Adobe Strikes Back at Apple in Ad Campaign



The Adobe v. Apple tussle is now becoming an all out battle. Steve Jobs raised the bar recently with his attack on Adobe which surprised many by its level of intensity. We’re not completely sure why there is a serious bee in Jobs’ bonnet but its there for sure.

With the ball firmly in Adobe’s court we find today from Engadget that Adobe is ready to play hardball. They are running the following ad on sites (Engadget included)

Take that, Steve-O! There is a full page ad in the Washington Post as well so Adobe is apparently willing to put some hard earned Flash money into combating the attack. How quickly this turns into a full-blown battle or just a hair-pulling screaming match is anyone’s guess.

To be sure though, the Adobe founders’ response to Mr. Jobs missive is pretty strong and direct so maybe this could be a real fight. Here’s the letter.

The genius of the Internet is its almost infinite openness to innovation. New hardware. New software. New applications. New ideas. They all get their chance.

As the founders of Adobe, we believe open markets are in the best interest of developers, content owners, and consumers. Freedom of choice on the web has unleashed an explosion of content and transformed how we work, learn, communicate, and, ultimately, express ourselves.

If the web fragments into closed systems, if companies put content and applications behind walls, some indeed may thrive — but their success will come at the expense of the very creativity and innovation that has made the Internet a revolutionary force.

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. 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.

When markets are open, anyone with a great idea has a chance to drive innovation and find new customers. Adobe’s business philosophy is based on a premise that, in an open market, the best products will win in the end — and the best way to compete is to create the best technology and innovate faster than your competitors.

That, certainly, was what we learned as we launched PostScript® and PDF, two early and powerful software solutions that work across platforms. We openly published the specifications for both, thus inviting both use and competition. In the early days, PostScript attracted 72 clone makers, but we held onto our market leadership by out-innovating the pack. More recently, we’ve done the same thing with Adobe® Flash® technology. We publish the specifications for Flash — meaning anyone can make their own Flash player. Yet, Adobe Flash technology remains the market leader because of the constant creativity and technical innovation of our employees.

We believe that Apple, by taking the opposite approach, has taken a step that could undermine this next chapter of the web — the chapter in which mobile devices outnumber computers, any individual can be a publisher, and content is accessed anywhere and at any time.

In the end, we believe the question is really this: Who controls the World Wide Web? And we believe the answer is: nobody — and everybody, but certainly not a single company.

Chuck Geschke, John Warnock
Cofounders
Chairmen, Adobe Board of Directors

So who’s right and who’s wrong? Or is it who cares? In the end, this battle may culminate in who does or does not get content in certain environments especially in mobile delivery.

So who could be the biggest winner of all? You tell us. Hint, it may be the folks in Mountain View.

  • James L

    So, when do you dump old technology used on the internet, “Friends don’t let friends do flash.”? Having to support older laptops with puppy linux on it for students I can tell you the thing that kills it, is flash.I would hate to have to pay for 3g data service by the MB and rack up all those ads, and crap. Problem is flash is a memory/cpu hog and it is abused by websites. I run blockers on all my browsers and have not missed flash one “bit”. I don’t miss it on my iPad. Funny about the iPad, I don’t own an iphone/itouch or use a phone for internet, I thought apps would be kind of silly. I now find I spend less time google-ing things, i.e. I say in apps more, and I am reading more, iBooks, what a joy, and a plug here for an app, Glasshouse Early Edition, well worth the $5.00. I had canceled my newspaper about 6 months ago reading local news on paper’s web site. I missed the look/feel of printed paper. Funny isn’t it, I wonder when the local papers will posted a full page ad in the Washington Post complaining about Apple/Glasshouse’s war on local newspapers? lol

    How long to we have to sing this song?
    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/2009/02/attackers_exploiting_unpatched.html

  • http://seo-harmony.com David Pavlicko

    Chuck nailed it.

    It’s not about whether or not YOU hate flash or you think it’s outdated. (try doing animation or particle effects with HTML5 and talk to me about eating up processing power….) It’s about the CHOICE of being able to view flash content. Replace flash with anything else, say mp3s, and use the same argument.

    Sure, apple forces you to convert your wav or mp3 files to AAC, but they don’t FORCE you to use iTunes to convert the media. Well, same thing with flash – if they don’t want it on the iphone or ipad – fine.

    But Apple goes way further by taking away the already available options for third party companies to convert flash media to a format that they will accept, what do you call that?

    I call it being a supreme d**k.
    .-= David Pavlicko´s last blog ..BASE tag: Hardly Used but Pretty Cool =-.

  • Diesel mcfadden

    Apple is the only company offering me the choice not to have my machine slowed to a crawl or overrun by flash ads. I should have at least one choice in the marketplace which doesn’t feel beholden to the flash status quo.

    If flash is so important and every other manufacturer supports it, then apple will suffer. On the other hand 85 million non flash devices were sold and it begs the question that maybe just maybe it was not despite apple’s restrictions but because of it.

    There is only one company offering a curated environment versus the open shovel ware of other platforms. We’re not short of competitors and apple is what? 4% of phones and 16-25% of smartphones? They’re a company, not the government. If people don’t like apple’s offering there are tens of companies with five other os options to sell them something else. That’s probably tens or hundreds of devices. If I want a clean, well lighted, curated software environment, I have one to choose from. I wish folks who would wish apple be like everyone else would see that, because from where I’m standing it looks like they’re the ones trying to take my only choice away.