Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Exclusive Video: Adobe CTO Lynch Smacks Back at Apple's "Protectionist Strategy," Calling It "Bad for Consumers" (But He'll Swing Chickens If Forced!)

Yesterday, BoomTown helmed the ATD motorboat through the torrential rain to Adobe Systems’ San Francisco HQ for yet another sit-down with CTO Kevin Lynch about the latest drive-by software attack by Apple.

This time, rather than taking a more conciliatory tone as in the last video interview we did, the mild-mannered Lynch was more pointed, calling Apple’s actions to block use of its flagship Flash video technology by developers a “protectionist strategy” that was “bad for consumers.”

Lynch joked about Apple’s increasingly hostile moves against the software maker, saying the computer powerhouse will soon require developers to “build applications by typing with one hand and swinging a chicken above your head.”

Lynch then promised to package chickens with Adobe’s Creative Suite 5–the latest update of the collection of graphic design, video editing and Web development applications, to be launched tomorrow–if need be.

For those paying attention, Apple has definitely been pecking away at Adobe (ADBE) and Flash, which is the most popular video technology on the Web.

But it won’t remain so if Apple (AAPL) has its way.

To recap:

Right after the news that the iPad was coming from Apple earlier this year, CEO Steve Jobs, in much-leaked remarks at an employee meeting, called Flash a buggy software nightmare.

While Adobe has long tried soft-pedal the tech tussle, Apple escalated the battle last week by adding new rules for developers that pretty much freeze out Adobe, preventing them from using a tool that will port applications created in Flash to Apple’s iPhone and iPad operating systems.

With its anti-Flash workaround declared illegal by Apple, and even though Lynch penned a don’t-worry blog post, Adobe was also forced to acknowledge the potential damage in a regulatory filing last week.

What’s next is anyone’s guess in this Silicon Valley smackdown, but it looks like Apple and Adobe are going to the chicken-feather-filled mattresses.

Here’s my latest interview with Lynch:


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work