Adobe embracing Apple-favored online video format

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The Independent Tech

Adobe Systems on Wednesday put aside its tiff with Apple and told thousands of software developers it is embracing the online video format preferred by the maker of iPhones, iPods and iPads.

Adobe chief technology officer Kevin Lynch endorsed the HTML5 video format that Apple chief executive Steve Jobs favors over Adobe's Flash software.

"HTML5 is great," Lynch said while Google executives touted the format as a key to rich online experiences to come.

"It's really fun to see new technologies come out like this. Of course, we work on a variety of technologies at Adobe. Today, we want to focus on HTML5."

Google was joined by the makers of Mozilla and Opera Internet browsers in unveiling a WebM Project to establish an open-source code base for HTML5 software supported by technology titans like Microsoft and Apple.

"Think of how far the Web has come since last year's Google I/O, where we demonstrated the potential of HTML5," said Google vice president of developer platforms Vic Gundotra.

"Since calling attention to HTML5 last year, we've been thrilled to see the industry rally around making the Web faster, more capable and available in more places."

Lynch noted that Adobe is working with Google "on a bunch of devices" based on Flash software commonly used for online video.

"We are really excited about the innovation going on on the Web and happy to be a part of it," Lynch said.

Adobe and Apple have been feuding since the maker of the iPod, iPhone and iPad refused to allow the US software giant's widely used Flash video product to run on the devices.

Adobe placed advertisements on popular technology websites TechCrunch, Wired and Engadget. It also ran full-page ads in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post and other newspapers to make its case against Apple.

"We (heart) Apple," said the Adobe ads, which went on to list what the San Jose, California-based Abode "loves" about Apple, based in Cupertino, California.

"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."

According to Adobe, whose other well-known products include Photoshop and PDF file manager Adobe Reader, 75 percent of all video on the Web is viewed using its Flash Player.

Adobe's media blitz came after Jobs published an open letter of his own in which he defended his decision to bar software developers from using Flash when making applications for Apple gadgets.

"Flash was created during the (personal computer) era for PCs and mice," Jobs said. "But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open Web standards - all areas where Flash falls short."

Apple devices instead support video built using HTML5, a fledgling software format created by a group of technology firms including Google and Apple.

"Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind," Jobs said.

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