A Jobs well done?

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A large portion of people reading this article will assuredly have strong opinions on Apple as a company and I would take an educated guess that at least 75% will feel they are ‘overpriced’ and form the heart of an elitist group of users who mock enthusiasts who prefer to use anything else (yes that generally means Windows) on a daily basis. The same fanboy logic also applies in reverse mind you, as you can see if you spend a few minutes searching user made videos on youtube.

The Macintosh “as a platform” was predominately utilised in the early years of its infancy within the fledgling Desktop publishing and design industry – an era which holds particular significance to me, as this is how I actually started my career. I worked in Ireland in the Belfast Telegraph and they had the resources to purchase many OS 6 based SE and Plus systems. My first recollections of using V1 of Adobe Photoshop will always stay with me – it was an almost religious experience. Remember this was when Pixel editors were strictly confined to your imagination. I can almost hear the sighs from the younger readers, yes I am really that old now.

Adobe were not only at the forefront of the design and newspaper industry but they also spearheaded a programming language called Postscript which became the standard for defining page images (and would spawn the PDF format years later). I won’t bore you with a painful background history on this, but if you were a designer in any industry when Macintosh took the reigns then it was simply unavoidable NOT to be shackled to Adobe. Heck even Apple unashamedly used the Postscript language in their famous, defunct range of Laserwriter printers.

Histrionics aside, Adobe has had a long and close relationship with Apple. Apple were their first corporate customer and owned a percentage of the company for half a decade. However, even though Apple users account for half of Adobe’s sales, behind the scenes the two corporations slowly drifted apart.

Apple struggled to find a leader able to guide them to continued success and they almost shut their doors – in today’s climate this seems almost an incredible statement, especially when you read that in the first quarter of 2010 they raked in $13.5 billion from sales of their computers and mobile devices.

Adobe have also been coping well through some tough economic climate changes over the last decade with their suite of design software (boosted by their purchase of Macromedia) forming the core toolset of any professional artist and designer. It would be fair to say that one of their most prominent and widely adopted software packages would be Flash. Flash is used across the globe and even if its not adopted within the content sections on your favourite websites, you will more than likely still be able to see advertisements on most pages running in the media format.

While Apple’s competitors have embraced Flash on the mobile platform, Jobs has never agreed to support it and it remains a hot discussion topic for everyone with even the slightest interest in technology. Apple’s CEO – Steve Jobs decided recently to answer critics and explain his reasoning as to why their immensely popular mobile units have yet to adopt it (and apparently never will).

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