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iPad pitch to the Wall Street Journal laid bare

No FLASH in the pad

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Steve Jobs took the iPad to the Wall Street Journal to explain why the paper should drop Adobe's Flash, to a cool reception.

The details of Mr. Jobs' presentation to staff at the Journal were revealed by ValleyWag. They included his dismissal of Adobe's Flash technology along with the arguments about why the Journal should drop it and embrace Apple's vision of the future.

Starting out with the familiar mantra that Flash is full of bugs, crashes all the time, eats resources and poses an unacceptable security risk, Steve Jobs went on to dismiss the technology as redundant and explained that Apple has a history of leading the way when it comes to dropping support for outdated technologies.

According to the ValleyWag report, he cited Apple's lead in disposing of floppy drives, outmoded data ports and CDs: all things that are equally as redundant as Flash, apparently. We don't miss floppy drives (though the old 8-inch'ers used to fly well), but serial and parallel ports still turn up every now and then, while CDs still account for the vast majority of music sales despite Apple's success with on-line sales.

Those are all hardware, of course, but then hardware is Apple's traditional business.

The argument then got into the technical process of shifting the WSJ content out of Flash and into HTML 5, something that Steve Jobs suggested would be "trivial". There's a lot of video to recode, however, and creating JavaScript interfaces for all those interactive side-bars and charts will take some work. Not to mention the laying off of all the Flash-skilled staff and their replacement with people who know JavaScript well enough to write code, and have the graphical skills necessary to create decent interfaces.

It seems to us that the last bit would be furthest from "trivial".

But ValleyWag concludes that despite all this, the Wall Street Journal will just swallow its pride and drop Flash in order to be part of the iPad revolution.

We're not quite so convinced that Mr. Murdoch (owner of the Journal, Fox News, Sky TV, The Times, The Sun and so forth) will be quite so willing to re-engineer his product to suit Apple. At least, not without significant concessions on the Cupertino side. ®

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