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Jeff Wexler

Steve Jobs, the book

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Fortune's Philip Elmer-DeWitt contacted Walter Isaacson and got some more details on Steve Jobs' biography that is due on November 21st. The above cover is described by Isaacson:

"The cover," writes Isaacson in private e-mail, "is the Albert Watson portrait taken for Fortune in 2009. The back is a Norman Seeff portrait of him in the lotus position holding the original Macintosh, which ran in Rolling Stone in January 1984. The title font is Helvetica. It will look as you see it, with no words on the back cover."

Isaacson also clarified to Elmer-DeWitt the moving forward of the publication date was not due to any health concerns or decline. The book was mostly completed in June, and is now "all done and edited".

The publisher describes the biography as being based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years. Meanwhile, hundreds of interviews were also conducted with family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues.

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and from the book, discussing Mr. Jobs' dislike hatered of Flash and Adobe:

In 1999, he was flatly denied when he asked Adobe to create a version of its popular Adobe Premiere digital-graphics software for the Mac. Adobe also wouldn't rewrite Photoshop for the Mac's operating system, even though Macs were popular with designers.. "My primary insight when we were screwed by Adobe in 1999 was that we shouldn't get into any business where we didn't control both the hardware and the software, otherwise we'd get our head handed to us," Jobs said, according to Isaacson.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/09/tech/mobile/flash-steve-jobs/index.html

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Apple forced Adobe Mobile Flash out of the picture in much the same way that for years and years, Microsoft (dominant platform) would just dictate what everyone had to use, and if they dropped support in Windows for things that were arguably superior, it was just too bad for the user. The difference is that Apple dominates now, certainly with mobile devices, and that "domination" came from consumers --- everyone bought the devices they wanted to use and content providers knew they would have to figure out how to make things work without Flash.

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Apple forced Adobe Mobile Flash out of the picture in much the same way that for years and years, Microsoft (dominant platform) would just dictate what everyone had to use, and if they dropped support in Windows for things that were arguably superior, it was just too bad for the user. The difference is that Apple dominates now, certainly with mobile devices, and that "domination" came from consumers --- everyone bought the devices they wanted to use and content providers knew they would have to figure out how to make things work without Flash.

Jeff, Jeff, Jeff,

Now that Steve has passed, have you taken on the burden of extending the Apple "reality distortion field".? I can't let you get away with so many distortions of the facts. I can't think of any products that Microsoft dropped support for and forced out of the market. Please name some. I know that software that I wrote using Windows 95 and even some DOS programs I wrote in the 80s still run under Windows 7 and even Windows 8 without modification. I especially can't think of anything that was "arguably superior" that was forced out of the market by Microsoft abandoning support. Not true for Apple. Each time they made a major OS update they orphaned or broke most of the third party (and even many of their own) programs forcing them to either re-write or abandon the Apple market.

I am certainly no fan of Flash. I don't like going to Flash based websites. I think people who use it to excess with all the flying typography and zooming pictures for no reason just keep you from getting quickly to the information you are seeking.The media gets in the way of the message. But Flash's streaming video format is dominant on the web and is far quicker and less tedious than anything that Apple or Microsoft has come up with. Quicktime and Silverlight are poky by comparison.

I also need to point out that Apple does not "dominate" anything in the market now. Windows is still the dominant Operating system world-wide by a large margin . Google's Android is the dominant mobile platform not IOS. As shown in the most recent surveys.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2395804,00.asp#fbid=Bpy61VSTk7c

Just trying to pull you out of that "reality distortion field" that you have fallen deeply into.

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"I can't think of any products that Microsoft dropped support for and forced out of the market. Please name some.

-- snip -- I especially can't think of anything that was "arguably superior" that was forced out of the market by Microsoft abandoning support."

I guess I am using the word "support" incorrectly. My first personal recollection of this sort of behavior from Microsoft was the near destruction of WordPerfect to insure that Microsoft Word would become the dominate word processor. Since Microsoft was unquestionably the dominate operating system, they were able to withhold operational programming and development tools specifically to cause WordPerfect to be unstable on the current versions of Windows. As a programmer, Courtney, I'm sure you understand how Microsoft accomplished this task. Microsoft Word did not come to dominate word processing software by being a superior product --- Word achieved dominance by many of the same methods Microsoft achieved dominance in all areas.

"Not true for Apple. Each time they made a major OS update they orphaned or broke most of the third party (and even many of their own) programs forcing them to either re-write or abandon the Apple market"

After achieving dominance with Word .doc format, Microsoft threw hundreds of enterprise level businesses into chaos when they introduced the new incompatible .docx format. There are lots and lots of examples.

"I also need to point out that Apple does not "dominate" anything in the market now. Windows is still the dominant Operating system world-wide by a large margin . Google's Android is the dominant mobile platform not IOS. As shown in the most recent surveys."

So, if Apple isn't dominate, there must be two things going on: a perception ("reality distortion field"?) that everyone owns or wants to own a mobile device from Apple that is running iOS, and/or, Flash runs as miserably on these other mobile platforms as Steve Jobs has suggested. This is a perception, real or imagined, that Adobe must have succumbed to as well. Why would Google, YouTube, Hulu, etc., etc., move so rapidly to HTML5, moving towards abandoning Flash on mobile devices? I think if you really research all the things Apple has done over the years, one by one, dropping support for things which might have been dominate for some period of time, the net benefit has been to move things forward for everyone. If Apple hadn't forced these things, there would have been the inertia of bodies at rest and we might not have progressed as we have.

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" the near destruction of WordPerfect to insure that Microsoft Word would become the dominate word processor."

(disclaimer: I used and loved WordPerfect originally --DOS era!

This goes to marketing, and there is certainly a lot of ongoing discussions of both Apple's and Microsoft's marketing!

Edited by studiomprd

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While I know Microsoft used every tool they could to promote their product, Word Perfect was competing with Microsoft Word, long before Windows existed. When Word processors moved to a WYSIWYG platform, Microsoft did have somewhat of an unfair advantage because they wrote the operating system and could optimize the Word Graphics engine to be efficient and speedy. Word perfect could not keep up and Word became the most "popular" system. People were still free to buy the Word Perfect Dos based product and run it under Windows 2 and later. In fact the Windows version of Word Perfect Office is still available and runs quite well on Windows 7/

Order your copy here: http://apps.corel.com/lp/wpo/. Microsoft hasn't banned them from their platform like Jobs has done with Flash on the Mobile systems.

Apple has done the same thing but in an even more monopolistic way because they not only controlled the operating system but also the Hardware on which that operating system ran as well as the Internet based interface for those software and hardware systems. Complete and strict vertical market integration with NO options for competitors.

And as far as Apple's "insight" into the future of computing by eliminating or discriminating against certain standard forms of storage or interface were not rooted in anything other than Steve Jobs obsession with making the hardware with less buttons and holes to be more aesthetically pleasing That is why the floppy drove disappeared from the first iMAC even though it meant that it left you with a machine that had no way to share anything you created with anyone else. Remember the first iMac did not have a recordable CD drive, so the only way out of the machine for anything you created was by email which was in it's infancy at the time. The Firwire adoption and abandonment by Apple as well as the Display port adoption and abandonment by Apple were all driven by the obsession with reducing the holes in the hardware. The less than useful array of Apple mice were all hampered by Steve's insistence not having multiple buttons for aesthetic reasons.

Jobs hatred of Flash was a hold over from his war with Adobe over Premiere and Photoshop. Flash being an interpreted graphical animated system is very hardware and OS intensive language. It didn't work well on the iPhone because Apple prevented Adobe from optimizing the software for their hardware. When phones became fast enough and had dual cores and enough RAM to handle Mobile versions of Flash, it was able to run. My Android Bionic phone runs Flash 10.2 just fine No stuttering or slowdown. Smooth video playback without buffering or stuttering. I think Adobe's recent decision to abandon the mobile market for Flash was based not only on Apples refusal to support it but the stratification of the Android hardware which is dominant platform in the mobile market. In order to optimize the graphically intensive FLASH language for every flavor of Android OS and Hardware out there it would take up too much development and support expense to justify the return on a product that was FREE to the handset user.

====

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Here is an article that looks at the demise of Flash on mobile devices. A little more thoughtful and less strident than either Courtney or I.

End to mobile development bodes ill for Flash

by Dan Moren, Nov 9, 2011 9:49 am

After years of recriminations and conspiracy theories, a lengthy saga has finally come to an end—and I’m not talking about Lost or One Life to Live. Adobe on Wednesday announced that it would no longer develop Flash for mobile platforms.

“Our future work with Flash on mobile devices will be focused on enabling Flash developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores,” wrote Danny Winokur, Adobe’s vice president and general manager of interactive development in a blog post. “We will no longer continue to develop Flash Player in the browser to work with new mobile device configurations (chipset, browser, OS version, etc.) following the upcoming release of Flash Player 11.1 for Android and BlackBerry PlayBook.”

Instead of working on Flash for mobile platforms, Winokur says that Adobe will focus on improving its HTML5 tools and letting developers write native apps for mobile platforms using the company’s AIR technology. And, of course, Adobe plans to continue developing Flash on the desktop, where it will work hand-in-hand with HTML5, the next generation of underlying technology for creating websites.

But it’s impossible not to see this as a loss for Adobe, especially when it comes alongside layoffs and a restructuring plan. With Flash’s departure from the mobile platform, it’s impossible not to ask what this means for the future of the technology as a whole.

Over in a flash

Flash and mobile platforms—iOS in particular—have had a rocky history. The lack of Flash was a criticism leveled by many of the iPhone’s early detractors, who seemed flabbergasted that anybody would buy a device that could only see “part” of the Web. Apple, for its part, said that Adobe had yet to deliver a product that was right for the iPhone as a platform; Adobe, on the other hand, was perpetually on the verge of bringing Flash to the platform—a development that never quite seemed to happen, though at whose feet the blame should be laid was a matter of some contention.

The critical voices only got louder when Apple announced the iPad in January 2010: How could Apple tout its tablet as a computer when it couldn't display Flash content? In February, Adobe’s chief technical officer said that the company was ready to bring Flash to the iPad but Apple was being uncooperative; two months later, after Apple had changed some terms of its developer program license, an Adobe exec dinged the company’s approach as “closed,” leading Apple to point out that this was the pot calling the kettle proprietary.

It’s clear, though that Apple saw the omission as a positive, especially after Steve Jobs took to Apple’s website in April 2010 to write a lengthy condemnation of Flash. Jobs noted that the technology was a closed system, vulnerable to security exploits, crash-prone, with poor performance. One has the feeling that if the late Apple CEO could have gotten away with calling Flash “ugly” and “smelly,” then he would have had no hesitation in doing so. That was more or less the final word from Apple on the subject.

Meanwhile, Adobe ran into repeated trouble whipping Flash into shape on any mobile platform, encountering performance problems that did little to convince many users that they were missing anything significant. Rival tablets powered by Android and RIM’s BlackBerry OS touted http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWv8Bj3-RS4, but they made little headway, suggesting that perhaps consumers just didn’t care as much about Flash support as companies thought.

When it came right down to it, though, consumers voted with their pocketbooks, and the lack of Flash wasn’t enough to keep millions upon millions of customers from buying iOS devices—and being satisfied with their purchases.

Flashpoint

Of late, Adobe has apparently realized that Flash Player isn’t exactly catching on in the mobile arena, so it’s made attempts to bolster support in other ways. For example, it built support for iOS device development into its flagship product, Creative Suite, and released an iOS-compatible solution for delivering streaming video.

And it redoubled its efforts to make Flash palatable on mobile devices. Amazon’s new Kindle Fire tablet, for example, lists the technology as a feature, but Amazon is clearly focusing on delivering its own services alongside native apps and games, so the inclusion of Flash comes across more as a checked box than an actual differentiator.

But Adobe waving the white flag on mobile Flash raises another, more important question: If Flash is never going to run on mobile platforms, is the writing on the wall for Flash on the PC as well? The mobile arena is undeniably the most rapidly growing—and innovating—area of technology at present, so why would developers—or users, for that matter—want to hitch themselves to a wagon that won’t work with all of their devices?

And despite the recent introduction of Flash Player 11 and Adobe’s promise that Flash Player 12 is already in development, Flash’s days may be numbered. Apple has already stopped including the plug-in on shipping systems; users who want it have to download it for themselves. Microsoft has decreed that the Metro version of its Internet Explorer 10 browser won’t support plugins, including Flash, either, though a second version of IE10 that runs under the traditional Windows interface will.

While Flash is likely here to stay for a while longer, none of this bodes well for the technology. And that's little surprise: Plenty of technologies have come and gone, even in the relatively short history of the Web; Flash has had a long run, but is approaching the end of the road. If one were to weigh the importance of Flash to mobile platforms against the importance of mobile platforms to Flash, the balance has shifted decidedly towards the latter: The mobile Web no longer needs Flash nearly as much as Flash needs the mobile Web.

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Here's the thing... MS tried to force a specific product. Apple just said no to flash, they suggested HTML5 as a replacement. HTML5 is platform agnostic, open, and free. Apple also gave away Webkit as an open and free browser that is arguably the best HTML5 engine available.

I have a Droid that supports flash, and I will say it stinks. It *often* works, but it sometimes freezes up my phone. when I'm in a strange city, the last thing I want to do is try to find a place for dinner and either not get the flash restaurant web site to load, or have it crash my phone. Even if it works, I don't want to watch a 90 second intro video. I want to see their hours and menu.

Anything as proprietary like Flash, Silverlight, REAL, etc doesn't really have any place on the web. If you stumble onto some old REAL Player file, could you even play it? There is a strong rumor that MS is actually going to wrap Silverlight too. Not sure if they have a replacement, or what.

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Mr. Jobs is in the news again, even after the biopic has moved to a new studio...

 

" Executives are often told by their lawyers to be careful what they put in writing for fear it will end up as evidence in a courtroom. Perhaps Mr. Jobs did not get the memo. His emails in past lawsuits — a mix of blunt litigation threats against his opponents and cheery financial promises for potential business partners — have made him an exceptional witness against his own company, even beyond the grave. "

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/01/technology/star-witness-in-apple-suit-is-steve-jobs.html?emc=edit_th_20141201&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=29212968&_r=0

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