Adobe CTO tries defending the indefensible Flash pig

“Adobe Flash is under attack again. And you know what that means. Time for more complaining,” MG Siegler writes for TechCrunch. “Today, Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch spoke with Fast Company about the most recent Flash controversy the company has had to deal with. Last week, a report revealed that the lack of Flash on the new MacBook Air may save as much as 2 hours of battery life on that machine. Several subsequent reportsnoticed the same or similar things. Lynch’s response? ‘It’s a false argument to make, of the power usage. When you’re displaying content, any technology will use more power to display, versus not displaying content.'”

“So displaying content uses more power than not displaying content? That’s really the argument he’s using? Why not just say: if your computer is on, it will use more power than if it’s not on?” Siegler writes. “But the real issue here isn’t really using Flash to display content. It’s that when Flash is just running in the background on websites, it is biting off a huge chunk of battery life — up to 33 percent. That’s ridiculous.”

“Lynch continued, ‘If you used HTML5, for example, to display advertisements, that would use as much or more processing power than what Flash uses.’ That’s a pretty bold claim. Conveniently (likely for Lynch), it’s also pretty much impossible to test since very few web ads currently use HTML5,” Siegler writes. “The fact of the matter remains that various reports are showing this Flash/battery life issue to be a very real one. If you simply don’t have Flash installed on your machine, you will see much better battery life.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: 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: 100+ million iPhone, iPad, and 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.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “GetMeOnTop” for the heads up.]


  1. As for you note to advertisers…It’s true… about a third of the ads on this page are now blocked/unseen on my machine.

    What’s the name of that flash blocking plug-in again? I’ve used it so long, I’ve forgotten what it’s called.

  2. Once upon a time, flash was brilliant. It was not Adobe’s back then. It was Macromedia’s. Adobe was a dying printing media designer kit, they bought Macromedia realizing there’s a paradigm shift. I think they should wake up and truly evolve and stop relying some other’s blood. Something must grow from the mix or else the dying flock is just sucking the new blood. Another paradigm shift is coming.

  3. Adobe has already lost this war… Time for them to move on Future Splash was promising in a time long before CSS. But after Macromedia and now Adobe’s added bloat it is now destined for the Silicon Valley technology museum so our little sisters can go visit it alongside a TRS-80 and an Apple ][.

  4. It would be better for Adobe if they had a couple of test results comparing the two options. And of course, he’s missing the point. Displaying content and displaying advertisements are two completely different things.

    And advertisements that pointlessly waste CPU cycles and battery life will be blocked whenever possible.

  5. Adobe FUD. Flash makes it too easy to make garbage banner ads that waste cycles.

    I’ve removed Flash plugins, because I don’t want Adobe to tout 99% of desktop computers have Flash installed. Now, there’s one less.

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