In one corner, you have Steve Jobs, decorated CEO of what may be both the most loved and most hated company in technology. In the other corner, you have Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen, who can’t understand why Jobs won’t allow his Flash software onto the iPhone, iPod, or iPad.
Today, in what may be the most direct clash we’ve seen to date, the two men are publicly throwing punches.
The Apple-Adobe Flash Clash: Steve Jobs’ Letter
(You can read Jobs’ entire letter here; you can also read a slightly NSFW but highly entertaining “translation” of it here.)
In a nutshell, Jobs says that Adobe’s Flash platform is closed and that he values Web technologies that are open (a slightly ironic statement, no?); that Flash is unreliable and insecure; that Flash is too big of a drain on battery life; and that Flash doesn’t function well with touch interfaces.
The Apple-Adobe Flash Clash: Adobe’s Response
All caught up on that side of the drama? Good. Now here’s what Adobe had to say about Jobs’ remarks.
“We have different views of the world,” Narayen tells The Journal. “Our view of the world is multi-platform.”
Narayan also maintains his stance that Jobs’ Flash ban is based purely on business: Apple, he contends, stands to gain the most from apps that are exclusive to its platform; Adobe’s platform, on the other hand, allows developers to create apps that can work for multiple types of devices.
“It doesn’t benefit Apple,” he says, “and that’s why you see this reaction.”
Apple may ultimately win this battle, but somewhere, I suspect Larry and Sergey are smiling.
JR Raphael is a PCWorld contributing editor and the co-founder of eSarcasm. He’s on Facebook: facebook.com/The.JR.Raphael