Adobe fires back at Apple in Flash war

Adobe fired back at Apple on Thursday over the refusal by the maker of the iPod, iPhone and iPad 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 and 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 the things the San Jose, California-based Abode "loves" about the Cupertino, California-based Apple.

"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," the Abode ad concluded.

The Web ads linked to the Adobe.com website where the company's co-founders published an open letter defending Flash, commonly used by developers to create online games and Web video, and a page billed as "The Truth About Flash."

"As the founders of Adobe, we believe open markets are in the best interest of developers, content owners, and consumers," Chuck Geschke and John Warnock said.

"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," they said.

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

Adobe's media blitz comes two weeks after Apple chief executive Steve Jobs published an open letter of his own in which he defended his decision not to allow software developers to use Flash when making applications for the iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.

"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.

"It is not Adobe's goal to help developers write the best iPhone, iPod and iPad apps," Jobs continued. "It is their goal to help developers write cross platform apps."

Geschke and Warnock, the Adobe co-founders, rejected Jobs's criticism and said software that performs on multiple platforms and devices is crucial to the future of the open Web.

"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," they said.

"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," they said.

"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," the Adobe founders said.

Hulu.com, the second most popular online video viewing site in the United States after YouTube, waded into the fray meanwhile with a blog post stating that it would not be switching from Flash to HTML5 for the moment.

"We continue to monitor developments on HTML5, but as of now it doesn't yet meet all of our customers' needs," Hulu vice president Eugene Wei said in the blog post, which was later removed without explanation from the Hulu website.

Wei added that "technology is a fast-moving space," however, and said HTML5 may add the features Hulu requires in the future.

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