Adobe responds to Steve Jobs' claims that Flash is a closed system, with criticism that Apple does not control the internet

News by Dan Raywood

Adobe has responded to claims made by Apple's Steve Jobs claiming that its stance could 'undermine the next chapter of the web'.

Adobe has responded to claims made by Apple's Steve Jobs claiming that its stance could ‘undermine the next chapter of the web'.

In an ongoing, open argument, Mike Chambers, Adobe's principal product manager for developer relations for the Flash platform, originally claimed in a blog that it was not ‘currently planning any additional investments' for the Apple iPad and iPhone as it is ‘a closed system'.

Apple co-founder and chief executive officer Steve Jobs then hit back, saying: “Adobe's Flash products are 100 per cent proprietary. They are only available from Adobe, and Adobe has sole authority as to their future enhancement, pricing, etc. While Adobe's Flash products are widely available, this does not mean they are open, since they are controlled entirely by Adobe and available only from Adobe. By almost any definition, Flash is a closed system.”

To this, Adobe co-founders Chuck Geschke and John Warnock wrote an open letter hitting back at Jobs' accusations from Apple that Flash is a closed system, and argued that Apple's stance could ‘undermine the next chapter of the web'.

They said that they believe that consumers should be able to freely access their favourite content and applications, regardless of computer, browser or device, and 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'.

They said: “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.

“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.”

Hitting out at Apple, it said that it believed 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? We believe the answer is: nobody — and everybody, but certainly not a single company,” the founders said.


In response, a spokesperson for Apple said: "Yes, we believe in open web standards too, like HTML5. Flash is not an open web standard like HTML. It is a proprietary Adobe product. Just ask the W3 consortium that controls web standards - they have chosen HTML5 as the open web standard to move forward with."


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