Adobe hearts Apple in tough love ad campaign

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Adobe has launched a tongue-in-cheek ad campaign, claiming that it ‘hearts’ Apple.

The ads, which seem to be aimed at Apple fanboys, features on popular geek sites such as Engadget and Ars Technica. There were also full page ads in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

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

The ad links through to a statement where Adobe waxes lyrical on the value of choice, highlighting its support for HTML5, CSS, and H.264 "in addition to our own technologies".

The ad comes at the same time as an open letter from Adobe's founders, Chuck Geschke and John Warnock that claims Apple ‘threatens to undermine the next chapter of the web’. Geschke and Warnock's letter, titled 'Thoughts on Openness', says Adobe believes in the value of open markets as well as the freedom of choice.

Adobe’s advertising blitz is the latest move in a recent public feud between the two companies. The dispute centres around Apple's refusal to support applications that use Adobe Flash on its iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices.

But Flash is popular with developers for building smartphone apps. Many developers use automatic translation tools - some built by Adobe - to convert Flash code so their apps can run on Apple gadgets. In April, Apple angered the developer community by changing the terms and conditions of the software development kit licence, banning them from using these tools.

Steve Jobs has dismissed Adobe's Flash technology as a "closed system" and "100% proprietary".

"While Adobe's Flash products are widely available, this does not mean they are open, since they are controlled entirely by Adobe and available only from Adobe," said Jobs. "By almost any definition, Flash is a closed system."

Jobs also said Apple doesn't need Flash. "Flash is no longer necessary to watch video or consume any kind of web content," Jobs categorically stated. "And the 200,000 apps on Apple's App Store proves that Flash isn't necessary for tens of thousands of developers to create graphically rich applications, including games."

Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch has also fired a missive, comparing Apple to Big Brother in George Orwell's dystopic novel 1984. Lynch criticised Apple's control of what can run on its products.

The user base of both companies have also been at loggerheads in recent week. An online poll allows you to vote on which company you think is right, and to comment on why. At the time of writing, people are almost neatly divided on the subject, with 47% supporting Apple, while 53% support Adobe.

In a similar spirit, a recent Infoworld poll found that most readers are in Apple's corner, and don't want Flash on the iPad.

Some readers blamed Adobe, criticising its products and history with mobile Flash. "Steigdg1" wrote: "I don't think Adobe has the capability to develop a mobile application. All of their applications have grown incredibly resource-intensive; each version takes twice as long to load as the previous one as it loads up hundreds of DLLs, which eats up the entire resources of the computer. They seem to have no idea how to dynamically load just the necessary parts of a program. I hate Apple almost as much, but I am pulling for them to supplant Adobe on this one."

What are your thoughts? Has the Adobe ad campaign changed your opinion? Or is it all just empty rhetoric?

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