Microsoft on Adobe: Flash has "issues" but remains important

Microsoft on Adobe: Flash has "issues" but remains important

Summary: In a blog post, Microsoft agrees with Apple CEO Steve Jobs that Adobe has issues - but also says it's an important part of the consumer experience.


Who knew that Steve Jobs would find an ally in Microsoft?

Jobs, who is no fan of Adobe Flash, made that point perfectly clear in an open letter published yesterday that pointed to problems with Flash - notably problems with its reliability, security and performance.

Around the same time, Dean Hachamovitch, general manager for Microsoft's Internet Explorer, was putting up a blog post of his own that was saying some of the same things. The post was actually more about the HTML5 and how it's the future of the Web. It also centered around H.264 as a standard, just as Steve Jobs had done.

Of course, Microsoft is pushing Silverlight as a competitor to Flash so no one would necessarily expect Microsoft to come to Adobe's defense. Still the post isn't too bad. At the end of it, Hachamovitch chimed in about Adobe. He wrote:

Today, video on the web is predominantly Flash-based. While video may be available in other formats, the ease of accessing video using just a browser on a particular website without using Flash is a challenge for typical consumers. Flash does have some issues, particularly around reliability, security, and performance. We work closely with engineers at Adobe, sharing information about the issues we know of in ongoing technical discussions. Despite these issues, Flash remains an important part of delivering a good consumer experience on today’s web.

So there you have it. Flash has issues - something that Microsoft and Apple agree about.

Topics: Microsoft, Enterprise Software

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  • They may agreee it has issues

    But reading the whole statement says Microsoft does not mind it being these as it makes the experience good for the user. Isn't that what Apple claims to do, but they don't want it on their system? I guess they like their proprietary H264 better.
    • H,264 is a standard

      "I guess they like their proprietary H264 better."

      Apple's H.264(AVC/MPEG-4 Part 10), AAC and MPEG-4 Part 14 are the basis of web multimedia. All are standards for which their exists a non-discriminatory patent license.

      Apple's QT supports it as does Flash. Apple's issues with Flash have nothing to do with H.264 support.
      Richard Flude
      • H.264 is patent encumbered

        and no better then any other proprietary

        Even if open source companies were willing to
        pay the $5 million licensing fee for rights to
        include H.264 support, if they are licensed
        under the GPL, they are screwed.
        Well, more screwed the $5 million.

        Shills like you seem to ignore lock-ins that
        Apple approves of though.
        • All multimedia standards are "patent encumbered"

          H.264 standard is "better" in that it's relatively simple to get patent

          Open source companies aren't required to pay $5 million, in fact
          aren't required to pay anything at all. Several open source projects
          already include h264 encoders and decoders.

          Profit from the technology and you're in trouble. But this is an issue
          with patents, not the choice of codec.

          "Shills like you seem to ignore lock-ins that Apple approves of

          Pathetic. Clearly you don't understand the patent system, nor the
          areas covered by patents. I've spent several years in the area, and your
          response it badly ill-informed. H.264 is the web standard in video
          codec, the other technologies I outlined are also in the largest use.
          This isn't Apple speaking, doppy, but the reality.
          Richard Flude
      • HTML5, the standard?

        No. It's a draft of a standard.
        Michael Alan Goff
    • Microsoft and Adobe hate open web standards ...

      ... because they can use their plug-in architectures to create lock-ins
      on the web. Witness the myriad corporations who built their intranets
      on ActiveX controls and sites compatible only with IE6. In the mad
      craze to "webify" everything with "feature-rich, desktop-comparable
      thin clients" in the early 2000s, without grasping the underlying lock-
      in, they've actually moved the web browser to legacy support status!

      That is so laughably, ridiculously stupid for IT, but so good for
      business for MS. MS defending Adobe on plug-in lock-in is like a lion
      defending a tiger on predation.

      People clinging to their Flash content in the face of the mobile
      computing revolution are being laughably and ridiculously stupid,
      because supporting Flash is not in their best interests. In the long term,
      they are building their businesses on Adobe's whims, not on open
      • It's all good.

  • kinda

    Kinda. Steve was a lot more harsh on Flash than Dean,
    though. Microsoft acknowledges Flash has issues, but I
    don't think Microsoft wants to burn any bridges or make
    any enemies.
  • html5

    "The future of the web is HTML5. Microsoft is deeply
    engaged in the HTML5 process with the W3C. HTML5 will be
    very important in advancing rich, interactive web applications
    and site design."

    enough said. even microsoft gets it. the only loser of that
    process: adobe. but who needs that bloated, lazy mess of a
    company anyway?

    disclaimer: i am a lifelong adobe user, who is starting to look
    for alternatives
    banned from zdnet again and again
    • Even an old dog can learn to sit

      which Microsoft is showing.
      The future is standards and it's inevitable which Microsoft realizes, why it's crucial for their business too to follow standards to the letter.
      Look at the evolution of IE for an example.

      This has nothing to do with any particular company, Microsoft, Adobe or Apple, but about how good and even crucial real de jure standards are for business.

      The MIDI standard from the early 80's comes to mind as a great example.
      Without the standard the electronic musical instrument producers wouldn't have sold even nearly as much.

      I'm going to do something extremely unusual, has never happened before, I'm giving Microsoft a big thumb up. ;-)
      • You guys got it all wrong.

        Microsoft have always been HATING Flash. They hate it much much more than Apple does.

        They have been hating it for years. They has spent millions trying to push Silverlight to the market and it failed miserably because of Flash,a sub-par standard as Steve Jobs has said.
    • HTML5 vs Flash

      HTML5 will not replace flash on the web. Those who think so DO NOT REALIZE that HTML5 only does about 5% of what Flash does.
      Michael Alan Goff
      • Not HTML5 but h.264 has already replaced Flash

        "H.264 Already Won?Makes Up 66 Percent Of Web Videos"

        Face it, Flash is mostly used to play videos or display ads.
  • Too early to ditch Flash

    I just think it was too early to ditch Flash. Apple may try to wish it gone by ignoring it. But I think the only people it affects is Apple's users. Considering Apple's limited influence in this area. I think Apple has developed a big head as to how important they really are.
  • I like Microsoft's objectivity in this issue.

    I may be no fan of Windows and they don't need Adobe to make Windows any less secure, but I like how they share key API code with Adobe.

    If Apple did the same, I suspect a number of Jobs' complaints would vanish. (Oh, Flash DOES have issues - I've done some development and improvements can be made, which is why I'm waiting to hear about CS5 from real people to see what has been fixed or improved, even if I know OS X API integration won't be any better.)
  • Flash does have issues

    However, it is not slow and it does NOT use up massive amounts of processor power.
    • I beg to differ.

      the current version of flash kicks processor usage up, not to mention flash based sites and ads have a nasty habit of making browser sessions unstable and non-responsive.

      A flash site consistently runs my processor at 40%+ which during idle bounces around @ 7-10%.

      Now 10.1 which has been in beta for like a year is supposed to do better with hardware acceleration, but I am not holding my breath until it is actually released.
    • Power usage way up..

      The fan on my MacBook goes on each time I view a flash video,
      maybe after 2 minutes. I can watch 30 minutes of QuickTime video
      before the fan goes on...
  • Ok, if the iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad are single tasking...

    Regarding Apple's beef with Adobe: As the iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad are (as of now) single tasking, who cares that Flash takes 100% of the processor? (not saying that it should be that way). At most it will consume the battery faster, but let me - the owner and consumer - decide if i want to see that content, instead of forbidding it. Let me decide if I only get 5 hours of Flash video instead of 10 Apple approved videos.
    Roque Mocan
  • Well, Windows has "MASSIVE issues" but remains important.