The End of Adobe Flash Player


Gone in a Flash!

Flash fading to historyFrom it’s humble beginnings as an animation tool, Flash has come a long way. Flash made the internet come alive with movement, from whimsical banner ads to your favorite YouTube video. Flash was ubiquitous in the world of computers. In 2005, it became the most widely distributed media format, overtaking Java, QuickTime, and even Microsoft’s Media Player. Flash was king. But Flash wasn’t without its issues. It was a resource hog, and it was riddled with security vulnerabilities, constantly needing to be updated to patch the security exploits. Then, along came HTML5. There’s a new king in town.

Adobe acquired Macromedia in 2005, paying billions for the company and all of its products, including Flash, Dreamweaver, and other popular products. But, now, even Adobe is ready to put Flash out to pasture, urging content creators to stop using Flash and use the newer standard, HTML5, instead.

Use of HTML5 has been growing, and Adobe is simply acknowledging the proverbial writing on the wall. They have already renamed the app to reposition it in the minds of content creators as tool for creating HTML5 content, which already represents a third of all content created with the app.

On top of that, Google has announced that some of its properties, AdWords and DoubleClick advertising services, will soon stop allowing ads built in Flash. Advertisers using those services will be forced to build their display adverts in HTML5. Google has also been slowly shifting in favor of HTML5 as its format of choice for YouTube content. Facebook’s chief of security has also asked for an end to Flash content on the social media giant.

flash-graphic

So, Flash is still with us, for now. It won’t disappear overnight. And, it won’t die completely. It will just be repurposed. But, once its ubiquity subsides, it will become less attractive to hackers as a tool for attacking computer systems around the world, because there simply won’t be as many opportunities. And, perhaps, we will all become a little safer at our computers.


When even Adobe is encouraging people to stop creating content with Flash, you know it’s time to clean out the Flash locker and order its gold watch. It deserves a gold watch for all the hard work it’s done for content creators over the years, but no tears will fall when Flash is gone.
Consider it progress. When the content we consume in our Web browsers has all shifted to HTML5, we won’t have to deal with constantly updating the plug-in every few weeks, or the security concerns Flash always exposed us to. Our computers will be able to breathe a little easier while playing our online content.

Now, if we could just find a similar replacement for Java!

 

About the Author

Daniel Banks

Daniel Banks is a computer enthusiast and part time tech. He began his computing career in the early '90s with a state-of-the-art 486 computer. Playing Kong when he should have been working, he quickly became a master at throwing exploding bananas. RAM was measured in kilobytes... computers only came in one color... getting online made lots of noise and AOL was the internet... or, so we thought. Daniel has been building custom computers for himself and others for over 25 years. His current box was built back in 2008, sporting a Gigabyte mainboard, over-clocked i7 Quad Core engine, 8GB RAM, and an antiquated, over-clocked video card that still gets the job done, running a carefully manicured Win7 OS. Don’t ask where he got the OS. Dan has always had a passion for computers and all things geek. We hope you enjoy his articles.

15 Comments

  1. Soooo has it been removed from our pc’s?
    Is that why all of a sudden my joke email videos do not play anymore?
    My pc now asks me what program to open to play the video.
    How should I know?!?! It always played. Now it doesn’t.
    [shakes head & shrugs shoulders]

    • You can check “Programs and Features” from the Control Panel to see if your computer has Flash Player installed. You may also be able to run the Flash management app from the Control Panel.
      Flash doesn’t remove itself. However, if the option is set, it does updated itself. I am a firm believer that it should not be allowed to update in the background, however. You should always select the option to alert you to a new update and allow you to decide the appropriate time to run the update.

      Flash registers itself as the default application to run Flash media. If you are not able to play Flash media, you should uninstall and reinstall your Flash Player.

      When updating from the Adobe Web site, always be careful to uncheck the option to install the McAfee Security Scan Plus utility. It is easy to breeze by that and not realize you are about to get crapware installed in your system. (My opinion.)

  2. I will be so glad not to do the updates all the time. Such a pain and my computer could use it’s resources on more important things like online gaming ;). Hopefully the transition will not be to painful.

  3. So what program do I use to create HTML5 now? I have some simple flash on my website so I assume I better change it over. How do I do that?

    • I can’t recommend a program for creating HTML5 content. However, that is what Adobe plans to do with their Flash creator software in it’s new life… make it a HTML5 creator. The more recent versions of Adobe Flash creator can produce content in HTML5 now.

  4. So I would like to know what will be affected,if at all?Second,is there any alternative program that needs to be installed then?My P.C. still shows A.F.P.and Shockwave Player installed.
    Please let me know.Thanks,

    • Flash content (videos, etc.) will not go away overnight. But, the quicker the better, due to the security issues Flash presents. No alternative program is needed to replace Flash Player, because your Web browser already has HTML5 built into the functionality of the browser. HTML5 is the new standard and all major browsers are HTML5 compliant.

      I don’t think you need both AFP and Shockwave. I would suggest that you remove Shockwave. I doubt you’ll miss it.

      • Thanks,Mr.Banks/Beachboui for the reply.

        I am using Firefox 44.0.2 And Windows 7. Are you sure I can remove AFP and SWP ?Regards,

  5. Viraj, I don’t think you need both Flash Player and Shockwave Player. I would suggest that you remove Shockwave, but keep Flash a little while longer. Just make sure your Flash Player gets updated when new updates become available.