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Adobe responds to 'thoughts on Flash'

Apple's restrictions make it "cumbersome" for developers

Adobe's CEO Shantanu Narayen has hit back at Apple's Steve Job, who used an open letter to express his thoughts on Flash.

The high-profile fight between the pair hit the web hard yesterday when Jobs posted a rare missive onto the home page of Apple.com.

Entitled 'Thoughts on Flash', the open letter offered an explanation for Jobs' firm stance against Flash.

It also fired back at Adobe for its claims that Apple's Flash-free decisions are based on business-driven motivations designed to keep its systems closed.

In a nutshell, Jobs says that Adobe's Flash platform is closed and that he values web technologies that are open (a slightly ironic statement, no?); that Flash is unreliable and insecure; that Flash is too big of a drain on battery life; and that Flash doesn't function well with touch interfaces.

Jobs goes on to state that, contrary to what some have suggested, surfing the web without Flash isn't an incomplete experience: Most Flash-based video, he attests, is already available in other formats.

While Flash-based games can't be played on an Apple device, he proposes that Apple's App Store offers enough alternative entertainment options that it shouldn't be a problem.

However, Narayen, told The Wall Street Journal Adobe's goal is and has always been to make it easy for people to work on any operating system.

He says Apple's restrictions would make it unnecessarily "cumbersome" for developers, forcing them to maintain "two workflows" - one for Apple, and one for everyone else.

"We have different views of the world," Narayen told The Journal.

"Our view of the world is multi-platform."

As for the technical problems Jobs connected to Adobe's Flash software, Narayen says he sees them as little more than "a smokescreen."

Specifically, he says Jobs' claims about Flash draining devices' batteries are "patently false" and that if Adobe causes frequent crashes on Apple systems, it's likely the result of an issue within Apple's OS.

Narayan also maintains his stance that Jobs' Flash ban is based purely on business: Apple, he contends, stands to gain the most from apps that are exclusive to its platform; Adobe's platform, on the other hand, allows developers to create apps that can work for multiple types of devices.

"It doesn't benefit Apple," he says, "and that's why you see this reaction."

See also: Apple vs Adobe: Steve Jobs is Emperor Ming

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