Adobe has announced that they
“will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to… new open formats.”
Whilst some part of us may feel a ping of nostalgia at this news, much like saying goodbye to the dog you just met – it’s not as painful as your own dog dying, but it’s still sad to know you’ll never see it again – for the most part this is probably for the best.
Google itself came out with a fair nod of support for the software’s past, as well as some stark statistics on its current status:
“For 20 years, Flash has helped shape the way that you play games, watch videos and run applications on the web. But over the last few years, Flash has become less common. Three years ago, 80 percent of desktop Chrome users visited a site with Flash each day. Today usage is only 17 percent and continues to decline.”
For a fair amount of time the Flash plugin has been outdated, and security issues – as highlighted by Steve Jobs himself – have always plagued the durability of the software. With the advent and strengthening of HTML5, it seems that this is no longer a world for which the Adobe plugin is suited.
“Today, most browser vendors are integrating capabilities once provided by plugins directly into browsers and deprecating plugins,”
explains Adobe Corporate Communications.
On top of security issues, some are thinking of more practical changes, such as better battery life for those long-suffering laptops harboring the plugin.
It may seem a fair way off – indeed, the company itself has pledged to continue supporting the software until then – but before we know it, I’m sorry to say, this famous plugin will be gone in a Flash.