It takes a lot to look bad in a fight with Apple, a company known for its hardball tactics and holier-than-thou attitude. However, Adobe has just succeeded in owning the low road with its new ad claiming it loves Apple but doesn't love "anybody taking away your freedom to choose what you create, how you create it, and what you experience on the Web." Not to mention the parallel statement posted at Adobe's Web site by Adobe cofounders John Warnock and Chuck Geshke that echoes the ad's wording and suggests Apple's actions could "undermine" the future of the Web through its closed application environment.
The Adobe campaign is a disingenuous, dishonest campaign that Adobe should be ashamed of. Say what you want about Apple's tactics, but at least the company is honest about its self-interests. By contrast, this sleazy campaign from Adobe is as false as the tobacco industry's ads or most political ads.
[ InfoWorld's Neil McAllister says good riddance to Flash. | Paul Krill explains how HTML5 could kill Flash and Silverlight. | Read InfoWorld's proposed peace plan to settle the Flash-on-iPhone dispute. ]
The fallacy of the "closed" argument
Let's get real: Every smartphone operating system is proprietary, as is its app environment, whether it's the iPhone OS, Windows Mobile and the forthcoming Windows Phone 7 OS replacement, the BlackBerry OS, Palm's WebOS, Google Android, or Nokia's Symbian. Sure, some are more open about who can create apps and what level of approval is needed, but they're all proprietary and subject to the vendor's control. What varies is the control applied, not the fact of it.
The same has long been true in the desktop world. The Windows and Mac operating systems also aren't free-for-alls, though they are more open than any of the mobile OSes.
Apple long ago decided, and made no bones about this decision, that it would control the apps on its iPhone OS -- just like the cellular carriers had always done before the iPhone's arrival, I might add. The ground rules have been clear and honest.
The truth is that Adobe is trying to promote its own proprietary application development environment as a means of pocketing licensing fees and selling app dev tools. That's no different than what Apple or any other vendor does. Also, Apple is by no means picking on Adobe; it doesn't allow Silverlight or JavaFX apps, either.