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The feud between Adobe and Apple is beginning to resemble a tech version of Days of Our Lives. Today, Adobe launched a new ad campaign that tells the world how much it loves Apple, but that it also loves the freedom of open markets more. The ad points to a letter by Adobe cofounders Chuck Geschke and John Warnock that discusses their thoughts on open markets.
The ad campaign is running on major tech sites like Engadget, and Adobe has also taken out a full page in today’s Washington Post. It follows Apple chief executive Steve Jobs’ lengthy essay that reiterated why the company doesn’t want Adobe’s Flash technology on the iPhone and iPad, and led Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen to say that Apple’s Flash ban “has nothing to do with technology.”
From Adobe’s letter:
If the web fragments into closed systems, if companies put content and applications behind walls, some indeed may thrive — but their success will come at the expense of the very creativity and innovation that has made the Internet a revolutionary force.
We believe that consumers should be able to freely access their favorite content and applications, regardless of what computer they have, what browser they like, or what device suits their needs. No company — no matter how big or how creative — should dictate what you can create, how you create it, or what you can experience on the web.
When markets are open, anyone with a great idea has a chance to drive innovation and find new customers. Adobe’s business philosophy is based on a premise that, in an open market, the best products will win in the end — and the best way to compete is to create the best technology and innovate faster than your competitors.
Both Adobe’s new ad campaign and this letter are little more than a very expensive guilt trip for Apple, but it will be interesting to see if it has any effect. I don’t expect Apple to lay down its arms because of it, but I think Adobe is hoping that it will convince the public that it’s not just defending a much-criticized technology, but is in fact a sympathetic hero fighting for the freedom of open markets.
At this point, it appears that little is going to change in this feud. Apple believes Flash isn’t suitable for mobile platforms — which, to be fair, is an undeniable fact given Adobe’s previous lackluster mobile offerings. Meanwhile, Adobe is readying Flash 10.1, its first mobile version of the software that contains all of the features of its desktop brethren, and is optimized for mobile devices. Adobe plans to bring Flash 10.1 to all other major cellphones platforms — including Android, Windows Phone 7, Web OS, and even the Blackberry OS.
[Image via Engadget]
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