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Apple’s hire of prominent Adobe Flash defender draws rebukes

Published Mar 20th, 2013 7:47AM EDT
Apple Adobe Executive

It’s been nearly three years since Steve Jobs wrote his famous takedown of Adobe’s Flash platform as a battery-draining, Mac-crashing, insecure mess. Since that time, Jobs has largely been proven right since the mobile industry has moved on from Flash as a video platform in favor of HTML5, the open-source alternative that Jobs predicted would “win on mobile devices” going forward. All of this makes it somewhat surprising that Apple (AAPL) has decided to hire former Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch as a vice president of technology, especially because Lynch was one of Flash’s most prominent public defenders during Adobe’s spat with Jobs.

Daring Fireball’s John Gruber, for one, called Lynch a “bozo” and a “bad hire” and said that he didn’t understand Apple’s thinking behind the decision. In particular, Gruber noted that all of the companies that had publicly embraced Flash had either gone out of business, had significantly lost market share or had ditched Flash all together.

“I have a bad feeling about this,” he concluded.

AppleInsider, while also skeptical of Lynch’s past defense of Flash, was overall much less hostile to the decision and noted that “Flash isn’t the only project Lynch has worked on” and that Lynch has also done prominent work designing “Frame’s FrameMaker publication layout software (later acquired by Adobe) as well as Macromedia’s Dreamweaver, one of the original graphical desktop web development tools.” AppleInsider concluded that there’s “lots of potential for Lynch at Apple” despite his past feuds with the company.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.