Adobe To Finally Kill Off Flash By 2020

Sam Witter July 26, 2017
Adobe To Finally Kill Off Flash By 2020

Adobe announced it will stop updating and distributing the Flash technology for playing multimedia on the web by 2020 after over twenty years serving videos and animations to people over the internet.

Adobe Systems Inc's Flash, a once-ubiquitous technology used to power most of the media content found online, will be killed off at the end of 2020.

After 2020, Adobe will stop releasing updates for Flash and web browsers will no longer support it. The companies are encouraging developers to transfer their software onto modern programming standards.

The company is working together with Alphabet, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Mozilla in the effort but will provide support for and updates to the software until the end-of-life date.

“Few technologies have had such a profound and positive impact in the internet era,” said Govind Balakrishnan, vice president of product development for Adobe Creative Cloud.

Created more than 20 years ago, Flash was once the favored software used by developers to create games, video players and applications capable of running on multiple web browsers.

When Adobe acquired Flash in its 2005 purchase of Macromedia, the technology was on more than 98 percent of personal computers connected to the web.

But Flash’s popularity began to wane after Apple’s decision not to support it on the iPhone.

Apple in particular has been talking for years about how Flash hurts the user experience on desktop and mobile devices. "Adobe claims that we are a closed system, and that Flash is open, but in fact the opposite is true," Steve Jobs said in 2010.

Earlier this year, Google said it would start blocking Flash by default in its Chrome browser come October, and Microsoft has sought to stop Flash from showing up in its Edge browser for Windows 10.

"Adobe will also remain at the forefront of leading the development of new web standards and actively participate in their advancement. This includes continuing to contribute to the HTML5 standard and participating in the WebAssembly Community Group. And we'll continue to provide best in class animation and video tools such as Animate CC, the premier web animation tool for developing HTML5 content, and Premiere Pro CC," Adobe said in its blog post.

Flash, however, remains in use among some online gamers. Adobe said it will work with Facebook as well as Unity Technologies and Epic Games to help developers migrate their games.

Adobe said it does not expect Flash’s sunset to have an impact on its bottom line. “In fact, we think the opportunity for Adobe is greater in a post-Flash world,” Balakrishnan said.


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Sam Witter
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