Adobe Flash, a software program that was once needed to power almost anything found online, is having the plug pulled on it in 2020. Adobe Systems Inc announced Tuesday that the one time top program would be retired in less than three years.
Apple, Alphabet’s Google, Mozilla, Facebook, and Microsoft is working with Adobe to ramp down support for Flash. These companies, and others are expected to phase the program out in stages over the next three years, according to Reuters.
No more updates for Flash will come from Adobe after 2020. Web browsers across the board will end support for it. Adobe is recommending that companies and developers move their software to modern programs that do not rely of Flash.
According to Adobe Creative Cloud vice president of product development Govind Balakrishnan, Flash was one of the few technologies created that had a positive and profound impact on the internet. The program was created more than 20 years ago and was the preferred platform for video players, games, and applications running on a number of web browsers. Adobe purchased Flash in 2005 when it acquired Macromedia. At that time, it was believed that 98 percent of computers in peoples homes had Flash installed on them.
But, in the tech world, there was a cancer that started to effect Adobe Flash. That cancer, surprisingly, was Apple. Apple chose not to support Flash on the iPhone ten years ago, and never adopted it. Suddenly the popular program began to feel its usefulness fade.
Apple chose not to use Flash over concerns of security, reliability, and performance. Apple founder and former CEO Steve Jobs criticized Adobe Flash for not addressing these issues, and chose to go another route for iOS. This would end up being a death blow that would eat away at Flash for the next 10 years.
Over the past 12 months, web browsers have started having users enable Flash before it could run. Google Chrome, currently the number one web browser, has seen usage of Adobe Flash fall drastically. In 2014, 80 percent of users used Flash. Now, that number has fallen to 17 percent and continues to fall. This shows that websites are already leaving Flash and finding other technologies, like HTML5, which is more secure than the Adobe offering.
Flash is clinging to life in the online game world. However, along with Facebook and gaming companies, Epic Games, and Unity Technologies, Adobe will help developers move their games to a new platform.
Adobe Flash ending is not a big concern for the PhotoShop maker. They actually see that in a post-Flash world, there could be even greater opportunities, according to Balakrishnan. While Flash has been a staple for so long, the list of programs Adobe has in their catalog, it is not that big a deal.
What do you think? Are you sad to see Adobe Flash on life support? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
By Cletus Dillwood
Photo Courtesy Adobe