Adobe CTO on MacBook Air, HTML5: Flash Battery Problems a "False Argument"

Last week, critics hammered Adobe over a report showing that Flash drained the new MacBook Air's battery life by several hours. It's not the first time Adobe has been in fisticuffs with Apple: the companies have been duking it out ever since Steve Jobs began ridiculing Flash and touting its alleged-killer, HTML5. Today, in an interview with Fast Company, Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch answered critics who might say HTML5 is somehow more efficient than Flash.

"It's a false argument to make, of the power usage," Lynch explains. "When you're displaying content, any technology will use more power to display, versus not displaying content. If you used HTML5, for example, to display advertisements, that would use as much or more processing power than what Flash uses."

Lynch said several studies have already confirmed Flash's higher battery life, and also argued that HTML5 had far less reliable playback. But most significantly, the Adobe CTO took issue with Apple's conduct in recent months.

"I just think there's this negative campaigning going on, and, for whatever reason, Apple is really choosing to incite it, and condone it," Lynch says. "I think that's unfortunate. We don't think it's good for the web to have aspects closed off—a blockade of certain types of expression. There's a decade of content out there that you just can't view on Apple's device, and I think that's not only hurtful to Adobe, but hurtful to everyone that created that content."

"That's what upsets me the most," he says. "That people put energy into making this stuff, and now some percentage of viewers can't see it anymore because one company chooses so. That's just totally counter to our values."

As for HTML5, Lynch was surprisingly optimistic about Flash's future even as its platform competitor nears ubiquity. Is HTML5's success bad news for Adobe and Flash?

"No, that's good news for Adobe," Lynch says. "We support HTML. We're making tools for HTML5. It's a great opportunity for us. Flash and HTML have co-existed, and they're going to continue to to co-exist."

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