Technology companies, more than most businesses, are keenly sensitive to what kind of buzz they're getting in the insider blogosphere. To nudge the conversation, official blogs churn out dozens of posts selling the company line. Buzz words like "openness," "free" and "user-driven" are paramount. So when Apple faced mounting criticism for not enabling Flash on its mobile devises, CEO Steve Jobs justified himself by making this an "openness issue":
I wanted to jot down some of our thoughts on Adobe’s Flash products so that customers and critics may better understand why we do not allow Flash on iPhones, iPods and iPads. Adobe has characterized our decision as being primarily business driven – they say we want to protect our App Store – but in reality it is based on technology issues. Adobe claims that we are a closed system, and that Flash is open, but in fact the opposite is true.When Adobe caught wind of Jobs's "Openness Thesis" they fired back in an open letter insisting they, in fact, are the "open ones":
Openness is at Adobe’s core. Our first technology was an open standard that liberated publishing from proprietary printing systems, and soon afterward our PDF technology eliminated barriers to sharing documents across platforms.Which company is more open? Apple? Adobe? Neither?
Adobe® Flash® technology enables the delivery of content to hundreds of millions of people, regardless of platform or browser. In 2009, in partnership with Google, Research In Motion, and dozens of other companies, we formed the Open Screen Project, a coalition committed to making web experiences seamlessly available on any mobile device.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.