Adobe CEO: 'We've moved on' from Apple's Flash ban

Adobe Systems CEO Shantanu Narayen says his company has "moved on" from its public dustup with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) over the computing giant's decision to outlaw Adobe's Flash multimedia technology from the iOS platform. In an interview with The Telegraph, Narayen calls into question statements made by Apple CEO Steve Jobs concerning Flash's viability on the mobile platform: "I think we've proven that the technology is not only suitable but it actually significantly enhances the value on these mobile devices," he said. "[Apple has] chosen to keep their system closed and we'd rather work with partners who are interested in working with us. We believe in open systems. We believe in the power of the Internet and in customers making choices and I think a lot of the controversy was about their decision at that point. They've made their choice. We've made ours and we've moved on."

In an open letter published in late April, Jobs outlined the reasoning behind Apple's decision to block Flash, citing a number of concerns, chief among them control. "We know from painful experience that letting a third party layer of software come between the platform and the developer ultimately results in sub-standard apps and hinders the enhancement and progress of the platform," Jobs wrote. "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. We cannot be at the mercy of a third party deciding if and when they will make our enhancements available to our developers." (In a Flash Blog post, Adobe platform evangelist Lee Brimelow called Apple's Flash ban "a frightening move that has no rational defense other than wanting tyrannical control over developers and more importantly, wanting to use developers as pawns in their crusade against Adobe.")

Narayen said Adobe is instead focusing its efforts on mobile partners including Google and Research In Motion--in late June, the company launched Flash Player 10.1 for Mobile, promising consumers access to millions of rich media sites across platforms including Android, BlackBerry, webOS, the forthcoming Windows Phone 7, Symbian, MeeGo and LiMo. Redesigned from the ground up to incorporate new performance and mobile-specific features optimized for both smartphones and tablets, 10.1 is the first Flash release to promise a full web experience across desktops and devices, encompassing games, animations, rich Internet applications, data presentations and visualizations, multimedia and e-commerce. "With the energy and innovation that our company has, we'd rather focus on people who want to deliver the best experience with Flash and there are so many of them," Narayen said.

Narayen also touted the April 2010 release of Adobe's Creative Suite 5 product family, promising developers and designers full-version upgrades of tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver and InDesign. "It's early in the cycle but the feedback we're getting from our customers is that it's helping them author content from multiple devices and applications and is really resonating with them so clearly we're on to a trend that's important to them," he said. "We're delivering on our promise of enabling people to author once and deploy multiple times."

In related news, Engadget reports the final version of Flash Player 10.1 is now available for download on Google's Nexus One smartphones. According to its Android Market description, Flash Player 10.1 enables users to "browse the full web and access all our favorite online videos, games and apps."

For more on Narayen's comments:
- read this Telegraph article

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Adobe throws in the towel on Flash app tools for iPhone
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