Adobe's New Tactic: Killing Apple With Kindness

Adobe today has launched an ad campaign that gushes "We Love Apple," though after listing all the things the companies have in common it ends by scolding Apple for blocking technological freedom of choice.

The ad campaign, which promotes "freedom of choice," is the latest volley fired between Adobe and Apple in their epic fight over Flash support. The online and print ads direct readers to a web page that says, among other things:  "We believe open markets that allow developers, publishers, and consumers to make their own choices about how they create, distribute, and access content are essential to progress. That's why we actively support technologies like HTML4, HTML5, CSS, and H.264, in addition to our own technologies."

The ad itself ticks off a list of things Adobe loves, such as HTML5, all devices, creativity and innovation. It concludes: "What we don't love is anybody taking away your freedom to choose what you crate, how you create it, and what you experience on the web."

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At the heart of the fight is Apple's refusal to support applications that use Flash on its iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices.Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch recently said Apple's refusal to support Flash is "like 1984 in a lot of ways," referring to Apple being Big Brother-like in its control of what can run on its popular products.

Another Adobe evangelist wrote in a blog post that Apple should "Go screw yourself" following a change by Apple to its iPhone SDK disallowing developers to submit programs to Apple that use cross-platform compilers…like the one Adobe was introducing with Version 5 of its Creative Suite content creation package. Adobe has said it won't build any more iPhone app building tools after CS5.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs argued in an open letter in April  that Flash drains battery life and slows performance of its devices, and says it is not an open standard. He concludes in part: "Flash was created during the PC era – for PCs and mice. Flash is a successful business for Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs. But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short."

Adobe's cause hasn't been helped either by a series of widely reported security flaws discovered in its software. 

A recent Infoworld poll found that readers are in Apple's corner regarding the Flash ban, citing crashes and security problems. Whether the Adobe ad campaign sways any of them remains to be seen.

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.

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