Steve Jobs v Flash standoff heats up with Apple.com letter

Apple bling

The Steve Jobs/Flash war of words intensified Thursday when Jobs published his thoughts on Flash at apple.com. Flickr photo.

The Steve Jobs vs. Flash confrontation over Apple’s decision not to support Adobe’s software heated up on Thursday. In a letter available to the public on Apple’s site, Jobs called flash unreliable, “100 percent proprietary,” a battery hog and ultimately a “closed system” that “falls short.” In the letter Jobs rebuts Adobe claims that Apple’s no-Flash policy on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad is “primarily business-driven,” and says Flash is the number one reason Macs crash.

The Steve Jobs flash fight intensifies

The Steve Jobs/Flash fight is has higher stakes than a pay day loan, especially after Adobe accused Apple of running a closed shop because of its App Store policies. Adobe’s argument stems from Apple’s complete control over what it accepts or rejects from iPhone developers. In the letter, Jobs counters that “Symantec recently highlighted Flash for having one of the worst security records in 2009, and that the video on almost all Flash sites relies not on hardware decoding but on software, which uses too much power.” According to Jobs, Flash is dead because even if Flash-powered Web interfaces could technically be made to work on iPhones and iPads, most would have to be rewritten because mouse-over gestures — common on Flash sites — aren’t possible on a touch interface.

Steve Jobs: Flash is wrong

Jobs is particularly bothered by the issue of whether Apple or Adobe is more open. “Adobe claims that we are a closed system, and that Flash is open, but in fact the opposite is true,” he says in the letter. “Flash products are 100 percent proprietary. They are only available from Adobe, and Adobe has sole authority as to their future enhancement, pricing, etc.” Jobs qualifies that Apple’s iPhone and iPad are proprietary, but he goes on to say “all standards pertaining to the Web should be open.”

Steve Jobs: Flash is dead

According to Steve Jobs, Flash is dead. The Steve Jobs/Flash standoff has been getting ugly as Apple has been criticized for refusing to add Flash support to the iPhone and iPad, while Adobe sets up its new Flash player for the latest Androids and Blackberries. Jobs calls Flash a relic of the “PC era” that “falls short” when it comes to the needs of mobile devices.

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