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Steve Jobs to Adobe: Get with the times

When Steve Jobs fires off a missive on the Apple site he's usually making a specific statement around a larger issue that we've all been discussing for months. Remember his rant against DRM when all the world called foul on FairPlay? Today Steve dropped a big ol' bomb into the Flash pool by stating Apple's frustrations with Adobe, Flash and their view of the mobile space.

In the letter, Steve points out Flash is a closed system, there are H.264 alternatives to Flash video and HTML5 and JavaScript are true open standards that Apple has embraced, while Adobe has continued to pour the juice into their proprietary systems. Yes, Steve points out that OS X is a proprietary OS. But despite Adobe's claims to have a proper, non-battery-sucking version of Flash on mobiles by 2009, they have yet to deliver and Steve calls them on it.

In a nutshell, Apple chastises Adobe for clinging to the past. In many ways they are right -- remember when Flash was a simple animation tool that created animations that were lighter than GIF animations?

Yes, at one point Flash was a simple, streamlined tool designed to bring balance to the Force. Instead, it has grown into a full platform when you factor in AIR, and I doubt Adobe has any intention to back down after spending a decade and billions on its continued development and success.

No matter how crufty the tool becomes, I'm sure Adobe will find a market for it for many years, like VRML or the Beatnik player. Either way it'll be interesting to watch these two elephants dance.

Tags: adobe, apple, flash, html5, letter, standards, steve jobs, SteveJobs, web

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