Adobe boss: Jobs’ excuses are a “smokescreen”

Adobe has hit back at Apple’s stinging public criticism of Flash.

Adobe boss: Jobs' excuses are a

Apple CEO Steve Jobs yesterday issued a rare public letter, explaining why his company wouldn’t permit Flash on the iPhone or iPad. Jobs claimed Flash was “the number one reason Macs crash” and claimed Adobe’s software had “one of the worst security records in 2009”.

In a video interview with the Wall Street Journal, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen dismissed the allegations, describing them as a “smokescreen”.

If Flash is the number one reason that Macs crash, which I’m not aware of, it has as much to do with the Apple operating system

“We demonstrated that through Adobe tools you could actually build content and applications [for the iPhone and iPad],” Narayen claimed. “Over 100 applications were actually approved through the store. When you resort to licensing language, it’s clear that it has nothing to do with technology.”

When asked specifically whether Flash caused Macs to crash, Narayen turned the fire back on Apple. “If Flash is the number one reason that Macs crash, which I’m not aware of, it has as much to do with the Apple operating system,” he claimed. “Again, the technology is not the real issue.”

He was equally bullish against accusations that Flash puts an unacceptable drain on the battery life of mobile devices, branding Jobs’ accusation as “patently false”.

“When you have hardware acceleration available for Flash, which certain platforms give us the ability to do, we have demonstrated it takes less battery power than on the Mac,” Narayen said. “For every one of these allegations made, there is proprietary lock-in that prevents us from delivering the kind of innovation that customers want.”

Moving forward

Narayen’s interview was markedly more aggressive than a blog post posted by Adobe’s chief technology officer, Kevin Lynch, in which he said Adobe was “moving forward” without Apple.

“Clearly, a lot of people are passionate about both Apple and Adobe and our technologies,” Lynch wrote. “We feel confident that were Apple and Adobe to work together as we are with a number of other partners, we could provide a terrific experience with Flash on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

“However, as we posted last week, given the legal terms Apple has imposed on developers, we have already decided to shift our focus away from Apple devices for both Flash Player and AIR.”

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