Steve Jobs Gives the Finger to Adobe Flash, Asks WSJ to do the Same

Posted on February 19, 2010 by

From Business Insider:

We know that Apple’s CEO is no fan of Flash, the Web animation software. But it sounds like Steve Jobs really unleashed on the Adobe system to try and convince the Wall Street Journal to ditch it for the iPad.

Jobs was brazen in his dismissal of Flash, people familiar with the meeting tell us. He repeated what he said at an Apple Town Hall recently, that Flash crashes Macs and is buggy.

But he also called Flash a “CPU hog,” a source of “security holes” and, in perhaps the most grevious insult an famous innovator can utter, a dying technology. Jobs said of Flash, “We don’t spend a lot of energy on old technology.” He then compared Flash to other obsolete systems Apple got people to ditch….

  • … like the floppy drive, famously absent in iMac,
  • …. old data ports, including even Apple’s own FireWire 400, gone from iPods and now all Macbooks,
  • ….LCD screens, now entirely replaced in Apple’s lineup by LEDs (except for this),
  • …and even the CD, with Jobs apparently crediting Apple’s iPod, iTunes Store, CD-ripping software and “Rip, Mix, Burn” campaign with doing in the old music medium (sort of: though CD sales are in free fall, around 300 million were sold last year in the U.S. alone, 80 percent of all albums).

Jobs even claimed the iPad’s battery performance would be degraded from 10 hours to 1.5 hours if it had to spend its CPU cycles decoding Flash, we’re told. That sounds like an unfair comparison; the iPad would unlikely achieve its advertised 10 hours of maximum battery life while continuously playing video of any sort, iPad optimized or not. And Adobe has argued that its software would be more efficient if it had the same access to Apple graphics processors as Apple’s own software.

But Jobs offered more than a thorough evisceration of Flash; he also used his Reality Distortion Field to sell the Journal on alternatives to the technology.

Ditching Flash would be “trivial,” he suggested

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