So long, Flash: Adobe will kill plug-in by 2020

Janie Parker
July 26, 2017

The company said in a blog post on Tuesday that the end-of-life for Flash would be implemented in co-operation with its technology partners, including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla. Today usage is only 17 percent and continues to decline.

"As open web standards like WebGL and HTML5 rapidly advanced to offer numerous web game development capabilities provided by Flash", Facebook's Jakub Pudełek wrote today, "it became clear that Flash's lifespan was limited".

Adobe has announced that by 2020 it will end updating and distributing its Flash Player plugin, which has been entertaining and annoying web users in nearly equal measure since 1996.

Well, good news, Mr. Jobs, if perhaps too late to benefit you: Adobe, finally, is killing Flash. Their browsers will follow a similar timeline of asking you for permission to run Flash once every session in mid-to-late 2018; of disabling Flash by default in mid-to-late 2019; and of removing support for Flash entirely in mid-to-late 2020.

For its part, Google has been encouraging sites to migrate to open web technologies that "are faster and more power-efficient than Flash".

The Flash player will witness its own demise on December 31, 2020, followed by Microsoft Silverlight Support in October 2021. With, most recently, support for DRM-protected video being incorporated into HTML5, the need for Flash is largely eliminated. Internet Explorer continues to allow Flash. As Adobe noted during a press call ahead of today's announcement, the number of companies that rely on Flash has steadily decreased over the last few years.

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Google, Mozilla and Apple also are committing to dropping Flash support by 2020 in their respective browsers. All major browsers now release updates on a strict schedule, HTTPS is becoming the norm rather than the exception (before you ask, we're working on it!), and web plugins like Adobe Flash and Java are on their way out.

As Apple's comment notes, the death of Flash will have no consequences for iOS devices which never supported the desktop plug-in.

We will phase out Flash from Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer, culminating in the removal of Flash from Windows entirely by the end of 2020.

Created more than 20 years ago, Flash was once the preferred software used by developers to create games, video players and applications capable of running on multiple web browsers. Users have options to re-enable Flash.

Apple, unsurprisingly, is also welcoming of today's news: "Apple users have been experiencing the web without Flash for some time".

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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