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4/30/2010
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Adobe CEO Calls Jobs' Flash Complaint 'Smokescreen'

Shantanu Narayen sees Apple's restrictions making life difficult for developers who want to create content on multiple platforms.

Responding to Apple CEO Steve Jobs' open letter explaining his rationale for barring Adobe's Flash technology from the iPhone, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen dismissed Jobs' claim that Flash is deficit.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Thursday, Narayen said that Apple has shown that it does not share Adobe's vision of being able to create content for multiple platforms.

"The technology aspects of this article are really a smokescreen," he said. "We demonstrated that through Adobe tools, you could actually build content and applications. And over 100 applications were accepted on the [iTunes App] store."

The fate of these iPhone apps created with Adobe's tools remains unclear.

Apple could choose to remove them from its iTunes Store following the release of iPhone OS 4.0, which includes contractual language disallowing apps created with Adobe's software. Or it may allow them to be sold and only reject apps that have been revised to work with iPhone OS 4.0 and resubmitted for approval.

As Narayen sees it, Adobe's multiplatform view of the world will prevail.

Adobe now has a lot riding on Flash Player 10.1, which is supposed to address many of the performance issues Jobs finds unsatisfactory.

For example, Flash Player 10.1 supports Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) acceleration for video and graphics and contains improvements designed to minimize battery drain and usage of computing resources.

In a blog post on Thursday, Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch said his company plans to deliver Flash Player 10.1 for Android smartphones as a public preview in May, with general release following in June.

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