Lion users suffer Adobe Apple Flash support war

By Jonny Evans

I still agree with Steve Jobs on Flash, but the Apple [AAPL] versus Adobe [ADBE] Flash battle continues to punish customers. Take the introduction of Lion. It isn't as if Apple made any secret about its OS plans.


[ABOVE: There has been extensive beta-testing for Lion. Surely Adobe had some advance warning? And if it did, then most customers would expect Apple dev relations to still return Adobe's calls.]

Problems, or solutions

This means it really surprises me that Adobe is the standout major developer when it comes to problems running its software on Lion. There's a huge list of Lion compatibility problems posted on its website, but surely Adobe was aware that Lion would kill Flash player hardware acceleration?

(UPDATE: Since writing this,  indeed, overnight, Adobe has updated its original post to say it got it a bit wrong. "We continue to work closely with Apple to provide Flash Player users with a high quality experience on Mac computers." the company now says. Good. That's what I expect and customers deserve.)

[This story is from Computerworld's Apple Holic blog. Follow on Twitter or subscribe via RSS to make sure you don't miss a beat.]

There's also problems with Fireworks, Illustrator, Acrobat, Lightroom, Photoshop, and Premiere Pro.

Why wasn't Adobe prepared for these? Also, what's the problem with platform support? According to Adobe it is only looking into supporting Lion-specific features such as  restore, autosave, versioning, full screen mode, and complete support for multitouch gestures. But these aren't luxury items -- these things are what people will expect from the platform.

What's the plan?

I'm not expecting miracles. I recognize Apple only shipped Lion yesterday, and would expect a gap between Apple's first beta Lion update and Adobe's latter compatibility patches.

However I don't accept Adobe didn't see this coming and I don't understand why, rather than list these compatibility problems it hasn't offered a commitment to address them. Any small developer would prioritize getting their software to work on Apple's platforms.

This isn't the first time Adobe has been recalcitrant when it comes to offering full support of Apple's platforms. Recall the Intel transition? Meanwhile, customers suffer. And it's not as if Adobe software's cheap. And we all recall how customers felt the last time Adobe made them cough up cash for an upgrade.

Like the movie 'Crash' -- but boring

This is a loyalty war. A game of chicken on a software freeway. A road wars movie, but not as interesting. An annoying corporate war customers -- of both companies -- are standing in the middle of and wishing it would stop.

Adobe is hoping Apple users will prioritize Adobe-supported platforms. Apple hopes to tempt Adobe customers with third-party software alternatives that fully implement Apple's IDE's.

Come on Adobe. Come on Apple. Think of the pro users that form the traditional heartland of the Mac, and make nice with each other. Find a happy place and build some solutions -- we pay you to build us solutions, after all.

And, Adobe, thinking of the customers means you've got to kick Flash out of the hardball negotiation, for no other reason than it still crashes the browsers on my Snow Leopard Macs.

And it really shouldn't do. Not by now. You had time to fix that.

I'd like to hear what everyone else thinks. Please don't get partisan, just be honest -- what do you want as a professional user from both companies?

Let us know in comments below. I'd also be ever so pleased if you began following me on Twitter so I can let you know when new reports get published here first on Computerworld.   

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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