26 Jul 2017
Adobe to pull the plug on Flash Player in 2020
Encouraging content creators to migrate existing Flash-content to new formats, Adobe announced it would "stop updating and distributing" Flash and completely remove support for it.
It once used to power most of the online media content; it was widely used for playing games and watching videos.
The rise and fall of Flash Player
Macromedia released Flash Player in 1996; later, Adobe Systems acquired Macromedia in 2005.
It was once the preferred software for developers of various applications, video players, and games capable of running on several web browsers.
Hackers used Flash as a vehicle for malware
Flash's popularity began to fade after Apple decided not to support the technology on iPhones.
In 2010, late Apple CEO Steve Jobs openly criticized Flash's reliability, performance and also security.
Flash had been criticized mainly for "flaws in its code", which helped hackers to infect computers.
Several major browsers, including Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Apple Safari, have already phased out support for Flash.
HTML5 offers much of Flash's functionality
Adobe Vice-President (Product Development), Govind Balakrishnan, said only "few technologies have had such a profound and positive impact in the internet era."
He added they decided to kill Flash because other technologies, like HTML5, WebGL, and WebAssembly, "matured enough" to provide "viable alternatives".
Flash's rival HTML5 doesn't require users to install and update plug-in as it can create multimedia content available within web pages.
Adobe Systems' statement
Adobe stated: "In collaboration with several of our technology partners, including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla, Adobe is planning to end-of-life Flash. Adobe will continue to provide the best tools and services for designers and developers to create amazing content for the web."
Other open-web technologies are more secure than Flash: Google
Google stated, "(Current) trend reveals that sites are migrating to open-web technologies, which are faster and more power-efficient." App developer Malcolm Barclay said, "(Flash) fulfilled its promise for a while but it never saw the mobile device revolution coming, and ultimately that's what killed it."
Flash's retirement wouldn't affect profits at Adobe
Saying that Flash's demise wouldn't affect Adobe's profits, Balakrishnan stated, "We think the opportunity for Adobe is greater in a post-Flash world." The company would remain committed to supporting Flash until 2020 as "customers and partners put their migration plans into place."