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The ‘Flash Fight’ continues

The ‘Flash Fight’ continues

Every time Apple CEO Steve Jobs speak, the world listens. His most recent letter is a solid attack on Adobe and Flash. Today the Wall Street Journal got to discuss Jobs letter with Adobe CEO and president Shantanu Narayen that says this is business, not software.

There has been a lot of discussion in the community regarding Apple, HTML5 and the supposedly imminent death of Flash. We've been there before and it's no different this time around. Being the most distributed plugin in the world makes the Flash Player target for anyone sceptical to plugins and cross platform runtimes. What's different with Job's critique is his market position.

When Jobs speak, he's usually spot on and many agree with him. This time it's different. Jobs speak of how Apple is Open and Adobe is Closed and many would disagree with this. The WSJ journalists say that as this comes from the CEO of the most proprietary and closed computing platforms, it seems like very a personal attack.

Adobe CEO Shantanu says this has nothing to do with technology or software. It's rather that Adobe has a wider perspective than Jobs have, trying to reach all platforms rather than just one. See the interview here.

Note: I feel that I should add that the Flash Player crashed consistently in Safari, Firefox and Chrome while trying to view this video on a Mac tonight, so maybe Shantanu is a little quick to dismiss ALL of Jobs arguments as just "business"? Maybe someone at Adobe should offer WSJ some free consulting when it comes to build Flash based video players...

Image credit: / CC BY-SA 2.0


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Posted by docmurdock on 05/02 at 02:43 AM

Yes it is interesting that you experienced those crashes. We all have and Shantanu sits there blind to the problems. The board should fire his butt and replace him with someone that can fix the problems there.

Posted by Jens C Brynildsen on 05/02 at 04:14 PM

Hehe. That’s maybe pushing it a bit but I sure found it ironic? I think Shantanu did well, but closing your eyes to a problem that so many know that exists is not very clever.

Posted by PeyloW on 05/02 at 06:28 PM

It is a nice touch using Flash for the interview video. Proving Apples point for them. Not viewable on my Droid either.

Posted by levelfour on 05/02 at 10:03 PM

from what I understand, adobe has taken the flash player and the issues that are involved on a mac as far as they can go until they get cooperation with them to open up their systems to allow adobe developers access to what they need to solve…

has anyone else heard of this?

Posted by PeyloW on 05/03 at 06:34 AM

@levelfour: That was access to APIs for harware decoding video, Apple gave them that in Mac OS X 10.6.3 (very late).

But then you have the overall stability and performance issues for everything that is not decoding video. That is all on Adobes hands.

The best improvements to Flash I have seen in years has been done by Google and Apple, by isolating plug-ins in their browsers. Now Flash no longer brings down the whole browser when it crashes in Safari and Chrome.

Posted by MatthewFabb on 05/04 at 01:03 AM

Yes, Apple has finally given Adobe the API to do hardware acceleration, although it will be coming in an update after Flash Player 10.1 is released. Here’s Adobe on that subject:

Also Adobe has worked with Apple to increase the speed of the graphic rendering, apparently now surpassing the speed on Windows:

Also Adobe has done a lot to make Flash more stable (basically doesn’t crash the browser, when bad code in a SWF crashes the Flash Player), plus take up less memory and CPU in Flash Player 10.1.

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