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Iphone The Courts Apple

Will Adobe Sue Apple Over Flash? 980

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the oh-please-yes dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Apple's iron-bound determination to keep Adobe Flash out of any iWhatever device is about to blow up in Apple's face. Sources close to Adobe tell me that Adobe will be suing Apple within a few weeks."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Will Adobe Sue Apple Over Flash?

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  • by jcr (53032) <jcr.mac@com> on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:37AM (#31831558) Journal

    Adobe's in this position because Flash is the #1 cause of application crashes on the Mac. If they hadn't been foot-dragging for the last decade or so, flash would be something Apple actually wanted.

    -jcr

  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:38AM (#31831562)

    apple needs to be sued over there app store lock in and lock down as some of there banning may be going to far.

  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 2obvious4u (871996) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:40AM (#31831590)
    Apple. Their platform, their closed system. If they choose to keep it closed that is their problem. Let the consumers choose and get the new Google tablet that has flash enabled and let Apple die. Adobe shouldn't be able to use the court system to bully their way into a market.
  • Lord of War Quote (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:40AM (#31831592) Journal

    This reminds me of a line from a movie...

    "But in the Iran-Iraq war you sold guns to both sides."

    "Did you ever consider that I wanted both sides to lose?"

    We should be pointing out more reasons for the guys to sue each other than just a petty Flash dispute, we should arm them with the means to sue each other into oblivion!

    Than, if my calculations are correct, the lawyers will have made enough to buy new yachts, bolstering the economy slightly. It's really a win for everybody all around.

  • Ridiculous (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:40AM (#31831594)

    Submitter seems to be experiencing some joy at the prospect of a lawsuit against Apple. Indeed he/she things it's going to "blow up in their face." Woohoo! I just can't understand the prevailing love on this site for Flash. What in the hell are you fighting for? A device that prevents Flash is a Godsend to me. People act like it's a problem. Who are you people?

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:40AM (#31831604) Homepage

    "It was Microsoft's operating system." Oh, right, I forgot, under modern antitrust laws you're allowed to be a total anti-competitive asshole until you become the 800lb gorilla. Part of me is hoping that Adobe wins and takes Apple to the cleaners because I don't buy the hypocrisy here that Apple should be able to get away with behavior that would have launched an online World War 3 if done by Microsoft.

  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bluesatin (1350681) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:41AM (#31831612)

    Personally I'd think that Adobe standing up for itself, and perhaps threatening Apple with some-sort of discontinuing of it's products on Macs may knock some sense into Apple; it'd probably be a good thing for Adobe in the long run.

    If Apple obviously doesn't want to play nice with Adobe, why should Adobe keep providing Apple with a main selling feature of Macs? (The supposed fact they're for multimedia work).

  • by dtml-try MyNick (453562) <litheran@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:42AM (#31831632)

    Adobe is going to sue for what?

    Company A doesn't want to use technology developed by company B. Good luck with that.

    Granted, Apple is quite aggressive and loud when it comes to Flash but that is still no reason to sue them for not using it. Their device, their technology.

  • sue them for what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bsDaemon (87307) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:43AM (#31831660)

    What exactly are they going to sue them for? Is there a law that says a company has to allow another company's product to interact with theirs? I mean, sure, its generally considered good form to do so, but its hardly required. Of course, rising popularity of iPhone/iPod Touch/possibly the iPad as well, none of which run Flash, means that there will be less demand to use Flash, and therefore Adobe will be able to sell fewer Flash dev kits. Well, frankly, too bad. Adobe makes some good stuff, and is probably largely responsible for the success of the Mac, but as Apple moves more towards the mobile space, they don't really need Adobe as much as they used to anymore. But, as Apple continues to push the market space away from the desktop, Adobe may need Apple more than ever.

  • WTF Slashdot? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SpeZek (970136) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:44AM (#31831670) Journal
    This is actually a "story"?

    It's literally some anonymous guy on the internet saying something.
  • by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:44AM (#31831678) Journal

    There's no information. These are anonymous sources close to an anonymous coward. Don't take it any more seriously than graffiti on the bathroom wall.

  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:45AM (#31831688)

    Can Microsoft do that as well? It's their platform right? Oh, wait, it's Apple so it's fine now.

    I don't know who should win in this one. Perhaps I'll wait till the docs are actually filed and can read the actual arguments and get actual law instead of some journalists opinion on what is.

  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:47AM (#31831736) Journal
    The one with the closed source, insecure framework.

    On an open platform, you are free to kick software vendors you don't like to the curb, in favor of ones you do, and in a granular fashion. On a closed platform, your decision is entirely deprived of granularity. It's a take-it-or-leave-it, all of it, thing.

    In practice, the latter gives you much less power as a customer. Yes, you can not buy the closed platform; but that means that you cannot have any of it. Technologically bundled. On an open platform, you can pick and choose. Bundling(whether technological or contractual, and whether or not it meets the legal standards of Sherman) gives the vendor great power over you because, as long as one part of their product is good, they can be more or less assured that you will just have to suck down the bad parts. Open platforms, which are much less subject to bundling, barring particularly nasty contracts, subject individual parts of the system to competitive pressure.

    Yes, flash sucks. Don't install it if you have the choice, use flashblock and a whitelist if you just need it in a few places; but never forget that the vendor who can choose for you, even if their taste is impeccable, is more dangerous than the vendor you can choose, even if they suck.
  • Seriously? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Flambergius (55153) * on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:51AM (#31831828)

    Come on, people!

    Apple is telling developers that they aren't free to choose the tools they use. Specifically you can't use a tool that would allow you to write code once and run it on any platform. Who cares about Adobe, Apple is telling *you* to take it up the ass and like it.

    And there are people in Slashdot that are ok with that?

    GTFO.

  • by bbernard (930130) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:51AM (#31831830)

    Agreed. And, to be blunt, I'm sick and tired of flash all over my Internet. Flash cookies are a HORRIBLE idea. Menus on websites that are flash driven are ridiculous. And to be blunt, the vast majority of flash on the sites I frequent are the ads anyway. Especially when I'm on a low-bandwidth connection, why the hell do I want flash anyway?

    I know, I know, without flash I can't watch a movie on the Internet anymore. So let's adopt HTML 5 standards and get on with it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:52AM (#31831844)

    Maybe you should look up the definition of monopoly, because I think being an 800-lb gorilla is one of the requirements. Then I think you need to go further and review the difference between vertical and horizontal monopolies, since Apple is one type and Microsoft [was] the other.

    IANAL, but the only way Adobe could win (apart from bringing suit in East Texas) is if they had some prior agreement with Apple to allow flash on the devices in question, and then Apple renegged on that agreement.

  • Haha. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:53AM (#31831864) Journal

    Hah. Hahaha. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Use our product! On your product! Without paying us! Or we'll sue you!

    What next? Microsoft suing a suddenly popular PC manufacturer because they've completely abandoned Windows and only ship with Ubuntu Linux, or an "advanced" option out of a list of free OSes including Fedora, CentOS, Debian, FreeBSD?

  • by binarylarry (1338699) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:54AM (#31831868)

    Although I'm not going to argue that flash is extremely stable, I think this is much more about platform lock-in than any particular defect in Flash.

    Apple didn't ban Flash, they banned anything that wasn't written specifically for their platform.

    Adobe could release an absolutely amazing and flawless version of Flash 11 tomorrow and it would be just as banned, if not even more zealously, because it would represent a stronger competitor to Apple's own platform.

  • Not to mention telling Apple "No, we're not going to port Photoshop to Yellow box (even though it's based on our Display Postscript technology)". It was a nasty one-two punch that could have put Apple out of business.

  • by TheKidWho (705796) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:54AM (#31831878)

    You're kidding yourself if you think Graphics designers are the type of people who would want to use Linux. Most of them barely understand how a computer works to begin with.

  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:56AM (#31831912) Homepage Journal

    Oh, right, I forgot, under modern antitrust laws you're allowed to be a total anti-competitive asshole until you become the 800lb gorilla.

    These "modern" anti-trust laws are a century old, and were instituted because of abuses by 800 lb gorillas like Standard Oil. Microsoft has a monopoly, Apple doesn't; that's the difference, and it's a difference that matters.

  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dropadrop (1057046) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:01AM (#31832016)

    Can Microsoft do that as well? It's their platform right? Oh, wait, it's Apple so it's fine now.

    I don't know who should win in this one. Perhaps I'll wait till the docs are actually filed and can read the actual arguments and get actual law instead of some journalists opinion on what is.

    Yeah, I fully agree. Apple should not be allowed to leverage their monopoly in mobile phones to lock out content development standards such as Flash.

  • by gurps_npc (621217) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:03AM (#31832054) Homepage
    This is more of the same old crap the manufactuers have been pushing for years.

    They really truly want to rent you their products. They want to retain ownership and control, being able to prevent you from puting what you want on it.

    But people don't want to rent, not even at really low prices. The Apple costs $500 and most people expect it to last two years, so Apple could have tried to renting it to us at $25/month with a two year contract and an option to renew at $5/month after that. But that would not fly, because people want to own.

    So they 'sell' it to us, then try to put ridiculous restraints on it via every which way they can. Bullcrap. If we buy it, we can do whatever we want with it. Including installing Flash crap if we so choose. No one wants to rent your stuff, so stop tyring to get the benefits of renting.

  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Third Position (1725934) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:03AM (#31832068)

    I don't know who should win in this one. Perhaps I'll wait till the docs are actually filed and can read the actual arguments and get actual law instead of some journalists opinion on what is.

    Exactly what grounds would Adobe sue on? If Apple was offering a competing proprietary product to play Flash media, I could (possibly) see an anti-trust case. But they aren't, they're simply not offering the functionality. This isn't really the same thing as Netscape vs. Microsoft.

  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:5, Insightful)

    by UnknowingFool (672806) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:06AM (#31832138)

    Can Microsoft do that as well? It's their platform right? Oh, wait, it's Apple so it's fine now.

    *Sigh* The rules change when you are a monopoly. MS has a monopoly. But that isn't the where they got into trouble because it's legal have a monopoly. It's illegal to use your monopoly powers to limit and thwart competition. That's where MS got into trouble.

    Apple does not have a monopoly on smart phones. They don't even have the biggest marketshare in the US much less the world. RIM has the lead. Therefore monopoly rules do not apply.

  • by DaveV1.0 (203135) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:07AM (#31832144) Journal

    If you do not know the difference between "then" and "than", I doubt your plan is as sound as you think it is.

  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:08AM (#31832158)
    oh not this again.

    I'm not pro apple or against microsoft, but pelase stop moderating insightful this kind of brain damaged propaganda.

    microsoft has been convicted for illegally abusing it's monopoly and as part of the sentence it got the constriction of facilitate the others to eat their monopoly.

    apple didn't.

    there is nothing illegal in being a closed platform. it's leveraging it's own position to enter other markets which is.

    so no microsoft can't do it. but it's not because apple got a exit to jail free card, quite the contrary.
  • by jcr (53032) <jcr.mac@com> on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:08AM (#31832164) Journal

    I wouldn't call it sabotage, just incompetence. Apple's been telling them to fix it for quite a few years, but it seems that they can't be bothered to learn the rudiments of how to write threaded code.

    -jcr

  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ckaminski (82854) <(moc.xobop) (ta) (iksnimakc)> on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:08AM (#31832174) Homepage
    I cheer Apple and their mission to keep Flash off the i* devices. Flash is a scourge upon the web that must be purged.
  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pixelpusher220 (529617) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:10AM (#31832200)
    If Apple was offering a competing proprietary product to play Flash media, I could (possibly) see an anti-trust case. ... This isn't really the same thing as Netscape vs. Microsoft.

    Even if they were it wouldn't be the same thing as MS vs Netscape. MS is the 900 lb gorilla of personal computing. Apple is a a small fish that happens to garner way way way outsized media attention for their market share.

    If a small company that in no way has a monopoly on its industry wants to offer a closed system they are perfectly within their rights to do so.

    The MS vs Netscape problem wasn't that MS incorporated IE, it was that it used the virtual monopoly of Windows to do so.
  • No sandboxes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ihatewinXP (638000) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:11AM (#31832210)

    Apple is perfectly within their rights to not allow programs that will then run arbitrary code on their devices. No court would uphold this and im sure Apples lawyers have already done a preliminary job of putting together a case if this were to happen.

    IANAL but it seems pretty airtight that Apple can decide arbitrarily what to run -on their own devices- especially when there are literally millions of phones/platforms that will let you do anything. Did Adobe really think Flash was going to be on top forever? Pretty shortsighted for a tech company if they did. With all the new ossum features in HTML5 why is anyone complaining that Apple is replacing a proprietary format with an open one anyways?

  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice.gmail@com> on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:12AM (#31832240)
    Come one people, this has *nothing* to do with Flash as a media player - this issue is to do with Apple denying Adobe Flash as a development platform for the iPhone, which is completely different to the age old (well, since 2007 anyhow) issue of a lack of flash in Mobile Safari.

    Apple are denying Flash as a development platform, and instead requiring the use of their own development platform.
  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:3, Insightful)

    by IntlHarvester (11985) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:14AM (#31832278) Journal

    Whether or not Apple has a monopoly is particular sub-market is pretty much irrelevant, because anti-trust laws are never enforced until years after the fact. That is, by the time one could legally prove them to be a monopoly, its too late.

  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:1, Insightful)

    by IgnoramusMaximus (692000) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:17AM (#31832348)

    I believe the lawyers are going to win no matter what.

    In fact this is the whole point of byzantine "law" as featured in all "developed" countries and their associated parasitic, multi-trillion-dollar legal industries. It is no coincidence that most of the "lawmakers" world-over are former or current lawyers who very deliberately create laws in ways that benefit only their particular caste first and any supposed intended "social" effect is considered by them a mere excuse, an insignificant secondary concern. Just witness the recent 1100 page US "health reform" bill. Anyone who believes that its true purpose has anything whatsoever to do with "health" or "reform" rather then the lawyer-enrichment-program (followed closely by the lawyer-cum-lobbyist-enrichment-program, followed closely by lawyer-cum-insurance-company-CEO-enrichment-program ... ) should have his/her head examined.

  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sheik Yerbouti (96423) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:17AM (#31832352) Homepage

    You don't have to have a monopoly to be anti competitive and predatory. Microsoft was both long before they established an actual monopoly. And no the Slashdot crowd generally would not accept that type of behavior from any computer software or hardware company. Except I guess, for some hypocrites, Apple.

  • by 4iedBandit (133211) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:18AM (#31832370) Homepage

    What's stopping Adobe from porting Flash to iPhone, iPad, iPod?

    Oh wait, they would have to make it not suck.

    Flash is cool. I too have played some great flash games. But when my system goes from idle to 100% and all I did was open a web page with a flash based add, something is wrong. Why does something that takes up no more than a tenth of the web page cause my system to go to 100% cpu?

    Everyone thinks Apple is the big bad wolf here. The reality is, Adobe has every opportunity to port flash and make it an outstanding piece of software. Instead they want to settle for good enough. Good enough is what has given us software that works, but requires ever increasing amounts of processor power, memory and disk space just to run at an acceptable level.

    Processor, memory and more importantly battery life, are not unlimited in a mobile device. Apple is the gatekeeper so yes it does appear that they are the bad guys, but the reality is that Adobe has had every opportunity to make Flash better. Make it use less CPU, less memory and make it world class software. Instead, they've chosen to whine and complain about it.

    Did Opera whine and complain about Apple's rules and how it was going to hurt them? Or did they innovate?

    Adobe has every opportunity to make Flash function so well that Apple would have no problem letting it exist on the iProducts. Apple has provided the tools to write code for the iPlatforms. Adobe has access to those tools just like everyone else. The only thing stopping Adobe is Adobe. Apple has no further responsibility to make some other companies product work.

  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:1, Insightful)

    by russellh (547685) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:19AM (#31832396) Homepage
    That's a bullshit argument. Apple's not leveraging a monopoly; Flash has been installed in 99% of every browser since, when, 1998? It's still on the Mac. iPhone OS is Apple's platform. Nobody has a right to the platform. If you make StupidPlugin, do you have a right to sue Apple to include your code? No.
  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:19AM (#31832400)

    I doubt Adobe are silly enough to cut off their software to Apple users. It would be seen as a real dickhead move in the publishing industry, where most don't care about the Flash and iPhone fiasco.

    If Adobe did such a thing, I wouldn't count on people leaving OS X for Windows. Rather, I'd count on another company finally getting a foothold into Adobe's market.

    Apps like Photoshop might seem impossible to displace in the professional industry, but it can happen. With apps like Aperture (and Lightroom) taking the place of Photoshop for some tasks, changes in the way people have been using the product since it's original design, different approaches to media creation, Photoshop is ready for a replacement.

    As for cutting off InDesign, that could simply push the industry back to QuarkXPress.

  • by whisper_jeff (680366) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:20AM (#31832430)

    Apple is misusing its controll of the app-store to...

    Control of it's own store? How can they misuse control of their own store? Target and Walmart and every store on the planet has the right to dictate what can and is sold in their stores (and, for the record, Walmart exerts an ENORMOUS amount of influence on its suppliers if they want to show up on Walmart shelves...). How is that any different than this? Because Apple has a monopoly? No they don't. They don't even have a majority of the market. In the mobile market, they may be hugely successful and are continuing to do well but they aren't even remotely in a monopoly position - not even vaguely by any measure of the term "monopoly". There are several successful competitors out there with their own app ecosystems available.

    Sorry, but let's keep things in perspective. You may not like Apple's degree of control and restrictions (and you certainly wouldn't be the first in that group) but they are not misusing anything - at least not any more so than Walmart misuses control over their floorspace.

  • by Teun (17872) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:20AM (#31832434) Homepage
    The EU measures against Microsoft were based on them being a de-facto monopoly, something you can't possibly say of Apple.
  • by BobMcD (601576) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:23AM (#31832488)

    I wouldn't call it sabotage, just incompetence. Apple's been telling them to fix it for quite a few years, but it seems that they can't be bothered to learn the rudiments of how to write threaded code.

    -jcr

    But if it works on Linux and Windows, on the exact same hardware, how is this entirely Adobe's problem?

  • by gnasher719 (869701) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:24AM (#31832502)

    These "modern" anti-trust laws are a century old, and were instituted because of abuses by 800 lb gorillas like Standard Oil. Microsoft has a monopoly, Apple doesn't; that's the difference, and it's a difference that matters.

    Not a car analogy: You shouldn't punch people on the nose. But it makes a difference whether a three year old girl punches me on the nose (I'll say "Ouch") or Mike Tyson punches me on the nose as hard as he can (I'm likely gone). In one case people tell me "don't be such a wuzz" if I complain, in the other case someone could go to jail for murder.

  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jlebrech (810586) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:25AM (#31832532) Homepage

    Nothing is stopping MS from creating a legacy-free OS which they would have the control over.

    But the market would pick a competitor if they made the wrong move, they would prefer to keep compatibility to benefit from the existing userbase.

    If they broke compatibility they would also be breaking their own monopoly, and have less restrictions.
    The monopoly issue was with competitors being affected by microsoft bundling their own version of software into windows (which they had a monopoly on).

  • by uglyduckling (103926) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:25AM (#31832540) Homepage

    ...they did nothing to hint they would prevent it, up till the very last second.

    So you've been all the 'high level' meetings between Adobe and Apple have you? Anything else you can tell us then?

  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sloppy (14984) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:25AM (#31832548) Homepage Journal

    Root for Apple. Apple creates significant markets regardless of their unattractiveness. If they can keep Flash off their crap, then content creators will adapt, because they want those Apple users. How will they adapt? Well, if we're lucky, they'll just stick to standards. And that means the device that you use or develop, will only need to be compatible with standards. And then everyone wins (where everyone includes you), regardless of Apple's closedness.

  • Re:Be Cautious (Score:3, Insightful)

    by trout007 (975317) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:26AM (#31832556)
    In my opinion it is impossible for either Apple or MS to be considered a Monopoly. Just having a huge percentage of the market doesn't make you a monopoly. You have to have the backing of a government federal, state, local. So my utility company is a monopoly because I can't shop around. Same with water, sewer, roads, ect. But a company that makes a product can't have a monopoly because there is no barrier to entry into the marketplace except for consumers. So say Apple becomes this tyrannical company and people get angry. They can start their own company or buy from another company. But if my sewer company wants to triple their rates there is nowhere for me to go.
  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mrsteveman1 (1010381) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:26AM (#31832558)

    Apple is the one pushing people toward HTML5 video

  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sheik Yerbouti (96423) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:29AM (#31832602) Homepage

    Adobe would bend over backwards to make flash work in the iPhone or iPad to Steve Job's satisfaction. Apple does not want flash on their platform for simple money reasons. If you go and play Farmville or Mafia Wars on Facebook on your iPad Apple does not make any money for that. If you buy We Rule from the app store they do get a cut of that along with the books, music, video etc.. They sell you through the built in store. They have you completely locked down to their app store and they collect revenue on all the content you buy. They lose some control and revenue with flash, now all of the sudden you can play tons of flash games use hulu etc... and they don't get paid for that.

    Also if they let flash on the platform that means flash /flex apps would work on the the Android phones and the iPhone equally. They don't want that competition either they want developers locked in to their app ecosystem and make it difficult and or expensive for them to develop cross platform mobile titles.It's all bout control money and lock in. It's good business but it's anti competitive, predatory, and anti consumer.

    To willfully put on blinders and pretend it has anything to do with app quality or user experience is idiotic. If flash/flex apps sucked on iPhone or iPad then it would not be a problem for Apple because no one would bother to use them.

  • by Sloppy (14984) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:29AM (#31832610) Homepage Journal

    It's too easy for people to avoid the lock in. Don't buy an iThing and you're not locked in to their store or their syncing software. If Apple had a monopoly on portable personal computers, then you might have a point, but they're just one of many.

  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:29AM (#31832614)

    "Monopoly" depends a lot on scope.

    If we're considering the entire software industry, no, Apple doesn't have a "monopoly". But neither does anyone else at the moment. Neither did Microsoft in the 1990s and early 2000s.

    If we're talking about the smartphone market, Apple still doesn't have a "monopoly". Likewise, Microsoft didn't and doesn't have a monopoly in the personal computer market.

    If we're talking about the iPhone/iPad market, then Apple does indeed have a "monopoly". This scope is equivalent to that of the x86 PC market. It's a specific type of device, made by a relatively small number of manufacturers.

    Now, you might say that it's nothing like the Microsoft monopoly of the x86 PC market. In reality, however, they're very similar situations. In fact, Apple's monopoly is much worse than Microsoft's ever was. Microsoft only ever directly controlled the software. Apple, on the other hand, controls the software, the hardware, and the distribution channel.

    Even if Microsoft used their position to encourage the use of IE, they never went out of their way to explicitly "ban" Netscape Navigator, or Opera, or any other competing browser from running on Windows. Apple, on the other hand, has imposed very strict limitations on the apps that can run on their devices.

    I'm sickened by Microsoft's products and behavior as much as any other reasonable person, but Apple has taken it to a new level that I don't think even Microsoft could ever achieve.

  • I'm not conflicted (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mschaffer (97223) * on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:29AM (#31832618)

    I think it's a no brainer. Support Adobe.
    Then, maybe, someone will attack Adobe about their platform.
    When that happens, support them.

    Remember...the enemy of your enemy is your friend.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:31AM (#31832666)

    Well, they are only banning cross-platform development for non-technical reasons when they own ninety something percent of paid smartphone app market and the competition is at crucial emerging stage.. no biggie.

  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MaskedSlacker (911878) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:35AM (#31832730)

    Because they'll win. Don't kid yourself, Satan himself was a lawyer.

  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rockoon (1252108) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:38AM (#31832792)
    Anti-Trust laws are not exclusive to monopolies.

    Quite simply, any anti-competitive behavior may be grounds for an anti-trust case under section 1 of the Sherman act. It could certainly be construed that allowing a specific application constitutes an agreement between Apple and the applications developers, and that if Apple refuses to allow Flash-based alternatives to that application that it then is a conspiracy that restrains competition, and if that application is for sale then this agreement by definition restrains competitive commerce.
  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tehcyder (746570) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:44AM (#31832884) Journal
    The reason you need so many laws and lawyers is because without the threat of enforceable legal action, big corporations would simply act like gangsters.
  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rhsanborn (773855) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:48AM (#31832974)
    Its the same reason the graph shows Apple instead of iPhone, Google instead of Android, and Microsoft instead of Windows Mobile, because RIM is the company that makes Blackberrys.
  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:54AM (#31833088) Homepage

    Sometimes laws are complex for useful and legitimate reasons. When the problem domain is a complex beast, the laws governing it are going to be complex. Just like software - complex problems yield complex solutions most of the time. And laws have to deal with things that are far more complicated than software, because software systems are generally deterministic whereas legal systems have to deal with human failings.

    For instance, let's take the very simple crime of murder. You'd think it was straightforward - you kill somebody, you go to jail or death row. But it's not, because sometimes killing somebody is justified, sometimes it's an accident, sometimes it's an accident that required the killer to do a whole lot of extraordinarily stupid things, sometimes it's because the person wanted to die, etc. If you make the laws too simple, the judge will be stuck with the sentence for running someone over because your brakes failed (due to poor maintenance) being the same sentence as hiring a hit man to kill someone in their sleep.

    In the case of the 1100 page health insurance reform law, it's as big as it is in large part because health care is a hugely difficult problem with both lives and billions of dollars on the line. Yes, there are also a lot of riders, special interest stupidity, loopholes, etc, but you can easily leave 300 pages for that stuff and still have a hugely complex bill.

  • by sqlrob (173498) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:54AM (#31833090)
  • by dtml-try MyNick (453562) <litheran@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:02AM (#31833254)

    I want to build iPhone applications, but I can't because I don't own a Mac. I must go spend $1200 (roughly) to buy a Mac before I can develop an application for the iPhone. That is not fair for a small developer

    That's called investing.
    Or are you currently developing on a machine that in some magical way was totally free (as in beer)?

    I bet you don't. You coughed up a few hundred bucks at least for some hardware and then you needed a OS and development tools. If you're not running a *nix/*lux variant chances are you had to pay for those as well. Same thing, spend cash to earn cash.

    It's not fair for my place of employment since I work for a state agency and we are mandated by state to purchase all computers from a specific vendor. Because of this, we can not develop an iPhone app

    You're blaming Apple for the fact that your employer refuses (or is not allowed) to buy from Apple.. You have a strange way of thinking I must say.

  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Duradin (1261418) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:16AM (#31833530)

    Apple has a monopoly on Apple devices.

    I know, it's crazy to think that a company should have any sort of control over their own product line that they produce and market. It's unthinkable that a company doesn't bow to every whim of everyone else all the time, especially if those whims are against the best interest of the company.

  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Captain Segfault (686912) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:18AM (#31833574) Homepage Journal

    hereby replacing the passage 'if of and thereof' with 'if of or thereof' followed by ..."

    You might try actually reading the code rather than a diff.

  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:4, Insightful)

    by peragrin (659227) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:35AM (#31833824)

    So Apple is bad for annoucing a new transitional framework. Waiting six months and realizing that only a couple of companies would ever use it as itwas only designed to last a couple of years anyways?

    Carbon was always supposed to be just a transitional framework. Something to help port from OS 9 to OS X. That like msft supporting win 16 frameworks in windows 7. Apple moves faster however during the ppc to intel transition those who used the coccoa frameworks transitioned a lot faster and easier than those who used the ppc designed carbon frameworks.

    I would live to see msft mange a major processor shift. It would take 10 years.

  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:41AM (#31833946)

    One can write "killing a person is forbidden by law"

    Except it's not illegal to merely kill a person. You can kill in self-defense, for example. Your law would send somebody defending themselves from attackers to prison.

    Those exceptions are there because reality is full of nuance. Exceptions to the "rule". You are right, the intention of the law is to criminalize murder. But as I said, not all killing is murder.

  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:53AM (#31834190)

    I don't think they can sue over anti-trust because because you have to show a monopoly. It's hard to claim monopoly on a device. If Adobe does sue because of not being allowed on Apple's device, Sony's Playstation, Microsoft's Xbox, and Nintendo's divisions will have a huge stake in the outcome of this case as well because of unauthorized games running on their platform as well.

  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hangtime (19526) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @12:12PM (#31834530) Homepage

    Depends on how you to define the market. This is always the problem when dealing with anti-trust issues. How narrow or broad the market is ultimately how a company is determined to be in a monopolistic position and thus the remedy. If you define the market as being the market for smartphones you have a point. IPhone is behind. However, if you define the market as phones and individuals that browse the Internet then IPhone is clearly the leader (cannot find the link at the moment but it was a Slashdot article by an ad network showing something in the neighborhood of 60% followed by RIM, WinMo, Android). If you further segment down to purchased apps then its probably 90% market share. That will be the argument Adobe makes.

  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Magic5Ball (188725) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @12:44PM (#31835214)

    I my applications are "originally written in" in neurons, which requires the use of intermediate code being expressed in various languages on whiteboards, notebooks, conversations, etc. before any code reaches C or other language. I guess I won't be writing any iPhone apps.

    Alternatively, i could interpret the clause in the new agreement to mean that they don't want runtime translation/compilation to avoid sucking battery power when (their) tools are available to correctly compile once against the target.

    At any rate, I don't imagine that it will be long before someone distributes the Flash player as a bunch of (obfuscated) C classes or libraries or some such (perhaps as an on-line service) which a developer could then paste into Apple's developer tools, along with a byte-code or other pastable representation of the Flash program which would then be compiled by the allowed Apple tools into a native binary.

  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:5, Insightful)

    by metamatic (202216) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @12:59PM (#31835542) Homepage Journal

    I doubt Adobe are silly enough to cut off their software to Apple users.

    They don't have to cut off their software entirely. They can just make their Mac versions half-assed ports of the Windows versions.

    Oh, wait, they already did that [macworld.com]... Well, they can release them months after the Windows versions.

    Oh, wait, they already did that too [macworld.com]... Well, they can make them even more half-assed, and maybe kill a few of the smaller apps on the Mac, like Premiere.

    Oh, wait, they already did that for a while [macworld.com]. Gosh, can't think why Apple isn't more enthusiastic about keeping Adobe happy...

  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DrgnDancer (137700) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @12:59PM (#31835544) Homepage

    You cannot argue that a product has a monopoly in a scope as small as the product itself. It's absurd, stop doing it. Yes, Apple has a monopoly on producing iPhones. Dell has a monopoly on producing Optiplex 760s. Big deal. Apple no more has a monopoly on anything that could resonantly be called a "market" (Phones, smartphones, even consumer smartphones), than Dell does on anything that could be called a market (computers, personal computers, or even x86 personal computers). They have a dominant position in they position in the consumer smartphone market. You might, *might*, be able to argue a monopoly *if* you can get a judge to consider a market scope that small, *and* Apple has a bigger share of that market than I suspect they do. Otherwise forget it.

  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pablodiazgutierrez (756813) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @01:13PM (#31835880) Homepage

    Apple makes a nice amount from app sales, which they control. If an independent framework becomes popular, this opens the door to someone else controlling the flow of money. I don't like either position, but I understand them in their twisted minds.

  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:1, Insightful)

    by zzsmirkzz (974536) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @01:14PM (#31835910)

    Yes, Apple has a monopoly on producing iPhones

    That's not what I said. The market is the software for the iPhone/iPad which hundreds/thousands of developers serve. It is this market that Apple is abusing its monopoly control of to reduce competition.

  • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sancho (17056) * on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @03:04PM (#31837990) Homepage

    If we're talking about the iPhone/iPad market, then Apple does indeed have a "monopoly". This scope is equivalent to that of the x86 PC market. It's a specific type of device, made by a relatively small number of manufacturers.

    It's more like the IBM PC than the x86 PC market. The IBM PC was the one which was effectively proprietary, but was eventually cloned. Did IBM have a monopoly on IBM PCs back then? Sure. Did they have a monopoly on personal computers? No, in fact, they launched their PC line in response to Apple.

    Now, you might say that it's nothing like the Microsoft monopoly of the x86 PC market. In reality, however, they're very similar situations. In fact, Apple's monopoly is much worse than Microsoft's ever was. Microsoft only ever directly controlled the software. Apple, on the other hand, controls the software, the hardware, and the distribution channel.

    Interestingly, if Microsoft had tried to do that from the beginning, they never would have succeeded in the market like they have. The rampant piracy of DOS combined with the ability to run anything you wanted on it (and write anything you wanted on it) almost certainly lead to the quick and massive uptake of the platform.

    But the problem with the monopoly (any monopoly, really) is not inherent to having the vast majority of the market. The problem is using that as leverage to maintain your monopoly or grow even further. It would be hard to accuse Apple of anti-competitive behavior[1] with regards to the iPhone platform.

    Even if you could make the case for that specific platform, that's not the market that the FTC would consider. They would consider the smartphone market, where Apple is a small player compared to the whole. There's no way that anyone could reasonably say that Apple has a monopoly in this market, and thus they aren't held to the same standards as Microsoft was in the late 90s.

    With the iPad and iPhone, Apple is moving away from general computing. I would never consider griping that Samsung doesn't let me run Linux on my TV, even though there's a processor and memory in there quite capable of doing it. Apple is trying to establish some of their products as appliances. Whether or not this will hold up is still up in the air, but I have a hard time thinking that it's somehow wrong even if I don't like some of the implications of it. The iPhone feels very much like a tiny general-purpose computer. Calling it an appliance may well fail the duck-test if it comes to that.

    [1] Or it would have been prior to the launch of the iPad. It's been found that Apple developers are not held to the same standards as everyone else when it comes to App-store approval. Apple developers are allowed to use private APIs that will get any other developer a quick rejection notice. Speculation is that this will be rectified in iPhone OS 4.0 with the expanded APIs.

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