Adobe CEO Responds to Steve Jobs' Verbal Lashing of Flash


In case you missed it, Steve Jobs on Thursday posted an open letter to no one in particular dismantling Adobe's Flash platform with the delicate precision of a hand grenade. Jobs lambasted Flash on a variety of fronts, including reliability, security, and performance, among other complaints. Jobs concluded his tirade by saying that "Flash is no longer necessary to watch video or consume any kind of web content" and that "Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind." Ouch.

If Jobs seriously thought Adobe would take his recommendation to heart (and surely he didn't), he was wrong. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen responded to criticisms made by Jobs, saying the technology problems he pointed out in his essay are "really a smokescreen."

"I think this article and [Apple's] recent behavior shows that they're concerned about Adobe being able to provide this value [of a product that works across multiple platforms] to customers and consumers alike," Narayen said.

When interviewer Alan Murray asks Narayen why he thinks this has become such a nasty fight between Apple and Adobe, one that he likens to TV stars Jon and Kate Gosselin, Narayen points out there is "more pressure right now in terms of the number of mobile devices in which Flash is supported. We are certainly going to be shipping on Android's latest version in early May."

The whole ordeal reminds us a little bit of the public spat that Intel and Nvidia were involved in over chipset licensing throughout much of 2009 in which the two sides took turns launching insults at each other, only in this case, Narayen doesn't seem interested in slinging mud. During the entire 14m43s interview, Narayen remains calm, composed, and matter of fact, refusing to spew venom in response to Jobs' essay.

Watch the full interview here .

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