Adobe attempts to counteract anti-Flash sentiment spurred by Apple
Adobe is running quite a cleanup campaign after Apple CEO Steve Jobs' recent criticism of the Flash platform, which he laid out in a letter called "Thoughts on Flash."
Adobe has released a flurry of responses, including a letter from Chuck Geschke and John Warnock Adobe's Cofounders and Chairmen of the company's board of directors called "Our thoughts on open markets," an advertising campaign called "Freedom of Choice" which includes the banner shown above (and display ads that say "We [love] Apple,") an information page titled "The Truth about Flash," and a full-page ad in today's Washington Post.
The aggressive campaign is an attempt to curb the growing sentiment that Flash is not a valid and relevant technology as the Web continues to evolve on mobile devices.
"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," The letter from Warnock and Geschke said. "We believe that consumers should be able to freely access their favorite content and applications, regardless of what computer they have, what browser they like, or what device suits their needs. 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."
Adobe also addresses Jobs' criticisms of Flash individually.
"H.264 is a 'more modern format' for Web video" and "H.264 video consumes about half as much battery as Flash video."
"There are many claims that H.264 will kill Flash. However, H.264 is a video codec (which requires a player), while Flash is a complete multimedia runtime, which can play back H.264, among other codecs. Furthermore, Flash provides a complete solution for advanced video distribution, including support for technologies such as streaming, adaptive bitrate delivery, and content protection. Of course, playing back high definition video can be a CPU-intensive task. This is why Flash Player 10.1 includes support for hardware accelerated video playback across devices from mobile to desktop environments."
"Flash was not designed for touch interfaces"
"Flash was actually originally created as a technology for tablets with touch interfaces. And today, Flash has full support for working on touch-based devices...For new Flash content developed specifically with touch in mind, Flash Player 10.1 provides a complete set of multitouch and gesture APIs."
"Flash is a closed, Adobe-controlled system."
"The Flash Player is part of a rich ecosystem of both open and proprietary technologies...The core engine of the Flash Player (AVM+) is open source and was donated to the Mozilla foundation where it is actively maintained. The file formats supported by the Flash Player, SWF and FLV/F4V, as well as the RTMP and AMF protocols are freely available and openly published. Anyone can use the specifications without requiring permission from Adobe. Third parties can and do build audio, video, and data services that compete with those from Adobe."
The one issue that Jobs brought up that Adobe can't really refute (and shouldn't) is the fact that it is cross-platform, and not designed specifically for Apple devices.