April 29, 2010

Steve Jobs Posts Unconvincing Manifesto Against Adobe Flash

Greetings. Steve Jobs has posted a rather detailed condemnation of Adobe's Flash, and has attempted to explain why he hasn't permitted Flash into the iPhone/iPod/iPad ecosystem.

While I would happily see Flash being supplanted over time by HTML5/H.264, HTML5/Ogg Theora, or (perhaps best) HTML5/VP8, I am unimpressed with Steve's posting.

His effort to draw a fine distinction between the closed ecosystem of the iPhone, and the proprietary nature of Flash, was skillful, but still unconvincing.

His argument claiming that users weren't really missing much useful video by not having Flash seemed disingenuous and unrealistic. Flash support is still required to view videos on the vast majority of video-supporting Web sites.

His technical complaints regarding Flash have some merit of course.

But SO WHAT? Adobe was willing to do essentially all of the development work for Flash support, and Apple needed basically only to have permitted it onto the associated platforms. If users didn't want to use Flash (say, because they wanted a better touch interface or longer battery life -- two issues Steve discussed) nobody would put a gun to users' heads forcing them to use Flash anyway. An option to disable Flash could have been easily made available.


Clearly, the real problem that Steve Jobs has with Flash is that someone other than Apple has control over it. And the guiding principle of the iPhone/iPod/iPad ecosystem is Apple Controls All.

Sorry Steve. Nice try. Well written. But it just doesn't fly.


Posted by Lauren at April 29, 2010 09:44 AM | Permalink
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