Adobe Kool-Aid

Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen recently sat down with the Wall Street Journal to discuss Steve Jobs's comments about Flash. I was shocked by what Narayen had to say and the spin was a little annoying.

According to Narayen, Adobe is "producing the world's best content," interesting considering Flash only supports a dozen or so languages. With more than 200 spoken languages world-wide, I'm not sure how Adobe can claim world domination. But then again, they also claim that "99% of Internet users have Flash," even though that's not what you'll find in web analytics. These results are probably because Adobe's survey only looks at PC users and PCs often come with Flash installed. In addition, the survey only focuses on 4,500 users in 13 countries and U.S. users are represented nearly two to one. These numbers are available at so, please have a look for yourself before emailing.

According to Narayen, important Flash security issues are nothing more than a "smoke screen" but, according to SANS "Adobe Flash has similar problems with the applications of its updates (TH) there are four Flash vulnerabilities in our Top 30 list that date back as far as 2007." I'm not sure how you can claim customers are important but not address issues like these.

Narayen even claims that there are no performance issues with Flash and that Flash works fine on mobile devices. Adobe's recent report to the SEC indicates the opposite, “To the extent new releases of operating systems or other third-party products, platforms or devices, such as the Apple iPhone or iPad, make it more difficult for our products to perform, and our customers are persuaded to use alternative technologies, our business could be harmed.” My favorite part of the interview is where Narayen claims Flash isn't 100% proprietary and goes on to either confuse software specifications with web standards or TOTALLY spin out of answering the question being asked. If you've ever waited for Flash to load or been told you needed Flash to view Flash content, you know there are performance issues and that Flash is proprietary.

Narayen himself actually said, "We've evaluated the SDK. We can now start to develop the Flash player ourselves…" referring to the iPhone SDK and Flash for iPhone but, now for some reason it's all Apple's fault? To be clear, I think Adobe is a great company, I've used their products on my Mac for over a decade now. That said, I commend Steve Jobs for having cajones, not drinking Adobe's Kool-Aid, keeping them honest and his long overdue feedback.

4 thoughts on “Adobe Kool-Aid

  1. nonono

    Stop rambling and reaching so far man… its quite pathetic.

    Any technology that is widely distributed as Flash Player and Acrobat Reader are BOUND to be the target of security exploits. Its a known fact that OSX itself has a horrible security record and the only reason it is not more well known is because they hardly break 10% of the OS market.

    As for your statements on “Flash not being open” is rubbish as well… the Player itself may be closed source (as it should be) but when you can use an open source IDE, SDK and deploy in any manner the developer wishes I would hardly call it a closed system, especially in comparison to Apple’s methods.

    As for performance and “Flash crashing Mac”… HOW in the world should a plugin be able to crash an OS?… this is a great example of flaws in an OS itself. If you actually researched the topic you would know that OSX has issues with accuracy when it manages blocking and multitasking ( As for slow performance… maybe you should consider moving onto Windows 7 as I have never seen any major “performance issues” that you speak of.

    If you wanna talk about CEOs “spinning” stories go read job’s letter again… cause it has almost NOTHING to do with the technologies as Narayen stated it is a “smokescreen” to cover anti-competitive behaviors. Ones which even have the DOJ and FTC to have raised concerns.

    So do me a favor and stop drinking Apple’s cool aid… its spiked with deception.

    1. Brian Ussery

      Post author


      There is no such thing a Windows 7 for Mac but if you want to talk about flaws it’s a great example! :) Either way, if you want to claim Flash is open I’m sure you won’t mind explaining why it’s necessary to download the Flash player plugin you mentioned to view Flash content? Let’s not confuse software with the world wide web.


  2. markgrant

    I commend Adobe for having cajones, and not drinking Steve Jobs kool-aid and ‘spin’.

    If you did the slightest piece of research and didn’t just blindly soak up Jobs BS like most mac drones, you’d see stuff like e.g mozilla tamarin. All of Jobs points in his recent rant can be refuted or shown to be hypocrisy.

    It’s probably a shock to you, but in reality most of what Jobs says is spin and any critical thinker with freedom of thought can see this.

    If you really think Adobe are so bad then you should probably take your blog off their aggregator, rather than insult their readership

    1. Brian Ussery

      Post author


      I’m a big fan of Adobe but see nothing to support some of their claims. If you believe you have “research” pointing to a different conclusion please feel free to share.


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