Adobe Boss Hits Back At Steve Jobs Criticism

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The boss of Adobe has hit back at Steve Jobs, who launched fresh criticism of Flash technology in an open letter on Apple’s website

The ongoing feud between Apple and Adobe continues, after the boss of Adobe Systems hit back at Steve Jobs’s recent criticisms of Adobe Flash, describing them as a smokescreen.

Jobs Not A Flash Fan

Yesterday Steve Jobs, who is notoriously hostile towards Adobe’s Flash, attempted to explain why he is against the technology in an open letter on Apple’s website. Jobs decided to explain his position for not allowing Flash to run on Apple devices such as the iPhone or iPad, after the technology received the backing of a number of Apple rivals.

Apple made clear its opposition to Flash when it unveiled a restrictive iPhone Developer Program Licence Agreement, which has been revised for the company’s iPhone 4G, slated to appear in June. Specifically, Apple’s Clause 3.3.1 notes:

“Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs…”

In his open letter, Steve Jobs somewhat controversially claimed that he believed Adobe Systems is closed, whereas Apple is open. He also claimed that Flash performed badly, drained battery life and had security flaws. Jobs added that Flash websites do not work with a touchscreen interface and that Apple wanted to avoid apps written using Flash because they would be designed as cross-platform apps and not Apple-specific ones.

For its part, Adobe has grown increasingly frustrated with Apple’s position, and has announced that it will not be developing any more versions of its packager, that allows Flash applications to be recompiled for the iPhone.

Adobe Fires Back

“We demonstrated that through Adobe tools you could actually build content and applications [for the iPhone and iPad],” said Shantanu Narayen, Adobe’s CEO, speaking to the Wall Street Journal. “Over 100 applications were actually approved through the store. When you resort to licensing language, it’s clear that it has nothing to do with technology.”

“For every one of these allegations made, there is proprietary lock-in that prevents us from delivering the kind of innovation that customers want,” Narayen said.

He also took the opportunity to dismiss Jobs’s claims about Flash’s poor performance on Macs. “If Flash is the number one reason that Macs crash, which I’m not aware of, it has as much to do with the Apple operating system.”

With language like this being publicly aired by both executives, it does not seem that the two companies will kiss and make up any time soon.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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