At Long Last, Adobe Will Kill Off Flash, AKA The Reason Your Browser Crashes All The Time
It's time to celebrate.
If you've ever had your browser crash--and who hasn't?--there's a good chance that Flash was to blame. Adobe, the company behind Flash, has announced its plans to kill off the platform in the coming years.
In a post on its website today, Adobe announced it will "end-of-life Flash," which means it will go through the process of phasing it out as companies continue to migrate to alternatives. "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," it said.
The next three-plus years will still see Flash supported by Adobe, including the release of security updates. It will, however, "move more aggressively to EOL Flash in certain geographies where unlicensed and outdated versions of Flash Player are being distributed." Various companies, including Microsoft, Apple (which gleefully notes that it's already blocked by default in Safari), and Google, all have their own plans for handling the phase out for Flash, but the end result is that you should begin seeing it even less than you have recently.
It's a move that has been a long time coming--Apple famously left out support for Flash from the iPhone, which portended its inevitable demise almost a decade ago. The tech has been largely rendered obsolete as other standards have emerged, including HTML5.
Adobe notes that Flash (and Shockwave) were created a time when the formats were needed. Flash has lingered due to its widespread adoption and usage, but it's consistently proven problematic over the last decade or more. Its death may make it more challenging to play old, Flash-based games and things of the sort, but by and large it should result in a more stable internet-browsing experience for everyone.
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