Adobe Delivers One-Two Punch in Flash Feud with Apple

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2010-05-14

In the latest exchange between former friends and now foes, Adobe has taken out a new ad campaign to blast Apple for its closed approach regarding developer licensing and touting the openness of Adobe. The company's co-founders also write a letter scolding Apple for its policies.

In the ad in question, Adobe says in a big headline: "We [Heart] Apple" -- with a heart symbol instead of the word "love." The ad goes on to say: "What we don't love is anybody taking away your freedom to choose what you create, how you create it, and what you experience on the web."

In addition to the new ad, Adobe co-founders and chairmen, Chuck Geschke and John Warnock, posted a letter that is a direct response to Apple CEO Steve Jobs' recent letter criticizing Flash. The letter accuses Apple of attempting to "undermine" the Web.

In their post, Geschke and Warnock said:

"As the founders of Adobe, we believe open markets are in the best interest of developers, content owners, and consumers. Freedom of choice on the Web has unleashed an explosion of content and transformed how we work, learn, communicate, and, ultimately, express ourselves.

"If the Web fragments into closed systems, if companies put content and applications behind walls, some indeed may thrive - but their success will come at the expense of the very creativity and innovation that has made the Internet a revolutionary force."

The Adobe chairmen went on to say that "the best way to compete is to create the best technology and innovate faster than your competitors." And that is what Adobe has done in advance of specifications such as ECMAScript and others.

Warnock and Geschke also cited Adobe's publishing of the specifications for PostScript, PDF and Flash as evidence of Adobe's willingness to be open.

"We publish the specifications for Flash - meaning anyone can make their own Flash player," the Adobe chairmen said. "Yet, Adobe Flash technology remains the market leader because of the constant creativity and technical innovation of our employees."

And in their most pointed salvo, Geschke and Warnock said:

"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."


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