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Apple vs Flash round two: Adobe strikes back at Steve Jobs, Microsoft wades in

Adobe has struck back at Steve Jobs' attack on Flash, with Microsoft stepping in -- and not on the side you'd expect

Crave loves a proper scrap in the tech world, and this one's a doozy. Adobe's CEO has struck back at Apple after iChief Steve Jobs put the boot into Flash. It's a ding-dong of epic proportions, even by Steve "the Bruiser" Jobs standards, and has even caused Microsoft to wade in shouting, "Leave it! He's not worth it!" Amazingly, Microsoft has sided with... Apple.

Shantanu Narayen, the big cheese at Adobe, claims his company stands for multi-platform openness and Apple doesn't. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, he refutes Jobs' claims of technical problems such as reduced battery life. Narayen believes Jobs' technical objections are a "smokescreen" for Apple's proprietary practices.

In an official blog post, Adobe's Kevin Lynch laments that "were Apple and Adobe to work together as with a number of other partners, we could provide a terrific experience with Flash on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch". He confirms that Flash for Android is set to be previewed at the Google I/O developer conference on 19 and 20 May, before a June general release.

Meanwhile, in conclusive proof that we are in the final days -- fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria! -- Microsoft has sided with Apple. Dean Hachamovitch, general manager for Internet Explorer, echoed Jobs' sentiments in another blog post, this time on the official IE blog. He states that "the future of the Web is HTML5" and "H.264 is an excellent format".

Unlike Jobs, Hachamovitch concedes that Flash's ubiquity makes it "an important part of delivering a good consumer experience on today's Web", but that doesn't mean he has to like it: Flash has issues "around reliability, security and performance". So that's everything, then.

Seconds out for round three.