Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Horse Flash: Apple’s Steve Jobs on Adobe Vendetta in 2010 at D8 (Video)

At a 2010 onstage interview with Walt Mossberg and me at the eighth D: All Things Digital conference, the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs spent a lot of time — and with considerable passion — talking about his company’s decision to dump Adobe’s popular Flash technology in its iPhone and iPad devices.

While he insisted that he wasn’t out to crush Adobe — instead using the metaphor of “choosing what horses to ride” — Jobs explained that the software technology was buggy, no longer useful, and, therefore, needed to be put out to pasture.

“We try to pick things that are in their springs … sometimes you just have to pick the things that are the right things going forward,” said Jobs plainly. “Flash looks like a technology that had its day and is waning.” According to Jobs, HTML5 was the new colt to back.

As to the implications on Apple’s mobile devices if consumers did not agree with his choice, he noted that “it all works itself out,” adding that a new iPad was then selling every three seconds.

“People seem to be liking iPads,” said Jobs with his patented grin.

It’s an interesting video to watch now — along with this one on Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen talking about the issue a year later at D9 — because of reports that first surfaced last night, that the high-profile software company — whose Flash technology has been a flagship product — was halting development on the mobile version of its browser plug-in.

Adobe confirmed the move this morning, noting it will focus its PC Web browser business and on tools that allow Flash developers to create mobile apps by packaging their code to run on Adobe’s AIR platform.

The move has big implications for Adobe going forward and also for mobile device makers, such as Google and Research In Motion. But not Apple.

As Ina Fried wrote:

“The move, if true, would be a major blow to Android device makers, who have long touted Flash compatibility as a key competitive advantage over Apple’s iPhone and iPad.

It would also mark a posthumous vindication for former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who took a controversial stand by not supporting Flash on Apple’s mobile products.”

Adobe now apparently agrees.

Here’s the video clip of Jobs talking trash about Flash:

(And, here’s a video from a year later from D9 of Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen talking about the same topic.)


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