Adobe attacks Apple for threatening web openness

Boxing gloves

Just when you thought the dispute between Apple and Adobe might be cooling off, an open letter from Adobe's founders has criticised the Cupertino company for its lack of transparency.

In the letter, Chuck Geschke and John Warnock expressed their advocacy for freedom of choice on the web, saying that the beauty of the internet is "its almost infinite openness to innovation".

They warned: "If the web fragments into closed systems, if companies put content and applications behind walls, some indeed may thrive - but their success will come at the expense of the very creativity and innovation that has made the Internet a revolutionary force."

Then the pair moved onto Apple: "We publish the specifications for Flash - meaning anyone can make their own Flash player."

"We believe that Apple, by taking the opposite approach, has taken a step that could undermine this next chapter of the web - the chapter in which mobile devices outnumber computers, any individual can be a publisher, and content is accessed anywhere and at any time," they added.

The letter, which is accompanied with a picture of the two founders positively beaming (below), concludes with a thinly-veiled attack: "In the end, we believe the question is really this: Who controls the world wide web? And we believe the answer is: nobody - and everybody, but certainly not a single company."

Adobe founders

Adobe has also chosen to launch a campaign promoting its support for an open market, with one slogan claiming that the company loves, or "hearts", choice.

The moves indicate that Geschke and Warnock were somewhat angered by Steve Jobs' recent blog that criticised Adobe's claims on openness and noted that all Flash products are entirely proprietary.

"We strongly believe that all standards pertaining to the web should be open," Jobs said.

Who is going to come out on top in this open battle, if anyone? Have a look at IT PRO's analysis of the war of words here.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.