CTO Counters Steve Jobs’ Claim that Adobe Is ‘Lazy’
By Sarah Jacobsson
Adobe responded yesterday to Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ latest attack on Jan. 30, when Jobs called Google’s “Don’t Be Evil” mantra “bullshit” and characterized Adobe as “lazy.”
According to Wired, Steve Jobs says Adobe is lazy, Flash is buggy, and the world is moving toward HTML5 anyway. Whenever a Mac crashes, it is most frequently because of Flash, Jobs asserted.
Adobe’s response, in the form of a blog entry by Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch, begins with a jab at Apple’s iPad: “Some have been surprised at the lack of inclusion of Flash Player on a recent magical device.”
Lynch then goes on to explain that Flash was presciently designed for “pen computing tablets, about 15 years before that market was ready to take off.” He mentions that Flash is currently used in more than 85 percent of the top Web sites, including Nike, Hulu, BBC and Major League Baseball. Also, Flash is a vital part of the smartphone market; Adobe is “on the verge” of Flash Player 10.1 for smartphones with “all but one” of the top manufacturers, including Google’s Android, RIM’s BlackBerry, Nokia, and the Palm Pre. Even the Nexus One will be Flash 10.1-equipped — and, according to Lynch, it “will rock.”
Lynch says it is unlikely that HTML5 will supplant the need for Flash in the foreseeable future. “If HTML could reliably do everything Flash” can, it would “certainly save us a lot of effort,” Lynch says. But because Flash is still enabling more than 75 percent of Web video, according to Lynch, Flash will be around “even as HTML advances.”
This is not the first time Apple and Adobe have clashed over Flash — Apple’s been resistant to adding Flash to the iPhone for more than three years now. On March 6, 2008, Steve Jobs made another public jab at Adobe, saying that the Flash Lite Player wasn’t “advanced enough” for use on the iPhone, and that it performed “too slow to be useful.”
In October 2009, Adobe announced a workaround solution to Apple’s lack of cooperation — their next version of Flash Professional would allow Flash developers to export their code in a format that would enable it to run on the iPhone as an application — a solution that Adobe hoped would please Apple. Not that it matters — Adobe’s Creative Suite 5 (which includes Flash Professional) is currently in private beta and will be released soon.
Sure, the iPhone has gotten along fine without Flash thus far (although it’s recently taken a hit in the smartphone market — could lack of Flash be an issue?). But Apple may need to step it up when it comes to the iPad, as many find the lack of Flash on a tablet computer — especially as tablet computers are designed to offer an enhanced Web-browsing experience — simply unacceptable.