Steve Jobs anti-Adobe Flash rant is really quite a remarkable document both for what it says, and what it doesn’t say.
First, and foremost, there’s the fact that Jobs spends most of his time complaining about the Flash format and ignoring the real beef Adobe has with Apple. Sure Adobe doesn’t like that Apple won’t let Adobe Flash on its iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch platforms. But, that’s not what has Adobe executives ticked off to the point that they’re telling Apple to go screw themselves and that they’re quietly considering suing Apple.
No, what has Adobe ticked off is that Apple changed its iPhone SDK (software development kit) license so that developers couldn’t even submit programs to Apple that use cross-platform compilers. This blocks all Adobe developers from creating applications for the iDevice family. Worst still, Adobe had just finished building its latest master suite of graphic, document and Web development tools, Adobe Creative Suite 5, which included tools to port applications to the iPhone and all the rest. I don’t think you can blame Adobe for being a wee bit annoyed.
Officially, Adobe has thrown in the towel on iDevice development. Adobe isn’t taking this functionality out of CS 5, but Mike Chambers, the principal product manager for developer relations for Adobe’s Flash platform, has said that Adobe “is not currently planning any additional investments in that feature.”
You’d think that would be the end of it. It’s not.