Goodbye Adobe Flash, hello open web technology

After 20 years, the time has finally come to say goodbye to Adobe Flash, the company announced on Tuesday. Flash made it easier for Internet users to run multiple applications and play games online, yet now most websites use open technologies that have proven more efficient and reliable.

In collaboration with Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla, Abode will no longer release Flash updates and will cease distribution by the end of 2020, encouraging a shift to open formats such as HTML5, WebGL and WebAssembly.

“Several industries and businesses have been built around Flash technology – including gaming, education and video – and we remain committed to supporting Flash through 2020, as customers and partners put their migration plans into place,” reads the company blog.

“Adobe will continue to support Flash on a number of major OSs and browsers that currently support Flash content through the planned EOL. This will include issuing regular security patches, maintaining OS and browser compatibility and adding features and capabilities as needed.”

Adobe Flash, once vital tool to playing interactive content online, had turned into a vulnerability in recent years, easily exploited by hackers for zero-days attacks. As a result, YouTube no longer relies on Flash and Mozilla blocked the plugin in Firefox, while Safari asks for users’ permission each time they install Flash.

A number of companies, including Facebook, Google Chrome and YouTube, have already moved away from Flash and turned to HTML5 as a replacement. By 2019, Microsoft will disable Flash Player in Edge and Internet Explorer and completely remove it from supported versions of Windows by 2020.

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