser on these devices if and when Apple chooses to allow that for its users, but to date we have not had the required cooperation from Apple to make this happen."

Apple later won this argument when it announced its Flash Media Server 4.5 in late 2011. This version automatically repackaged content for Apple's iPhone and iPad, but ditched Flash support and instead used HTTP Dynamic Streaming or HTTP Live Streaming -- meaning that Flash content would playback on iOS devices without draining the battery or any other hiccups that Jobs complained about.

Sources: GigaOM, Bloomberg





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