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Apple doesn’t like Flash. We know that already. Steve Jobs recently called Adobe lazy, and we all know that iPhone and iPad doesn’t support Flash. But the story is a bit more complex than that.

Apple’s opposition to Adobe is linked to HTML 5 – an open standard that would enable developers to use open formats to deliver rich media experiences. As such, this format is a threat on Adobe. And as Apple Insider analyzed in a great post about Flash vs. Apple:

By not putting Flash on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, Apple is creating a significant installed base of affluent users who simply can’t be reached via proprietary binaries like Flash and Silverlight. That has successfully shifted attention both to Apple’s own App Store platform for mobile apps and to the open web, encouraging developers to embrace standards-based rich web apps and multimedia delivery based on open specifications.

Yesterday, I quoted this post on my Facebook profile, stating that Apple are promoting open web standards, by supporting HTML 5 over Flash. This created an interesting thread of responses, that you can see here.

I’d like to better explain why I still believe that Apple are supporting open standards in comparison to Adobe. HTML 5 is not propeatiery format. It is not owned by a single company. Also, Apple played a key role in creating H264 format – one of the key events in online videos in the recent years. As such they are clearly more supportive of open standards then Microsoft (especially if looking at the browser wars) or Adobe.

Now, it doesn’t mean that Jobs help old ladies cross the street. Apple are supporting open standards from selfish reasons – they want to diminish Adobe’s power, and especially keep it out of Apple’s ecosystem. Also, they can support open standards, and still build a closed garden such as the app store.

You see, supporting open standards is not good, bad or anything else. It is, first and foremost, a business strategy.  But from some reason, some think that open is “good” while close is “bad”.

Do you think that Skype is evil? No. But they have a proprietary  protocol. They chose this strtategy as it got them to the market faster then going the standards route.

For more about this topic, from Skype, Cisco, Jabber and Radvision, check out this panel that I had the honor to moderate couple of years ago as part of my role in IMTC. We discuss the value of standardization as business advantage in details:

Just my two cents. Also note that the views in this post are my views as an individual, and do not represent IMTC, a standardization organization, in any way, shape or form.