Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen responds to Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ Flash treatise

invisibleSHIELD case for iPadThe Wall Street Journal’s Alan Murray interviewed Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen Thursday afternoon, and The Journals’ Digits live-blogged the event.

Some snippets:

• Mr. Narayen says that the difference is that Adobe believes in open content. He says that their Creative Suite software was designed to work on multiple devices and that Apple’s ‘recent behavior shows that they are concerned about Adobe being able’ to provide this product that works across multiple platforms.

MacDailyNews Take: Disingenuous remarks that simply have no basis in facts. Adobe’s Flash is proprietary. It is not open, it is closed. Mr. Jobs clearly explained all this earlier today. If Adobe actually believed in open content, then they would be working to provide authoring tools to create the best HTML5 experience possible, not pimping their proprietary, closed, dying Flash.

He says that Apple’s restrictiveness is just going to make it “cumbersome” for developers who are trying to make products that work on many devices. They’re going to have to have “two workflows” … one for Apple devices and one for others.

MacDailyNews Take: More poppycock. We do not want lowest common denominator software. Mr. Jobs clearly explained all this earlier today, too. As we’ve written many times before: “Adobe’s Flash is a proprietary, resource-hogging, browser-crashing abomination and, even more importantly, we don’t want ported software on our iPhones, iPads, or Macs because software designed for the lowest common denominator is inferior to software designed to take advantage of individual platforms’ strengths. Adobe is lazy and they want to cater to developers like themselves. When given a choice between going the extra mile to accomplish great work that’s custom-tailored to individual platforms or clicking a button to excrete watered-down ported results, lazy Adobe will always choose the latter. Android and the rest of the me-too also-rans are perfect for Adobe. May they all drown together in their homogenized puddle of mediocrity.”

The rest of Narayen’s weak, baseless bleats can be found here.

MacDailyNews Take: If Adobe really wants to go to war with Apple, they must have a death-wish.

Note to advertisers: (including those who advertise via third-party ad networks and become, in effect, our advertisers): Your Flash-based ads are no longer reaching the most well-heeled customers online: 50+ million iPhone owners. They’re also not hitting brand new iPad users or 35+ million iPod touch users. If you care about reaching people with discretionary income, you might want to consider dumping your flash-based ads and moving to a more open format that people with money and the will to spend it can actually see.

Help kill Adobe’s Flash:
• Ask MarketWatch to offer HTML5 video via the customer support web form here.
• Ask CNBC to offer HTML5 video via the customer support web form here.
• Contact Hulu and ask them to offer HTML5 video via email:
• Ask ESPN360 to offer HTML5 video instead Flash via their feedback page here.
• Join YouTube’s HTML5 beta here.
• On Vimeo, click the “Switch to HTML5 player” link below any video.

By the way, do not buy Adobe’s Photoshop Elements until you have tried Pixelmator’s free 30-day trial. We use Pixelmator daily.


  1. F Adobe I used to back them with PDF but since John left the company it”s Not the same. I knew the Macromieda was a bad buy when they said it was just to get Flash!!!
    I bet Quark is loving this! My shop is thinking of dumping Adobe for Quark and other image software. Quark has real XML which my shop needs NOW!!!

  2. whatevers! build your own damn adobe/flash phone then. who really cares at this point, they aren’t the only video “player” on the field anymore. grow up or shut up.

  3. Amusing! The one complaint I have about the iPhone has nothing to do with Flash. When I travel overseas, unless I want to pay exhorbitant roaming fees, I have to take along another phone. Why? I cannot unlock the iPhhone (legally) and insert a local sim card. That’s the kind of restriction I hate.

  4. 100 apps were made with flash for the iPhone? ooh – such massive developer adoption…

    Reminder. Apple has the consumer’s mindshare, not Adobe.

    Maybe Shantanu is unfit to be Adobe’s CEO.

  5. Adobe knows how to make an “open” development package. It’s called DreamWeaver. This is not a debate on whether DW is your cup of tea for web development, but rather to point out that is a tool that let’s you work in .php, .asp, html, javascript, etc. Adobe already builds this tool to handle true web standards, they could easily make it more muscular with HTML5 and h.264 tools. In fact their is no reason why one can’t use these within DreamWeaver now. This is about an inevitable end of life for Flash and Adobe’s attempt to milk it as long as possible.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.