Walt Mossberg Tells Adobe CEO To His Face That Flash Sucks On Android


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Ouch! Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen took stage today at the All Things Digital D9 conference to be interviewed by Walt Mossberg.

Watch the smug get slapped right off of Narayen’s face after he laughably tries to claim that contrary to Steve Jobs’s argument that Flash is a dead technology, it’s currently running on 130 million Android devices.

Here’s the transcript.

Mossberg: What’s the deal between you and Steve Jobs? He was here last year, and he had a chance to expand on what he had previously written about [Flash], and summarized, he said “Well, I think our duty is to pick technologies in the ascendancy. We feel like Flash is not on the ascendency, we think HTML 5 is, so that’s who we decided to go with for iOS Devices. What’s your respons eto that?

Narayen: There are a lot of misperceptions out there. When it first broke, people talked about the fact that they thought it was a technology issue, and I think it’s become fairly clear over the last year that it’s not about the technology: it’s about a business model issue. It’s about control of a platform. It’s the control of the app store that’s really at issue here. The value proposition Flash has is that we allow people to author programs once and get them to as many devices as possible. We’ve done that with Android. We will have 130 million phone devices that will have Flash on them by the end of the year…

Mossberg: And I have yet to test a single one where Flash works really well. I’m sorry. They struggle on those Android devices.

Freeze frame Narayen’s face. He looks like he’s been slapped, and he just completely struggles to counter. That’s a man who knows his product sucks on mobile, and is just trying to bide his time until mobile technology becomes advanced enough that Flash’s performance issues don’t matter.

Full video is here. Watch the whole thing.

  • Figurative

    Yep, his face looks just like Anthony Weiner’s when he hit the “Send” button and just realized he sent that photo to the wrong person.  Buahahahaaa!!

  • R.W. Elti

    Oh the irony:
    That video is delivered with Flash, and it is non-operational (for me), after a number of attempts, and disabling ClickToFlash.The medium is the message!

  • Jackm13

    Yup.  Same for me.  On both Chrome (double irony) and Safari, the video just stopped after about 10 seconds.  What else needs to be said?

  • aga

    I just ran it in my iPad, fanboy!

  • Gereon

    Too sad! 
    Vid no worky.

  • Robert Norris Hills

    What a load of crap. 

  • mlahero

    Thats odd, flash works fine on my android. As for the dead technology angle….. Air 2.7 says no.

  • 300AShareMakesMeSmile

    Only the Droidtards beg to differ.  They say that Flash works wonderfully on all their Android smartphones and that they’ll never give it up because 99% of the internet uses Flash.  Good enough reason.  All Droidtards that insist that Flash is perfect for mobile smartphone use, raise their hands.  1, 2 3…  I count 10,000 hands.  See everyone agrees that Flash is great and Steve Jobs was completely wrong by not allowing Flash on iOS.

  • Dean Collins

    The funniest part of reading this article is I’ve never receive so many email support requests than in the last 2 weeks.
    We setup this side project for the #CaseyAnthony trial on http://www.LiveCourtChat.com
    Basically people are addicted to watching this thing (about 2000 visitors today alone with 12m 20sec average visit lengths) – the only problem is because it’s flash youtube video we are streaming people are asking us how to view the trial on their iphones, on average about 5 comments a day in the chat/via the support email address.

    Our normal chat sites (http://www.LiveFanChat.com/Sites) dont stream video so i dont get emails from people about them but basically there are more than a few iphone users i’ve been telling to use Skyfire this week.

  • Kzimic

    Bitch Slapped

  • TheDigitalPimp

    “I’m Walt Mossberrrrrgggg. Shut up!”


    (cover your ears if you don’t like naughty words)

  • Ivan Castellanos

    Easy to see why this shit is called “Cult of mac”

  • www.onlybestgame.com

    I like the what Mossberg said to the Adobe CEO “I’m sorry. They struggle on those Android devices.”

  • arsaboo

    Honestly, it does not matter how good a technology Flash is. At this point in time (and at least for the near future), it does not seem that we have a credible alternative to Flash. More than half of the web relies on flash.

    Given that, I cannot fathom how and why Apple can decide on behalf of its  customers that they can live without flash. Why not simply provide an option (toggle switch) to enable or disable flash. I wrote about this earlier that Apple’s decision to block Flash is an economic decision as Shantanu mentioned.

  • arsaboo

    Honestly, it does not matter how good a technology Flash is. At this point in time (and at least for the near future), it does not seem that we have a credible alternative to Flash. More than half of the web relies on flash.

    Given that, I cannot fathom how and why Apple can decide on behalf of its  customers that they can live without flash. Why not simply provide an option (toggle switch) to enable or disable flash. I wrote about this earlier that Apple’s decision to block Flash is an economic decision as Shantanu mentioned.

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  • Guest

    Don’t like it?  Don’t read it.  Now STFU and GTFO.

  • Van Saharya

    You are MY god Mossberg. Thanks, some one had to tell him straight up. Apple had always made the correct decision of not allowing flash on their devices, we all knows how sluggish the overall performance is *couch battery*. 

  • itsme nyc

    you do realize that when you watch videos on your iPad they aren’t flash, right?

  • Wahhahahah

    What’s your respons eto that?
    he should have said … your spell checker is broken

  • GQB

    Because most content worth watching is now offered up in multiple formats.
    That in itself belies the ‘need’ for Flash.

  • John T


    That was so brutal, I had to turn my face from the screen.

    The moral of this story: don’t piss off Uncle Walt.

  • Levi Martin

    That is horrible quoting.  I can’t believe that, as the news editor, you can’t correctly quote somebody.  Furthermore, calling it a “transcript” is completely false as there are numerous missing sentences within the sections this article highlights.

  • iHate_Is_Back

    You know something I really DON’T LIKE you. Firstly for whatever reason every time I look at your avatar I can’t help but think your real life appearance isn’t to far away from that avatar. Secondly every time I read one of your posts it’s like the arrogance and ignorance just oozes out of the screen at me. I keep picturing you as some fat rich tard whose sole mission in life is to become such an asshole you’ll be crowned king iSheep. Even though I fully agree with your above post I still feel this uncontrollable urge to egg your house and slash your tires. Incredible how even behind the anonymity of a screen people like you still come across as assholes.

  • John C. Randolph

    “as many devices as possible”?  Seriously?  I write  my mobile apps using Cocoa Touch and Objective-C, and I can reach the vast majority of people willing to PAY for an app.


  • V2Blast

    I think it’s the use of the term “droidtards” that does it.

  • ConceptVBS

    He’s right.

    Apple regards Flash technology as a threat to its business model of selling “apps” or having controlling over revenue streams.

    If Apple included Flash, then they would lose the revenue stream and would not have control over it.

    This is why Apple abandoned Flash, not because of its “instability” but because of what the Adobe CEO says, their “business model”.

    Apple is trying to be greedy.

    Lastly, if Mossberg wants to see an android device that “works”, he hasnt taken a look at the Galaxy S II.

  • cheesy11

    easy to see that you van a castellanos

  • Mencis

    Funny… flash works great on my tablet.   I dig the fact I can watch Amazon videos.   Not sure why so many people on here are so full of shit.   Oh well guess they gotta suck someone’s cock might as well be Steve Jobs

  • Moons

    Download iswifter let’s you run flash on your iPad(it’s slow and it’s buggy but it works) it sucks honestly but it’s a $3 app and it’ll let you run everything flash

  • mlahero

    Cult of mac needs to get better hosting?

  • omgsus

    I agree with you but I wanted to point out that “Flash” is not a video format as Adobe would like people to think. Flash can be used to play the video file client-side in a browser just as any native or non-native plugin can do.

    Flash is not and was never required for web video. Flash just made it simple in the beginning. Now that all modern browsers have modern codex support built-in, Flash is irrelevant for video delivery.

  • avenuePad

    Awww…Walt “Apple Shill” Mossberg has a Flash complex. I can’t believe people still take this guy seriously. 

    Walter obviously doesn’t have much experience using Flash on Android because it actually works quite well. Oh, and Android can play HTML5, as well. Weird. 

  • Eric_S_Romero

    Uh, your wrong. My fiancee has a Android phone (Samsung Galaxy S), and I have tried running Flash on her phone through her browser, and guess what? It doesn’t work 100% of the time, and when it does work, the video is choppy and unwatchable. 

    Apple decided to not go with Flash for a number of reasons, and trust me, it has NOTHING to do with a business model: 

    1. Security. Flash has been known to have security holes in their software; that’s why people are hesitant to download Flash for their computers because Flash has a history of being a security threat because people do write viruses, malware, etc…and put them in Flash programs (Trojans). Apple was aware of this, and told them “No Flash on any iDevices.”

    2. Battery Life. When my fiancee watches a Flash video on her phone, she tells me that it can be at 100% after charging, and once she watches a Flash video, Flash eats up at LEAST 20-30 PERCENT of her battery! Apple is VERY touchy about battery life, and it’s something that they want to have over the competition. 

    3. Flash is NOT open: I’ve worked in Flash, and HATED IT.  When you want to play a game, or watch a video, first, you have to watch ad’s. Flash is a closed system, you have to do what Adobe tells you what they want you to do. HTML5 is an open system, and people are free to create what they want to create; whether it be apps, whatever. 

    4. Flash is a heavy power and CPU consumer: When you want to run Flash through your web browser, the CPU kicks into high gear, and it sucks down your battery like Lindsay Lohan downing a bottle of Jack Daniels. 

    Walt was right for putting the Adobe CEO on the hot-seat. Walt told the truth on what Flash does and what it doesn’t do. Flash is a closed system, Flash has been KNOWN for years that it is a heavy power and CPU consumer, a security risk, and it drains battery like nobody’s business. Flash doesn’t run well on mobile devices; this is a HARD fact. Why can’t the Adobe CEO just say “Hey, we messed up, and we as a company are going to fix the problems that Flash has for mobile devices.” Adobe released a new Creative Suite, and they are just now adding HTML5! It took them this long, I’m wondering how long it’s going to take them to realize that HTML5 is the future, and that Flash is out. By the looks of it, very long. 

  • Ivan Castellanos

    Sorry to mess with your bias source. But no, i will not STFU nor GTFO, thank you. I was just passing by anyway.

  • trolololol

    I’m laughing now as I read these fucktarded responses…

    Flash is now dead you dumbfucks, Steve Jobs was right, now you trolls go back to milking Adobe’s cock

  • Luck

    I have an Android phone. HTC Wildfire. And I always thought Jobs was right. Flash sucks, it’s slow, and drain the battery life. Oh yeah, and it doesn’t run on my Android phone.
    Just to tell you why HTML5 is the winner: can you run Silverlight website on your phones? NO. Because it doesn’t run on iOS and Android. HTML 5 is the only answer and if only most of Android users were not full of shit with their hate against Apple they would see it as well.

  • Luck

    Guess what? You’re dumb and he was right. No more flash on Android.

  • MobileGeorge

    It’s simple. Mobile devices are typically resource-constrained devices. A web browser on a device already contains a page renderer and programming language virtual machine. There is no need to duplicate all of the functionality that a web browser provides with a browser plug-in like Flash (you don’t want two renderers and two virtual machines running and taking up limited resources when one will suffice). Do everything in HTML5 and you minimize the amount of supporting resources that need to be running to display your content. Perhaps Adobe finally realized this and this is why they abandoned future Flash development for mobile web browsers.

  • David Engel

    Flash may be dead, but Mossberg is still just a shill.