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Adobe Fires Back At Apple With 'Love'

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NEW YORK — Adobe is firing back at Apple with love.

Adobe Systems Inc. is countering Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs' recent jab at Adobe's Flash technology for Web video and games. The company is running ads in newspapers and popular technology blogs saying "We Love Apple" – with a bright red heart in place of love.

Jobs had described Flash as outdated, unreliable and unfit for Apple's iPhone and iPad gadgets. In a detailed, 1,685-word offensive posted online two weeks ago. Jobs spelled out the reasons why Apple continues to ban Flash from its mobile devices, including "reliability, security and performance," and the fact that Flash was designed "for PCs using mice, not for touch screens using fingers."

But he said the most important reason is that Flash puts a third party between Apple and software developers. In other words, developers can take advantage of improvements from Apple only if Adobe upgrades its own software.

Adobe's ad – at 82 words – begins, "We love creativity," "We love innovation," "We love apps."

"What we don't love," it continues, "is anybody taking away your freedom to choose what you create, how you create it, and what you experience on the Web."

The full-page ads appeared Thursday in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and more than a dozen other newspapers. Online, they peppered tech blogs such as ArsTechnica, Engadget and TechCrunch, as well as CNN.com and Wired.

Adobe co-founders Chuck Geschke and John Warnock, highly regarded in Silicon Valley, also posted a statement titled "Our thoughts on open markets" – 411 words – criticizing Apple.

"When markets are open, anyone with a great idea has a chance to drive innovation and find new customers," they wrote, adding that Apple's "opposite approach" could undermine a future in which mobile devices outnumber traditional computers on the Internet.

Adobe would not say how much it spent on the ad campaign. For comparison, a full-page black-and-white advertisement costs $223,000 in The Wall Street Journal, assuming no discounts were given for running it over several days.

David Wadhwani, head of Adobe's platform business, said it's something the company feels passionate about because it enables a discussion over who controls the Web. And he stressed Adobe's stance that Flash "is an open platform, with a vibrant ecosystem around it."

In a statement, Apple said that it, too, believed in openness. The company said that is why it favors the emerging HTML5 programming standard rather than Adobe's proprietary Flash product for Web video.

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