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Adobe Calls Out Apple With Ads In NY Times, WSJ 731

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-support-ad-wars dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Businessweek reports that Adobe has taken out newspaper advertisements in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times today and posted an open letter to call out the tablet-computer maker for stifling competition. '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,' the letter states. '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.' The letter is part of a widening rift between Apple and Adobe. Two weeks ago, Apple Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs wrote a 29-paragraph public missive panning Adobe's Flash as having 'major technical drawbacks.' US antitrust enforcers also may investigate Apple following a complaint from Adobe, people familiar with the matter said this month. Adobe has also launched a banner ad campaign to let you know that they love Apple. The two-piece banner ads are composed of a 720x90-pixel 'We [heart] Apple' design, followed by a 300x250-pixel medium rectangle that reads: 'What we don't love is anybody taking away your freedom to choose what you create, how you create it, and what you experience on the web.'"
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Adobe Calls Out Apple With Ads In NY Times, WSJ

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  • Right on Adobe! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by conner_bw (120497) * on Thursday May 13, 2010 @12:24PM (#32194740) Homepage Journal

    This couldn't be better timing! I've been working on a killer app using Authorware for the last 5 years in my secluded dungeon. I'm a bit out of touch with what's going on on the internet because I've been really busy not paying attention, is online multimedia still dominated by Java Applets, VRML, and Director/Lingo?

    Anyway, the product is now ready to be sold to the world for lots of money. I would love your support in porting to iPad and iPod. Support freedom to use whatever I want! Unlike Apple not owning Flash, this is your product so it should be a breeze.

    Wait, no?

  • Re:Right on Adobe! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @12:33PM (#32194890)
    I'm so sorry that you won't be able to cross-compile ('cross contaminate' in Apple lingo) your app for Android and iPad/iPod/iPhone/iDontKnow. But that's OK because according to a recent news article [slashdot.org] Android is now a bigger market to shoot for anyway.
  • Mental Masterbation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by StylusEater (1206014) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @12:36PM (#32194948)
    I find it very disheartening that both companies are going to great lengths to show just how "OPEN" they are, when neither of them are even close to being "open" or really staunch supporters of all things "open." Both companies have jockeyed, in open and/or behind closed doors, to make standards their bi*ches and now they complain because their "industry standards" are being threatened.

    This in turn has caused people to complain loudly about "freedom!!!" I want my freedom? I ask, freedom from what? You're now encountering what Stallman et al have been talking about for ages! You're only free as far as a company's whims says you are... Ohh, now I'm supposed to feel sad for those that hooked their toolset to Adobe? or to Apple for that matter? Why not focus on developing truly standards compliant applications with Open tools and let the companies come to us for a change rather than us bowing to them for the next release? We are all masters of our own domains, now "buck up" and act like it.
  • by Ash-Fox (726320) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @12:37PM (#32194966)

    It's not implemented by a browser.

    Opera on the Wii implements it, I believe Flash is also built in, in some of the latest Chrome builds now.

  • They're Terrified (Score:3, Interesting)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @12:38PM (#32195000)
    Sorry, but Adobe's reaction to this situation is making one thing absolutely crystal clear - they are shitting their pants right now. They are terrified. They know their major cash cow is in major trouble and they are going to fight with every trick in the book to avoid the inevitable. Because, that is what it is - inevitable. Flash is becoming old news and nothing Adobe can do is going to change that fact. Their tantrum-throwing flailing isn't going to change things. HTML5 is going to push Flash to the side. It may not stick in the long term (I think it will but I won't argue that fact because the industry is always changing) but it will certainly provide the catalyst for people to move on to something else.
  • ISO (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Itninja (937614) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @12:42PM (#32195080) Homepage
    Why not push for ISO certification for Flash? It worked with the PDF.
  • by GeLeTo (527660) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @12:43PM (#32195086)
    Great! Now if they would be kind enough to adjust the European prices for their products so that they are not 2 times more expensive than in the US.
    Observe:
    http://www.amazon.com/Adobe-Creative-Suite-Master-Collection/dp/B003B328TE/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=software&qid=1273768517&sr=1-3 [amazon.com] - $2,450.99
    http://www.amazon.de/Adobe-Creative-Master-Collection-deutsch/dp/B003FSSL3M/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=software&qid=1273768468&sr=1-5 [amazon.de] - EUR 3,688.00 = $4,683.39

    And thanks to some european laws that Adobe strongly supports and enforces (with the help of BSA) it is illegal for an european company to use software bought in the US.
    Yay for open markets.
  • Re:Kill CS for Mac (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RazorSharp (1418697) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @12:44PM (#32195106)

    Why doesn't Adobe just get really tough and drop all production of the Creative Suite for Macintosh? I bet that would get Steve's attention PDQ.

    And watch Apple come out with their own competing product and lose a giant chunk of their user base? Apple does software very well. Look what happened to Adobe Premiere in the face of Final Cut. Look what happened to ProTools in the face of Logic. Apple has a knack for making professional creative tools. They're much better at it than Adobe and they also build the OS.

    If Adobe cut support for Apple then they'd be out of business in two years.

  • by mini me (132455) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @12:48PM (#32195180)

    You bring up an interesting point. Why hasn't Adobe baked Flash into WebKit? Even if Apple chooses to ignore the fork for Safari, there are hundreds of other browsers that use the same codebase, including Chrome and the Android browser that would benefit from the contribution.

  • by Omnifarious (11933) * <eric-slash&omnifarious,org> on Thursday May 13, 2010 @12:52PM (#32195258) Homepage Journal

    I agree, it is depressing. Where is my working Open Source Flash player Adobe? Is there an open standard for Flash that has any implementations that work for over 99% of Flash out there other than yours? When you can answer these questions, then maybe you have a leg to stand on in complaining about Apple. But until then, I sincerely hope that Flash dies the death it so richly deserves.

  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:02PM (#32195424)

    If they really want to make a stament just don't release Photoshop and their other apps for Mac. Sure this will cost them quite a bit of money but for a part it can hurt a lot of professional Mac users and lure them back to Windows...

    So if you were CEO of Adobe would you risk your job by losing big on Adobe CS sales as many, many Mac users don't bother upgrading for that version? Remember Macs are about 50% of your sales by most estimates. And given that Adobe may well have monopoly influence on the professional photo editor market, (Apple does not on the smartphone or smartphone app markets) they could well be opening themselves up to a criminal antitrust suit. A good way to keep them from abusing the Photoshop market share would be to spin it off into a separate company. Assuming you escaped on the antitrust front, what would Apple's reaction be? Do you think Apple would come out with an Apple branded competitor to CS? They've done it before in response to lack of up to date OS X versions of apps. As CEO, would you really think this is a reasonable risk in order to try to bolster your Flash lock-in? Last time they did so, they took half Adobe's market share while forcing Adobe to slash the prices of some of their expensive video software.

    ...or let them release Linux versions of their products...

    That would, of course, not be a problem for Apple at all. Anything that hinders the Windows lock-in brings Apple benefit because in the OS space they are winning not on lock-in but competing on features.

  • If Adobe Flash (which Adobe did not even develop BTW) were an really usable product, e.g. open source, able to be enhanced by the end-user, GREEN(!) and secure they would have a case to stand on (in critiquing Apple).

    But Apple has a very good point with respect to their two main products -- the iPhone and the iPad. These are *battery* based devices and power consumption is a major concern. Right now I've got a "single process" [1] chrome session with the libflashplayer.so sub-process running and playing *NOTHING* the Flash Process is sucking down 25+% of my CPU (Pentium IV Prescott) [2]. This isn't just chrome, one sees the same behavior in Firefox its just more difficult to see because it runs as a single process.

    GREEN programs take steps to minimize their CPU consumption, recognize when they are doing nothing and adapt, allow the O.S. to go into various power saving modes (ACPI, P4-clockmod adjustments, suspend to ram, etc.) and as far as I can tell Flash is designed so as to prevent that. If one strace's the chrome flash plugin process one discovers that in 10 seconds it issues 56,000 system calls -- 53,000 (95%) of them are useless gettimeofday() calls. Maybe Flash hoping that someone has requested that it play something... Seems like Adobe doesn't know what a "poll()" call is useful for.

    So I'll do my best to avoid Flash entirely on the basis of its CPU use and CO2 emissions footprint and not even bother to open the potential security problems can-o-worms.

    1. A "single process" chrome session is more often a 4-5 process session (given extensions, plugins, etc.) but it is far better (from a memory use standpoint) than the typical 35-process sessions one gets under Linux once one has exceeded the Google/Chrome "imposed" process limit.
    2. Fortunately one can either "kill -s STOP" or entirely kill the libflashplayer.so plugin and chrome will keep right on functioning (with the possible informational messages in certain tabs/windows that there was a problem with Flash. Often times it isn't even clear that those tabs/windows were using Flash.

  • Re:We Want to (Score:5, Interesting)

    by brundlefly (189430) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:02PM (#32195434)

    I never used to harp on security either. Then one day I got a virus while using Firefox and browsing www.theatlantic.com web site. Some loser in the Yahoo! ad network decided to build a Flash ad that allowed scripting access from domain:*. My browser... screwed.

    Thanks, Adobe. Thanks for giving every idiot web dev alive an automatic weapon with no safety training.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:04PM (#32195460)

    you can't run flash on a blackberry either. why is nobody attacking RIM for being non-competitive?

  • by mini me (132455) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:06PM (#32195506)

    instead of evaluating the resulting app and see if it does make the experience suck.

    There are already Flash apps in the App Store, published before the updated agreement. Perhaps Apple determined that they did, in fact, suck?

    The one thing that nobody ever talks about is, we know that Apple has been doing a lot of automated processing on the binaries to ensure they are in compliance with other areas of the SDK upon submission. What if they determined that output from other compilers were breaking their system and the restriction was made to ensure that developers do not waste a lot of time writing software that is going to automatically be rejected by the automated systems in the future?

    Developers have been pushing for faster approval times since the App Store opened. Automated compliance testing is the way to make that happen. Is it better to use any tool you want, but wait months for approval? Or use Apple's own tools and have it approved almost instantaneously?

  • Fanboi alert! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by saleenS281 (859657) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:12PM (#32195620) Homepage
    Ya, I know when I buy a new game for PC, I tend to blame dell if the gameplay sucks.

    Not that you sound like a fanboi repeating the same tired excuses or anything. Claiming you think it sucks totally sounds objective though, good thinking!
  • by mgbastard (612419) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:13PM (#32195648)
    I would think because Adobe doesn't want thousands of people pointing and laughing at their source code. Not to mention all the refactoring they'd need to perform to get around serious issues that remain undiscovered in its closed source form.
  • by Joce640k (829181) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:22PM (#32195802) Homepage

    Ummm, "consumers" are free to buy non-Apple products.

    If we think this through, and if what Adobe is saying is correct (that consumers really really really want flash), then Apple is shooting itself in the foot. All Adobe has to do is sit and wait.

    Of course the real problem is that Apple is helping to push the world to HTML5, which makes Adobe obsolete and also improves life for the 'consumers' that Adobe is claiming will be hurt.

    The world has to choose between a dog-slow proprietary plug-in which is under the control of Adobe, or new, open standards. I for one hope they do the right thing.

  • Re:Pot, kettle! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ash-Fox (726320) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:22PM (#32195806)

    The spec doesn't document Sorenson Spark

    And it shouldn't, that would be the job of Sonsoren Media [sorensonmedia.com] who have licensed the technologies to both Apple and Adobe. Same thing goes for On2, since it's a On2 Technologies [on2.com] technology and not Adobe. This is not Adobe's fault, it's not like there was "better" technologies at the time they licensed these technologies.

    Moreover, Adobe controls the format, not an open standards body

    True. On the other hand, your original post did not care about that, only "open up the Flash spec", which Adobe did. However, now I just consider you to be purposely changing your argument because it's convenient for you to keep your stance rather than legitimate reasons.

    If Flash were completely open, why isn't there a 100% compliant open-source player out there?

    For the same reason new PDF specs aren't supported in most applications - Developers haven't simply done it yet or have no interest in doing so.

    With FFMPEG working with these codecs which is essentially part of almost every FOSS media player out there, do you really think projects like Gnash couldn't use it?

  • by s73v3r (963317) <s73v3r.gmail@com> on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:30PM (#32195946)
    Because then the entire Flash Player would have to be open source. If it was, then we wouldn't be having this argument, because then Apple would be able to tune the open source Flash Player to their devices, and get its performance up to par with their expectations.
  • by daemonenwind (178848) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:37PM (#32196080)

    I remember back during the megahertz wars how Adobe came out telling its customers that, based on benchmarks, they could no longer recommend Apple products. (This was back in early 2003)

    Of course, that was when Adobe was pretty much the killer app that kept Apple breathing. If Apple lost Adobe during late OS9/early OS X, they lost everything. Furthermore, if the G5 flopped (which has been argued both ways), Apple would have to do something drastic. I believe the move to Intel is their response, and Adobe was very likely the catalyst.

    So Steve Jobs, having a good memory and being somewhat egotistical, seems to me to be getting some revenge here by taking on one of Adobe's flagship product, now that Apple doesn't need Adobe anymore. It's hard to say that Adobe's creative suite is the bedrock of Apple profits these days, so there's not much to lose from his perspective.

  • Re:Freedom (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BitZtream (692029) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:52PM (#32196346)

    Eventually Gimp will work well enough to replace Photoshop, Flash will be dead, an open source WYSIWYG will replace InDesign/Dreamweaver, and this trend will continue with all their products.

    Hahahah, is this before or after pigs sprout wings and replace carrier pigeons?

    Look at what OpenOffice, Firefox, Chrome, and Google Docs are doing.

    You should have kept it just at chrome. Firefox is just dieing slowly, and OO.org and Docs are in no way an acceptable substitute to Office, even if microsoft is screwing with office to no end, both docs and oo.org are still years behind in functionality and polish and show no signs of catching up anytime this decade.

    Do you know how many times I've head 'software as a service' is the future? Just because people keep saying it, doesn't make it actually true. There are only so many monthly bills that people can afford to pay and there will always be people like myself who will refuse to use them and write our own if need be.

    IBM doesn't sell software as a service, it sells consulting and propritary products on top of the OSS they use to rope you in. OSS to IBM is simply the gateway drug to get their foot in the door and once you realize its not going to do the job you need, they sell you the software that does, and make consulting time off you.

    Googles main income is ads, the rest isn;'t a drop in the bucket. Apps for your domain may sell, but not enough to be noticeable.

    Sun tried years ago, and failed. They weren't the first. The only people who don't recognize this trend are the ones who don't remember how computing was when it first started being deployed heavily in the business world.

  • Re:We Want to (Score:3, Interesting)

    by trboyden (465969) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:53PM (#32196364) Homepage
    Why is that Adobe's fault that the Yahoo! ad service allowed an insecure Flash ad be published to their network? By default, Flash content scripting access defaults to "same domain" only. The equivalent argument would be that Microsoft is at fault for viruses because virus writers choose to attack their systems. I'm no fan of Flash ads, but let's put the blame where it actually belongs.
  • by CrackedButter (646746) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:56PM (#32196426) Homepage Journal
    Actually at All thing D, the one with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, Steve said the iphone IS a computer.
  • by Chris Tucker (302549) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @02:23PM (#32197002) Homepage

    This is just MY opinion.

    The cell phone is rapidly becoming the only telephone for a lot of people. That is to say, there is no landline telephone in their home.

    So, the telephone is an important device for people. Particularly when they need to call 911 for help.

    I need medical help now. Paramedics. Ambulance, etc.

    I grab my iPhone, only to discover that the battery is dead, thanks to the battery eating thing called Flash.

    I grab my iPhone, only to discover that the OS has crashed hard, due to some Flash security fault and it won't reboot.

    I grab my iPhone, only to discover that it has been 0wn3d by some Ukrainian spammers, thanks to a 0day exploit in the latest Adobe development tools, and it no longer works as a telephone.

    I grab my iPhone, only to discover that it has been 0wn3d by some asshole in Singapore thanks to a 0day exploit in the latest Adobe development tools, and that if I want it to work, I have to PayPal him US$50.00.

    So, in these hypthetical, yet potentially real, situations, who gets sued? Who gets the bad PR?

    Not the spammers, not Adobe, not the asshole in Singapore.

    It's Apple.

    Used to be, before smartphones, all the OS did was handle the details in connecting to the cell network. Not a whole lot to screw up there.

    Today, it's a different environment.

    Apple doesn't want to be sued for the faults of Adobe or the malicious actions of others.

    Apple doesn't want to risk having people die because of 0day exploits in development software.

    That this happens to annoy some people who think that they have the absolute right to develop apps for iPhone OS and that Apple MUST let them use whatever tools they want, well. Too bad.

    Go play in the Android sandbox. Don't buy Apple products that use iPhone OS.

  • Re:Right on Adobe! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Wovel (964431) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @03:43PM (#32198572) Homepage

    The iPhone SDK makes it very easy to be able to write code that runs on all of the devices and takes advantage of the features on newer platforms. All of the devices so far support iPhone OS 4.0.

    You simply can not say the same thing for Android. There is a huge difference...

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