Mobile // Mobile Devices
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5/14/2010
01:41 PM
Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn
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Adobe vs. Apple: Pray Both Lose

Adobe's ad campaign proclaiming "love" for Apple is the most ill-conceived publicity stunt in recent memory, excluding perhaps the balloon boy hoax.

Adobe's ad campaign proclaiming "love" for Apple is the most ill-conceived publicity stunt in recent memory, excluding perhaps the balloon boy hoax.No one sensible really believes that Adobe "loves" Apple, not after statements like "Go screw yourself Apple," from Adobe platform evangelist Lee Brimelow.

Sure, Brimelow insists that his statement was an expression of his opinion rather than Adobe's, but anyone who has been following the hostilities since open warfare between the two companies broke out in January understands that most of the people at Adobe resent the way Apple has treated the company and its products.

All the ad campaign does is underscore how disingenuous marketing can be and how ill-equipped Adobe is to challenge Apple. Apple is all but immune to public pressure. Witness how it has refused for years to bring out a real two-button mouse.

It's hard to feel sorry for Adobe however. The company for years has coasted on the revenue from its Creative Suite line. It grew complacent. Worse still, it picked the wrong side back when Jobs returned to Apple in the late '90s and sought Adobe's help. And the real technical shortcomings of Flash haven't helped.

Apple knows how to deliver payback.

Inside Apple's iPad: FCC Teardown Photos
(click image to view gallery)
Inside Apple's iPad: FCC Teardown Photos
At the same time, Apple's vision of permission-based computing is paternalistic in the worst way.

Benjamin Franklin's oft-cited quote about political liberty -- They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety -- applies just as well to technological liberty.

I can only hope that Google's more tolerant stance, which allows Flash to exist, prevails. Let market forces rather than a Jobsian decree decide Flash's fate.

In the meantime, Adobe had better get its HTML5 development software to market soon.

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