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Adobe winds down Flash, supports migration to HTML5

Adobe winds down Flash, supports migration to HTML5 

Flash was once the go to software for developers that created games, video players, and Web apps. However, after 20 years, Flash’s creator – Adobe Systems Inc. has finally announced it is winding down its support for the once widely used online media content software.

A few years back Adobe had been engaged in Flash vs. HTML5 battle with Apple.  However, on Tuesday, Adobe as well as its partners Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Mozilla, will be gradually ramping down their use of Flash over the next three years. 

When the company’s Creative Cloud update rolls out in August, Flash Professional will be called Adobe Animate CC.

 “The Adobe Flash Player has played a pivotal role in advancing interactive and creative web content for over 20 years,” wrote Jacob Rosen, a product marketer for Adobe Connect, in his blog on Tuesday. “At the core of our company’s mission statement of changing the world through digital experiences is the invention of formats where none previously existed- we did this with Flash and will continue to do so in the languages of the future.”

Adobe Animate CC will still be able to produce SWF files and Adobe’s AIR runtime. The Adobe Flash Player will be supported by Adobe for at least another five years.

“Specifically, we will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to these new open formats,” Adobe said.

Acquired by Adobe in 2005 when it bought Macromedia, Flash was the dominant Web content software for over 20 years, especially when it came to gaming and premium video. But from a market share high of more than 98 per cent, Flash’s influence has gradually tapered beginning with Apple’s decision of not to support the software when it released its iPhone and later on the iPad.

“…as open standards like HTML5, WebGL and WebAssembly have matured over the past several years, most now provide many of the capabilities and functionalities that plugins pioneered and have become a viable alternative for content on the web,” an Adobe blog said on Tuesday. “Over time, we’ve seen helper apps evolve to become plugins, and more recently, have seen many of these plugin capabilities get incorporated into open web standards. Today, most browser vendors are integrating capabilities once provided by plugins directly into browsers and deprecating plugins.”

Adobe said it is collaborating with partners such as Apple, Facebook, Mozilla and Google in “planning to end-of –life Flash.”

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. 

“We remain fully committed to working with partners, including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla to maintain the security and compatibility of Flash content,” Adobe said.

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