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May 13, 2010

Adobe hits back at Apple with own Flash letter

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by Darren Allan

You may remember that back at the end of April, the head honcho at Apple, Steve Jobs, wrote an open letter having a big old pop at Adobe Flash.

It pointed out, in blow-by-blow fashion, why Apple didn’t want Flash on its mobile devices such as the iPad.

Adobe’s co-founders Chuck Geschke and John Warnock have now drafted an open letter of their own, in kind.

The response to Jobs warns about the web fragmenting into closed systems, and stresses that freedom and openness are central pillars upon which the world wide web was built on.

The pair put forward the argument that everybody should be free to access content and applications, regardless of which browser, computer or device they’re using.

“No company – no matter how big or how creative – should dictate what you can create, how you create it, or what you can experience on the web,” the letter states.

It then goes on to discuss Adobe’s business philosophy, and the premise that in an open market, the best products win in the end. And that openness drives innovation, as you have to stay ahead of your competitors to ensure that your product remains the best.

It goes on to say: “We publish the specifications for Flash – meaning anyone can make their own Flash player. Yet, Adobe Flash technology remains the market leader because of the constant creativity and technical innovation of our employees.”

“We believe that Apple, by taking the opposite approach, has taken a step that could undermine this next chapter of the web – the chapter in which mobile devices outnumber computers, any individual can be a publisher, and content is accessed anywhere and at any time.”

It’s a much shorter web-based missive than Mr Jobs’ effort, and certainly not as barbed, although it does end with a parting shot: “Who controls the World Wide Web? We believe the answer is: nobody – and everybody, but certainly not a single company.”

According to the FT, antitrust regulators in the States are currently considering whether to investigate Apple’s decision not to incorporate Flash technology in its mobile devices.

Story link: Adobe hits back at Apple with own Flash letter

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