Steve Jobs Weighs in on Flash

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Apple CEO Steve Jobs stepped up to offer his perspective on why Adobe’s Flash won’t be coming to the iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, on Thursday in an open letter on the Apple Web site. His take: Flash is old, proprietary, technology that’s unstable, has security issues and is too demanding for mobile device batteries.

Mr. Jobs’s comments echo many of the ideas that have been floating around the Internet and tech circles for several months. He starts off by weighing in on Adobe’s claims that Flash is an open system.

“Adobe’s Flash products are 100 percent proprietary. They are only available from Adobe, and Adobe has sole authority as to their future enhancement, pricing, etc.,” Mr. Jobs said. “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.”

He added that Apple relies on open standards such as HTML5, CSS and JavaScript, and that those standards require far less power to implement compared to Flash.

On Adobe’s claims that Flash is necessary to experience the “full Web,” Mr. Jobs posits that most of the video content that’s currently available in Flash format is also available in H.264 — an open standard that Apple support. One of the benefits of H.264 support, according to Mr. Jobs, is that it uses hardware instead of software for video decoding, which has the benefit of offering better performance and lower power consumption.

Reliability, security and performance were issues that Mr. Jobs expressed concern about, too. “Symantec recently highlighted Flash for having one of the worst security records in 2009. We also know first hand that Flash is the number one reason Macs crash.”

He also noted that Adobe hasn’t been able to show him a mobile device where Flash performs well. “We have routinely asked Adobe to show us Flash performing well on a mobile device, any mobile device, for a few years now. We have never seen it,” he said. “Adobe publicly said that Flash would ship on a smartphone in early 2009, then the second half of 2009, then the first half of 2010, and now they say the second half of 2010. We think it will eventually ship, but we’re glad we didn’t hold our breath.”

Flash also lacks a system for adequately dealing with touch-based interfaces. Roll-over effects, for example, don’t work with touch interfaces because you have to touch the device’s surface to register activity. In contrast, Flash relies on mouse pointers moving over an object to trigger roll-over effects, and that requires a more traditional computer.

“Even if iPhones, iPods and iPads ran Flash, it would not solve the problem that most Flash websites need to be rewritten to support touch-based devices,” Mr. Jobs said.

Mr. Jobs also shared his take on a current sore spot for Adobe and some developers: Why Apple won’t allow cross-compiled apps — in this case, apps that are developed in Flash and then compiled as native iPhone apps — on the App Store.

“If developers grow dependent on third party development libraries and tools, they can only take advantage of platform enhancements if and when the third party chooses to adopt the new features,” he said. “We cannot be at the mercy of a third party deciding if and when they will make our enhancements available to our developers.”

Mr. Jobs also pointed out that since Flash is a cross-platform development tool, the people that create products with it will opt to code for the device that has the fewest features, leaving more capable devices with an inferior user experience. He added that Adobe is the last major company to fully adopt the Mac OS X platform, and it took the company ten years to make the transition.

“New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too),” Mr. Jobs said. “Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind.”

Comments

Dave Hamilton

I agree with this, in principle: Flash is the wrong technology for the future.

I’m just curious what Steve Jobs proposes we do with our iPads while we wait for all these developers to recode their websites for HTML5?

Until that happens en masse (and it hasn’t yet), the iPad is crippled as a travel replacement for the laptop. Interestingly, most of the websites I needed to visit on my recent vacation (restaurants, museums, etc) all required Flash. Sure glad I brought the laptop with me “just in case”.

daemon

Flash is old, proprietary, technology that?s unstable, has security issues and is too demanding for mobile device batteries.

You know, while Flash originates from 1996, it has been in continual development since then. And while it may be proprietary, so is H.264 (Apple just happens to be the owner of H.264). As for security issues, is Steve Jobs not aware of the multitude of attacks that can be execute with JavaScript and CSS? As for battery life, I suppose it would be really difficult to build into the iPhone’s safari the ability to disable an add-on like Flash….

jas

?Adobe?s Flash products are 100 percent proprietary. They are only available from Adobe, and Adobe has sole authority as to their future enhancement, pricing, etc.,? Mr. Jobs said. ?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”

You could replace “Adobe” with “Apple”.

Disclaimer—I am an Apple fan and enthusiast, but isn’t this the pot calling the kettle black?

Modena

Isn’t h.264 is a published open standard?

Dave Hamilton

Steve Jobs lumping the iPhone and iPad together here is lazy and inaccurate. For two years on the iPhone I never missed Flash. Two WEEKS on the iPad and I miss it terribly. The iPad, for me, is a uber-portable device, but not a “mobile device” as Steve Jobs calls it. I wonder if I’m in the minority?

Jeff Gamet

Interestingly, most of the websites I needed to visit on my recent vacation (restaurants, museums, etc) all required Flash.

I’m always surprised by how many Web sites that should be easily accessible to mobile devices aren’t. I eventually gave up on Web developers and turned to iPhone apps like Urbanspoon and Yelp.

Lee Dronick

Disclaimer?I am an Apple fan and enthusiast, but isn?t this the pot calling the kettle black?

Are you an Apple user, just a fan and enthusiast, or all three?

Apple just happens to be the owner of H.264

I thought that H.264 is owned by VCEG

Nemo

You know, while Flash originates from 1996, it has been in continual development since then. And while it may be proprietary, so is H.264 (Apple just happens to be the owner of H.264).

Actually, H.264 was developed jointly by MPEG and VCEG and is licensed by MPEG LA.

Tiger

“I?m just curious what Steve Jobs proposes we do with our iPads while we wait for all these developers to recode their websites for HTML5?”

Keep visiting them and registering your machine on their logs so that they can see iPads are TRYING to access their site, but are unable to use some of the content.

I love how Adobe put out the new Flash beta today yet me with a Quad Core Nehalem Mac Pro cannot use it.

It’s called “welcome to the interim”.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Steve’s a giant douche. It’s all about the App Store tool booth, which is fine, if he’s honest about that. But he deflects. I assume the conversation this morning went something like this:

Steve: Aw crap Phil… Even Jon Stewart is against us. What are we gonna do now?

Phil: Change the subject. You have that Flash essay that 8th grader wrote. I bet if we send him a $50 iTunes gift card, he’ll let you put your name on it.

Steve: OK, thanks Phil. I thought I’d have to call Gruber again.

On an entirely nother subject… Sir Harry needs to change his screen name to “Sir Harry HTML5man”. Just sayin…

daemon

Skyfire 2.0 was just released for Android and runs flash videos beautifully on a HTC G1 with Android 1.6.

Alphaman

re: closed and proprietary…

You could replace ?Adobe? with ?Apple?.

Did you even read SJ’s post?  He admitted that Apple was closed and proprietary, but that his point here was that the web should be open and accessible.  Having corners of the web closed and proprietary is a Very Bad Idea.

ibuck

I wonder if those insisting Flash play on mobile devices, despite all the valid reasons not to, were as clingy to the old technology when floppies were abandoned. Were they reluctant to move from the large 6” floppies to the 3.5” floppies on their PCs? Have they adapted to thumb drives and other small USB storage devices?

Are they fans of technological advances or defenders of the old and obsolete?

ericmurphy

agree with this, in principle: Flash is the wrong technology for the future.

I?m just curious what Steve Jobs proposes we do with our iPads while we wait for all these developers to recode their websites for HTML5?

Until that happens en masse (and it hasn?t yet), the iPad is crippled as a travel replacement for the laptop. Interestingly, most of the websites I needed to visit on my recent vacation (restaurants, museums, etc) all required Flash. Sure glad I brought the laptop with me ?just in case?.

The problem is that unless there is a large number of devices in use that do not use Flash, neither Adobe nor web designers have any incentive to develop robust non-proprietary methods of displaying content.

It’s the opposite of the usual chicken-and-egg problem, where developers won’t write for a platform until it is ubiquitous, and users won’t adopt the platform unless developers develop for it.

In this case, developers will continue to develop using Flash, a technology Apple has no control over, unless and until there is a large installed base of devices which do not support Flash. Apple knows this. Apple sells hardware, and they don’t like their hardware to be crippled by software written for the lowest common denominator.

If the iPhone supported Flash lite, developers would write applications using Flash lite. Apple would then be dependent on Adobe, not on its own engineers, on making iPhone applications a satisfying experience using Flash lite.

Since HTML5, css, and javascript are all open platforms, if Apple doesn’t think those technologies can do what Apple wants them to do, Apple can contribute to advancing those technologies. Witness Safari’s rapid adoption of HTML5 technologies.

Apple cannot do this with Flash or Flash lite. No one in their right mind would expect Apple to support Flash on the iPhone or iPad.

And witness Adobe’s own failure to show that Flash is viable on mobile platforms anyway. Even if Apple did support Flash, how usable would it be on the iPhone?

Lee Dronick

I wonder if those insisting Flash play on mobile devices, despite all the valid reasons not to, were as clingy to the old technology when floppies were abandoned.

From my perspective there are two broad categories of “Flashmen.” People who create Flash content and webpages and people who just don’t seem to like the idea of Apple not supporting Flash. Of course it may not be that simple and people may be in both camps, just an observation.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

It?s the opposite of the usual chicken-and-egg problem, where developers won?t write for a platform until it is ubiquitous, and users won?t adopt the platform unless developers develop for it.

In this case, developers will continue to develop using Flash, a technology Apple has no control over, unless and until there is a large installed base of devices which do not support Flash. Apple knows this. Apple sells hardware, and they don?t like their hardware to be crippled by software written for the lowest common denominator.

Eric, Another point that adds to yours is the value of existing assets. Dave’s post got me thinking about two of my favorite little dives here in the South OC. Both have little web sites with Flash menus, I’d guess exported from a Word document or such. We’re not talking about anything terribly interactive, just pretty enough to display on the web and look like the paper version in the restaurant. Probably not created by a “web developer” who’s up on the latest standards. Probably not something every little dive in the country plans to spend money to revamp for Steve’s iPad.

ethan

Bosco, I can attest to the value of existing content in the realm of elearning. I’d say 90% is produced in part with the swf format. For years html has lacked the animation and interaction ability needed. Canvas is a step in the right direction but the tooling to make it cost competitve is utterly lacking and my clients won’t back it until cross browser performance is exact (they have no interest in tech support calls because of browser choice). Apple glosses over that fact. They want someone else to fix that little issue which is Adobe based on the end of Jobs letter.

If Apple wants the web to be open then why is H.264 their choice when it has patent issues? Why are all their ad about using a closed binary app to access web info vs the browser? They may be for an open web but they don’t want their users to use it.

If that’s the way they want to be then fine. Just don’t present it like they are watching out for the right of their users. That is just a flat out lie.

mrmwebmax

+

Two thoughts:

1) There was a time when IE 6 was the “standard” for the web, and many sites would only work if you were running IE 6. Where would the web be today if that hadn’t changed?

2) An interesting tidbit for the web developers who are using Flash in their sites: It is invisible to Google. It can’t be indexed. Flash content is worthless for search engine optimization. Those slide shows you see on sites that use Flash? Worthless for SEO. Yet there are both open-source and commercial slide show systems that use open standards (Javascript, CSS) that ARE indexible by Google, and therefore good for SEO. So what, exactly, is the advantage of relying on Flash anyway? That it’s easy for people to create web content with it?

Sheesh, and people here used to rip on me for using GoLive and tables instead of CSS. (I’ve since moved on to Drupal, FWIW….)

Lee Dronick

Sheesh, and people here used to rip on me for using GoLive and tables instead of CSS.

I too was GoLive user from when it was owned by CyberStudios, but I moved on to learning new tricks. Now I will need to learn HTML5 and CSS3. Oh this endless cycle of death and rebirth!

mrmwebmax

+

I too was GoLive user from when it was owned by CyberStudios

That’s when I began using it as well. Now, I’m completely sold on Drupal. Have you tried it yet? It has a steep learning curve, but once you’re past that, it is an extremely powerful and extensible, open-source CMS.

Peter

Actually, Steve had me right up until this quote:

For example, although Mac OS X has been shipping for almost 10 years now, Adobe just adopted it fully (Cocoa) two weeks ago when they shipped CS5. Adobe was the last major third party developer to fully adopt Mac OS X.

This is complete and utter crap.  Developers were told that their investment in Carbon was safe and that they wouldn’t have to rewrite their applications.  It was “recommended” that new applications be done in Cocoa because it’s “better” (which I do agree with), but Apple has always said that original developers—and their years worth of investment in code—will not be left behind.

So I guess it’s Adobe’s fault for actually believing Apple.

Also, in the DTP realm, Adobe’s InDesign was on Mac OS X long before Quark.  In fact, Apple was pushing people to InDesign because it was the only one that ran Mac OS X natively.  I don’t remember any complaints from Apple then about how InDesign didn’t somehow “fully” adopt Mac OS X.

Frankly, if I were Adobe, I’d tell Apple to go suck eggs and announce that Photoshop and InDesign will no longer be developed for Apple platforms.  Apple could arguably replace Photoshop in about two weeks (Core Image does a lot of the work already) but InDesign would definitely take longer.  Also, the myriad of third-party plug-ins that make these products useful for different industries would take a few years.  But we’d see how Apple likes losing all those high-end Mac Pro/MacBook Pro sales.

Of course, being willing to punt 25% of revenue is one reason I’m not the CEO of a corporation.

Dean Lewis

Cyberstudio GoLive user here, too. I took about 3 years off of major web work. Just back to it now and, like you Sir Harry, working on CSS3 and HTML5. mrm, I should pick your brain about Drupal and Joomla (I’ve been working with Joomla for the most part so far). I’ll send a private msg. Mainly bring this all up because with my first client as I get back into this, I’ve had to fiddle and tweak and bash a site into shape for MSIE 6. Maybe I should have waited another year before I started again and 6 would have been more dead. smile

ericmurphy

The bulk of Adobe’s sales revenue come from Creative Suite. Roughly half of Adobe’s CS sales are for the Mac platform.

Adobe is in no position to reduce its income by 30 or 40% by not developing CS for the Mac.

Substance

And witness Adobe?s own failure to show that Flash is viable on mobile platforms anyway. Even if Apple did support Flash, how usable would it be on the iPhone?

Nobody

It wouldn’t, and that’s been part of Steve’s (admittedly self-serving) message from the start.  Those who attack Apple for not supporting Flash (a closed platform) and preferring to back an open platform conveniently ignore the fact that 1) Flash stinks on all non-iPhone mobile devices, 2) Flash stinks on OS X, therefore why would it be any better for iPhone OS (an OS X derivative) without tailoring by Adobe (because it’s a closed platform, remember?  Apple can’t fix it themselves) and 3) many sites that use Flash for rich UI employ mouse rollover effects, something Flash can’t support for touch input.

I’ve yet to see the Flash apologists address those questions.

Substance

...Mr. Jobs posits that most of the video content that?s currently available in Flash format is also available in H.264 ? an open standard that Apple support. One of the benefits of H.264 support, according to Mr. Jobs, is that it uses hardware instead of software for video decoding…

Correct me if I’m wrong, modern Mac’s have hardware support for H.264 but do any PC’s?

Substance

Steve Jobs lumping the iPhone and iPad together here is lazy and inaccurate. For two years on the iPhone I never missed Flash. Two WEEKS on the iPad and I miss it terribly. The iPad, for me, is a uber-portable device, but not a ?mobile device? as Steve Jobs calls it. I wonder if I?m in the minority?

I too have never missed Flash on my iPhones.  Haven’t used my wife’s iPad too much, but with one exception (see below) I haven’t missed on it either.  Admittedely, we haven’t taken it anywhere beyond our home wi-fi network.

I?m always surprised by how many Web sites that should be easily accessible to mobile devices aren?t. I eventually gave up on Web developers and turned to iPhone apps like Urbanspoon and Yelp.

One day recently I used the wife’s iPad to look up the daily menu specials at one of our favorite restaurants.  When I pulled the site up, I couldn’t get any content because it was all wrapped up in a Flash-based rich UI.  When I pulled the site up on a desktop Mac, almost all the Flash was limited to a Splash screen that you could not skip, a fancy header banner, and some rollover menu buttons.  However since the menu buttons were written in Flash and had no HTML equivalents, I couldn’t get to any of the content for the site. 

Too bad for the restaurant that they were cut off from most mobile Web traffic because of their Web site’s designers short-sighted decision to write the site in a way that Flash was REQUIRED to get to the content.  See for yourself: Swingers Grille

Substance

Eric, Another point that adds to yours is the value of existing assets. Dave?s post got me thinking about two of my favorite little dives here in the South OC. Both have little web sites with Flash menus, I?d guess exported from a Word document or such. We?re not talking about anything terribly interactive, just pretty enough to display on the web and look like the paper version in the restaurant. Probably not created by a ?web developer? who?s up on the latest standards. Probably not something every little dive in the country plans to spend money to revamp for Steve?s iPad.

Technology changes fast, and while I would argue that they made a poor decision the first time for using Flash when it bought them nothing except longer load times, it’s a really poor decision in today’s age where mobile devices account for more and more of Web traffic.  Restaurants in paritciular will be more popular among mobile users than the average site.  They could always hire someone else to do their Web design.  Before you cry about the poor little shop owner having to spend more because of big bad Apple, so much of business is adapting with the times and this is no different.  Adapt or die.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Technology changes fast, and while I would argue that they made a poor decision the first time for using Flash when it bought them nothing except longer load times, it?s a really poor decision in today?s age where mobile devices account for more and more of Web traffic.

Oh, ferchrissakes! 19 out of 20 of these restaurants have some designer whip up their menu in Word or maybe a real page layout application, print the menu for in-restaurant use, and save as Flash because it has a smaller footprint than PDF and a better online viewing experience. These were not carefully thought out deployment decisions by people who could foresee all future paths of the technology. Good grief people.

Substance

This is complete and utter crap.  Developers were told that their investment in Carbon was safe and that they wouldn?t have to rewrite their applications.  It was ?recommended? that new applications be done in Cocoa because it?s ?better? (which I do agree with), but Apple has always said that original developers?and their years worth of investment in code?will not be left behind.
So I guess it?s Adobe?s fault for actually believing Apple.

Carbon was only included in OS X because Adobe, Microsoft and Macromedia wouldn’t play in Apple’s “Yellow Box” environment.  They were only interested in making money, not the future of the Mac platform.  So while Apple did publically promote Carbon as a way to help developers transistion from Classic Mac OS to OS X, they only included Carbon because they had too.  Even then, did Adobe really need 9 years AFTER OS 10.0 was released to convert their bloatware to Cocoa?

The Flash Brigade also likes to tell tales about how Adobe (like Microsoft) lovingly rescued Apple back when the company was having hard times, so Apple should be paying Adobe back by establishing Flash as the proprietary alternative to open web standards.

This is curious (or perhaps hilarious) because Adobe?s support for Apple has long been just as money motivated as Macromedia and Microsoft. Back when Apple wanted its major developers to embrace NeXTSTEP and port their existing code to a modern new API that would solve a lot of the old problems with the Classic Mac OS, it got nothing but blank stares from all threes of those ?partners.?

Had they invested in Apple?s plans, we?d have gotten a Mac OS X with the sophistication of the iPhone back in 1998, rather than living through a decade of Apple building Carbon and then weaning its developers off it. Adobe and Macromedia helped delay Apple?s plans for a decade just so they could safely make money selling Mac users less sophisticated software.

When Apple turned itself around, it was no longer in a position to beg for the support of companies like Adobe and Macromedia and Microsoft. It has begun telling developers what to do. It told Adobe that if it wanted to build 64-bit Mac apps, it would need to do it using Cocoa. Adobe balked for a while, pushing off the 64-bit port of Creative Suite for the Mac by a year and a half. This spring, Adobe will finally get portions of Creative Suite apps to Cocoa, just a decade plus a few years after Apple asked the first time.

The only thing Apple owes Adobe is decade of torturous knuckle dragging.

Five Tremoundous Myths of Apple and Adobe

Substance

Oh, ferchrissakes! 19 out of 20 of these restaurants have some designer whip up their menu in Word or maybe a real page layout application, print the menu for in-restaurant use, and save as Flash because it has a smaller footprint than PDF and a better online viewing experience. These were not carefully thought out deployment decisions by people who could foresee all future paths of the technology. Good grief people.

Oh, ferchrissakes!  Who saves a Word document to Flash?  I don’t see that as an option in my version of Word, but I do see PDF, XML and, wow, HTML.  They could save it straight to a Web page within Word without paying for Flash Studio.  Maybe you meant saving to a flash drive?

mrmwebmax

+

Oh, ferchrissakes! 19 out of 20 of these restaurants have some designer whip up their menu in Word or maybe a real page layout application, print the menu for in-restaurant use, and save as Flash because it has a smaller footprint than PDF and a better online viewing experience.

I’ll repeat from an earlier message for the sake of anyone thinking of using Flash on their own or a client’s website: You put your content in Flash, then Google will not see it. The restaurant in question, for instance, is located in Normal, Illinois. Google “restaurants normal illinois” and see if they show up on the first page. (No, they don’t.) Sure they have a funky Flash-based splash screen, but that will do them no good unless people find their website in the first place.

Those looking for restaurants in Normal, Illinois via Google will not find their site, nor will they spend their money there. If that’s not reason enough to abandon Flash, I don’t know what it.

A link to the search:

Google: “restaurants normal illinois”

xmattingly

Of course, being willing to punt 25% of revenue is one reason I?m not the CEO of a corporation.

More like 40-45%.

And as I understand, CS4 did not sell all that well and Adobe has been on a revenue downswing, so they are really counting on good sales of CS5. Something that could pose a pretty big problem for them though is that a lot of the new features are focused on building Flash content. Not exactly keeping with the times…

Peter

So while Apple did publically promote Carbon as a way to help developers transistion from Classic Mac OS to OS X, they only included Carbon because they had too.

Yes, they had to.  I was at WWDC ‘97 when Apple said that everyone was going to have to rewrite their applications in Objective-C.  And every developer that I talked to—both big and small—said the same thing: “If we’re going to rewrite our applications, we’re going to do it for a platform that has more than 2% market share.”

Trust me, it was pretty entertaining.  Apple told their developers that they were going to have rewrite everything.  Developers gave Apple the collective “Screw you.”  WWDC ‘98 was all, “Okay, okay, you win.  Drag your applications at least up to System 7 standards and we’ll work with you.”  Because, if they didn’t, Apple would have shipped an OS with the pitifully few NEXTStep developers left in the world.

Even then, did Adobe really need 9 years AFTER OS 10.0 was released to convert their bloatware to Cocoa?

Dunno.  It took Apple 9 years to rewrite the Finder in Cocoa.

The point was that Adobe was never told they had to.  Apple kept telling everyone, right up to 2009, that if they’ll switch to HIViews, they’ll be supported.  So Adobe switched to HIViews with the last version of CS.  What happened?  “Oh, no 64-bit HIViews.  Switch to Cocoa.”

(You should have heard the grumbles at WWDC when Apple finally said HIViews were not going to 64-bit.  Trust me, it wasn’t just Adobe that got caught flat-footed.)

Think of it this way:  Adobe rewrote their UI code to work in Mac OS X.  Then they rewrote it again to use HIViews, which Apple told them to do.  Now they have to rewrite the same damn code a third time because Apple changed it’s mind.

So what is Adobe supposed to do?  They have these schedules which they abide by.  Suddenly Apple has told them, “Oh, by the way, you have an extra nine months or so of work to do that you didn’t know you had to do.”

Yeah, I’ve read the Roughly Drafted piece and, frankly, he’s wrong.  I’m a Mac developer with 20+ years of experience, I’ve been to enough WWDCs to start a laptop bag/T-shirt shop (I was depressed for a week when my WWDC ‘91 shirt was stolen), and I’ll tell you flat out that Apple did not tell any developers to rewrite their applications in Cocoa because the first time they tried to do it, the developers told them to get stuffed.  They told developers that it would be a good idea if new development were done in Cocoa.

Don’t get me wrong—I’m not busting on Cocoa.  I prefer it, in fact, to the old Carbon interfaces.  And as Roughly Drafted says, Apple now feels as though they’re in a position to start telling developers what to do, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing in regards to advancing the platform.

Where I complain is that Apple likes to surprise developers with this info.  This may not be a big deal for small applications (it wasn’t for me), but a company that devotes a couple of years to developing a product only to discover that the pieces that Apple said were solid suddenly disappear is bound to be mighty pissed off.  And, having been in that position, I can’t 100% say I blame them.

That said, before somebody figures I’m an Adobe plant, Adobe’s behavior towards Apple has been pretty crappy as well.  A friend of mine used to work on the QuickTime team and has a great story.  It seems that the QuickTime team had weekly conference calls with the Premier team at Adobe and spent lots of time and effort helping them develop Adobe Premier.  Of course, two years later, Adobe releases Premier for Windows—sort of a “F*cough*ck you very much!”

But the better story came at NAB ‘98.  Apple was there for the first time with a booth showing the latest greatest Macintoshes running Adobe Premier and editing video.  Adobe was also there with a nice big booth showing a bunch of Windows PCs running Adobe Premier and editing video.  Okay, fine, be that way.  Apple people at show approached Adobe people at the show and said, “Hey, can we put some Macs in your booth?”  The answer?  “No.”

Why?  Well, it seemed that Adobe and Microsoft had an agreement that Adobe would not show Macs running their software at certain trade shows (and Microsoft would give Adobe money to attend the trade show).  So if Adobe went to some photography show, they’d be showing Photoshop running on Windows and not on Macs.

So here’s Apple giving Adobe great exposure at a trade show absolutely free.  And here’s Adobe not willing to return the favor.  As my friend put it, “With friends like these, who needs enemies?”

Unfortunately, it really pushed Apple into the paranoid, “We can’t trust anybody but ourselves,” state of mind.

Nemo

Two former Adobe employees, who were the lead engineers for Flash, corroborate much of what Jobs had to say in his thoughts on Flash.

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/04/adobe-flash-jobs

Cocoa Butter

When is Apple going to fully adopt their own operating system?  iTunes doesn’t use Cocoa.  Adobe actually beat Apple to the punch in adopting Mac OS X.  That’s what makes this so funny.

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