Adobe CEO: ‘There’s a War Happening for Developers’

tank war

At the Web 2.0 Summit this morning, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen said his company’s battle with Apple over the past year comes as a “war” is brewing between device and software manufacturers who want to bring new applications to consumer electronics devices. According to Narayen, that war is being fought to capture developer interest and ensure that the best applications are being built on different platforms.

“There’s a war happening for developers; there’s a war to try to get the best applications for a particular platform and to keep that lead,” Narayen said. In its effort to attract those developers, Narayen defined Adobe’s fundamental difference with Apple as a matter of being open and inclusive versus closed and proprietary.

“Adobe’s always been about helping people create content for multiple different devices and multiple platforms and bringing the power of that rich media, so I think Apple and Adobe are on different sides of this struggle for control,” Narayen said. In contrast, “Apple would like to create a closed and proprietary system, for developers to make applications that only work on ‘i’ devices, and continue to just operate on ‘i’ devices.”

Narayen also downplayed the so-called battle between Flash and HTML5, saying that Adobe will serve developer customers regardless of the format they want to develop rich media applications in. “People say this is about Flash versus HTML, but it isn’t … We’re all about creating the best tools,” Narayen said. “Adobe makes its money by creating authoring tools … It isn’t about the format, but about what the customer wants to do.”

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Mark Holloway.

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