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Steve Jobs has had enough of Adobe Flash and wants the world to move on and embrace HTML5

It's no secret that Steve Jobs is no fan of Adobe Flash -- Jobs basically kneecapped Flash development tools with iPhone OS 4.0. In addition, Jobs has long said that Flash on Mac computers is slow, buggy, and an incredible resource hog.

We all thought that the relationship between Apple and Adobe was beginning to thaw a bit when Apple announced that it would make hardware acceleration APIs available to developers like Adobe. That lead the way for yesterday's announcement of Flash Player 10.1 "Gala" for OS X which provides hardware acceleration of H.264 video content on Macs with NVIDIA GeForce 9400M, GeForce 320M, or GeForce GT 330M GPUs.

But that isn't quite the end of the story. In fact, Steve Jobs has even more to say about Adobe Flash in the form of an open letter entitled "Thoughts on Flash". Jobs' long-winded rant goes on about the fact that Adobe Flash is proprietary; HTML5 is a better, open solution; the fact that Flash is a security risk to Mac computers; and that Adobe Flash simply eats away battery life on notebook computers (among other things).

Here's a blurb on Adobe Flash being proprietary:

Adobe’s Flash products are 100% proprietary. They are only available from Adobe, and Adobe has sole authority as to their future enhancement, pricing, etc. While Adobe’s Flash products are widely available, this does not mean they are open, since they are controlled entirely by Adobe and available only from Adobe. By almost any definition, Flash is a closed system.

Apple has many proprietary products too. Though the operating system for the iPhone, iPod and iPad is proprietary, we strongly believe that all standards pertaining to the web should be open. Rather than use Flash, Apple has adopted HTML5, CSS and JavaScript – all open standards. Apple’s mobile devices all ship with high performance, low power implementations of these open standards.

And here's another section with regards to Adobe Flash and its interaction with touch-based devices:

Flash was designed for PCs using mice, not for touch screens using fingers. For example, many Flash websites rely on “rollovers”, which pop up menus or other elements when the mouse arrow hovers over a specific spot. Apple’s revolutionary multi-touch interface doesn’t use a mouse, and there is no concept of a rollover. Most Flash websites will need to be rewritten to support touch-based devices. If developers need to rewrite their Flash websites, why not use modern technologies like HTML5, CSS and JavaScript?

Jobs concludes, saying, "Flash was created during the PC era – for PCs and mice… But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short."

"New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too)," Jobs adds. "Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind."

The fight between Adobe and Apple is definitely not over and we'll just have to sit back and wait to see what Adobe's response to Jobs will be.

For those that want to read the full letter, head on over to Apple's website.



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RE: Adobe ... retaliate.
By SiliconX on 4/30/2010 12:14:01 PM , Rating: 2
As much as I would like to see it happen, it won't happen. Ever.

Jobs is a raving megalomaniac and a bold-faced liar, but he's not an idiot. He's quite brilliant actually. He wouldn't deliberately piss off Adobe unless he knew that Adobe couldn't retaliate with anything substantial.

Adobe dropping OSX development of their products seems like an easy choice, but what does it mean for Adobe? Windows machines might make up 90% of the market or something, while Apple machines make up 5%, but i'd wager OSX versions of Adobe's software make up a much higher percentage of their overall sales than 5%.

Adobe likely can't discontinue offering OSX versions of their products without taking a serious, possibly even crippling, blow to their profits.

Jobs would certainly know this. So he'll continue curb-stomping them without fear of reprisal.


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