Adobe CEO On Apple: "Let The Games Begin"

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Today at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen sat down for talk with host John Battelle. With his first question, Battelle didn’t beat around the bush: Apple.

Narayen noted that it’s appropriate that the theme of his conference is “points of control” because that’s what this standoff between Apple and Adobe is all about. “There’s a war happening for developers,” Narayen said.

Narayen continued to say that Adobe and Apple are on different sides of these points of control. But at the same time, he said that a large part of the battle with Apple is simply that the press won’t let it go.

Of course, he then went right back into why Adobe is opposed to Apple. “Apple would like to keep things closed and proprietary,” he said. On the flip-side, Narayen said that his customers are people trying to create content for multiple platforms. “We want to help them express their creativity.

Let the games begin, I guess,” he said.

The discussion then turned to Flash. Narayen said that while people make it out to be HTML5 versus Flash, it’s not. He said that Adobe is about helping their customers regardless of the platform. They like HTML5 too.

Battelle pressed on the Flash issue. Narayen conceded that HTML5 is starting to encroach on some of Flash’s strongholds. But he said that they would keep pushing the envelope with the technology.

With regard to poor Flash performance, Narayen said that they’re trying to cram 20 years worth of technology into increasingly small devices. He said that while it would have been easier to throw all that out the window and start from scratch, but they didn’t want to do that to developers.

Flash has changed the world,” Narayen said. And thanks to that, the technology has both supporters and detractors, he said.

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