Two weeks ago, Steve Jobs published his now infamous “Thoughts on Flash” memo on Apple.com. Adobe has now responded with its own message, a message of “love,” “choice” and “open markets.”
In addition to the post on its own website, Adobe has also placed display ads (created in Flash, naturally) on Engadget and The New York Times, and taken out a full-page ad in The Washington Post outlining its position and what it thinks consumers should know.
“Apple does not support Flash because it is so buggy. Whenever a Mac crashes, more often than not, it’s because of Flash. No one will be using Flash. The world is moving to HTML5.”
While Apple simply posted a link to its “Thoughts on Flash” memo on the front page of its website, Adobe is going to much greater lengths to get its side of the story out.
Screenshots of the ad banners that are appearing on sites across the web:
Adobe’s Founders Speak
Chuck Geschke and John Warnock, Adobe’s founders, also penned their own letter, “Our thoughts on open markets”:
“The genius of the Internet is its almost infinite openness to innovation. New hardware. New software. New applications. New ideas. They all get their chance.
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.
We believe that consumers should be able to freely access their favorite content and applications, regardless of what computer they have, what browser they like, or what device suits their needs. 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.
When markets are open, anyone with a great idea has a chance to drive innovation and find new customers. Adobe’s business philosophy is based on a premise that, in an open market, the best products will win in the end — and the best way to compete is to create the best technology and innovate faster than your competitors.
That, certainly, was what we learned as we launched PostScript® and PDF, two early and powerful software solutions that work across platforms. We openly published the specifications for both, thus inviting both use and competition. In the early days, PostScript attracted 72 clone makers, but we held onto our market leadership by out-innovating the pack. More recently, we’ve done the same thing with Adobe® Flash® technology. 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.
In the end, we believe the question is really this: Who controls the World Wide Web? And we believe the answer is: nobody — and everybody, but certainly not a single company.
Chuck Geschke, John Warnock
Chairmen, Adobe Board of Directors.”
The “Truth” About FlashAdobe has also created a site (oddly not in Flash) that aims to set the record straight about Flash. The first thing you’ll notice is a big graphic that shows off Flash’s impressive reach across the web.
I don’t think that anyone would argue with the figures that Adobe has put out — the current dominance, or ubiquity, of Flash has never been the issue. Instead, the discussion has centered around which technologies will lead in the future, especially on mobile and CULV devices.
Most of Adobe’s responses to other areas of concern — including video, performance, touch and security — are more about what is being promised with Flash Player 10.1 and less about the issue at hand.
Flash Player 10.1 is arguably the most anticipated Flash release in Adobe’s history. It promises to bring Flash support to ARM devices — meaning that some Android phones like the Nexus One will be able to get what Adobe calls the “full Flash experience” — and hardware acceleration for video playback for more devices, which should improve overall performance and battery life.
We know Adobe is really excited about Flash 10.1, as it should be, because it’s shaping up to be a great release. However, we can’t help but be bothered by a rebuttal that essentially says, “all of this will be fixed with the next release,” especially when we’ve been waiting for this release for a really long time — a time during which content publishers have started to embrace alternative technologies.
Agency: Goodby Silverstein & Partners