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
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.