∞ Adobe founders hit back at Jobs and Apple in Flash debate

Two weeks after Apple CEO Steve Jobs posted an open letter on the pitfalls of using Flash in the company’s mobile devices, Adobe founders Chuck Geschke and John Warnock responded with their own thoughts. In a letter titled “Our thoughts on open markets,” Geschke and Warnock said they believe open markets are in the best interest of developers, content owners, and consumers.

“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,” the pair said in the letter.

However, Jobs pointed to Flash’s proprietary nature, compared to Apple’s support of open standards including HTML5, CSS and JavaScript; issues surrounding reliability, security and performance of Flash; its effect on mobile device battery life and a user interface designed for mice, not touch screens.

“Our motivation is simple – we want to provide the most advanced and innovative platform to our developers, and we want them to stand directly on the shoulders of this platform and create the best apps the world has ever seen,” said Jobs.

But Adobe feels that Apple’s position shows they are trying to control more than just the iPhone, iPod and iPad platform.

“We believe that Apple, by taking the opposite approach, has taken a step that could undermine this next chapter of the web — the chapter in which mobile devices outnumber computers, any individual can be a publisher, and content is accessed anywhere and at any time.

“In the end, we believe the question is really this: Who controls the World Wide Web? And we believe the answer is: nobody — and everybody, but certainly not a single company,” said Geschke and Warnock.