Microsoft and Apple against Flash
Flash technology, from the US software company Adobe, is widespread on the Internet. A situation that doesn't make comfortable the giants Apple and Microsoft.
Apple has fired first, simply by prohibiting the installation of Flash on its telephones and other mobiles (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad). Last week Steve Jobs, Apple's director, has published an open letter called «Thoughts on Flash».
He criticizes the Adobe technology in a very strange way in 6 points.
- The first point he writes is that the Adobe Flash products are 100% proprietary. This is true, but this is also 100% the case for 100% of the Apple's products.
So that is also a good reason to not use Apple's products. (Auto-owned Steve!)
- Secondly, Steve Jobs estimates that the 75% of videos available in Flash (all video-sharing sites use Flash) are also available in H.264 which is readable on the iPhone.
This is mostly false, but moreover H.264 is also proprietary, doesn't it a circle?
Also for games, Steve Jobs believes that there is no need for Flash games, because there are thousands of games in the store AppStore.
I will call this a Chewbacca defense (a true statement, but with no relation).
I hardly believe that Steve Jobs may consider that as arguments. The other points are the same kind: security, battery life... Playing a video in FLV consumes more batteries than in H.264? How can someone say that after working 30 years in computers?
But the main reason written by Mr. Jobs, and this one is true, is that Flash can replace some applications. So it enables users to escape the strict control of Apple and its AppStore, and freely use external applications.
And Steve does not like we use our iPhone, iPod or iPad freely. That's the point.
Yesterday, it was Microsoft's turn to prepare its weapons and hollow arguments. The development manager of Internet Explorer says that flash will not be integrated in IE9 (we can always install it later) because Microsoft wants to focus on HTML 5, which allows to play videos in H.264 too. (Source IEblog)
Flash's weight and closed source are also criticized. That is also strange from an editor who has published less open source code than Apple, and whose products are not known for their performance and lightness!
In addition, we may remain that Microsoft has created Silverlight, a component exactly equivalent to compete Flash.
So what's the matter?
I have rarely seen so muddy arguments from CEOs. Criticize a competitor in the aspects that you do not respect yourself is very doubtful!
The videos and sounds inserted in HTML 5 can easily be saved. This obviously a problem with sites like Deezer or Jiwa which broadcast protected content.
Flash can also make games, animations on web sites, menus, and small embedded applications. So it's necessary in some cases.
I hope that consumers will understand the moral of this story: Flash certainly has drawbacks, but actually no competitor can offer an equivalent product. Neither Apple nor Microsoft has ever made tools such as Flash: multi-platform (Windows, MacOS, Linux and Solaris), free and so widespread. This fallacious campaign is only conducted by a feeling of jealousy and envy to have a part of the market.