Adobe Flash: Death By 1,000 Cuts - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Software // Enterprise Applications
News
12/1/2015
05:06 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Adobe Flash: Death By 1,000 Cuts

Adobe's Flash Professional next year will be called Animate CC, and it will focus on creating HTML5 content.

9 Reasons Flash Must Die, And Soon
9 Reasons Flash Must Die, And Soon
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Adobe's Flash platform just won't die. Though Apple's Steve Jobs hobbled it in 2010 with his blistering critique of the technology, Thoughts on Flash, Adobe Flash has soldiered on. Like the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Flash just keeps stumbling forward, oblivious to its mortal wounds.

Now even Adobe is acknowledging Flash's decline. On Monday, Nov. 30, the company said that Flash Professional will be renamed Animate CC, starting with the next release in Spring 2016. Despite losing Flash in its name, the app will still support Flash (SWF) and AIR formats. It's focus, however, will be HTML5 output.

"Today, open standards like HTML5 have matured and provide many of the capabilities that Flash ushered in," Adobe said in a blog post. "Our customers have clearly communicated that they would like our creative applications to evolve to support multiple standards and we are committed to doing that."

Adobe plans to release an HTML5 video player for desktop browsers, to match its support for HTML5 on mobile devices. One of the reasons Flash has endured so long is that so much video content was created as Flash video.

(Image: Adobe)

(Image: Adobe)

Though Flash's fate was sealed years ago, support for the technology eroded significantly this year. In January, YouTube began streaming HTML5 by default instead of Flash. In July, Facebook CSO Alex Stamos called for an end-of-life date for Flash and indicated that Facebook is working on support for HTML5 videos on desktop computers. That same month, Mozilla temporarily banned Flash by default until security vulnerabilities could be addressed. Apple has also periodically blocked outdated versions of Flash in response to security issues, most recently in October.

In September, Google's Chrome browser began blocking Flash content, notably ads, by default, "to increase page-load speed and reduce power consumption." Google's repudiation of the technology should convince anyone still wedded to Flash content that it's time to consider other options.

Signs of ill-health have been present for years though. As of April last year, Adobe Media Encoder no longer included presets for F4V or FLV files, the Flash video format. And going back to 2011, Adobe's decision to cease Flash development for mobile devices ensured the technology's days would be numbered.

[HTML5 or Native? Here's how app developers can decide.]

Yet Flash isn't so much dying as decaying. Rather than an expiration date, it has a half-life. While many in the tech industry are eager to pay their respects and move on, Flash looks as if it will linger on.

Al Hilwa, IDC program director for software development research, characterizes Adobe's rebranding of Flash Professional as shift in focus that demonstrates the company's capacity to innovate. "Flash has a significant developer and Web designer base that continues to build websites, apps, and content with it, and so the platform has to continue to be secure," said Hilwa in an email. "A variety of industry players like Microsoft, Google, and now Facebook are beginning to understand this reality and so are collaborating with Adobe to keep the platform secure."

**New deadline of Dec. 18, 2015** Be a part of the prestigious InformationWeek Elite 100! Time is running out to submit your company's application by Dec. 18, 2015. Go to our 2016 registration page: InformationWeek's Elite 100 list for 2016.

Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful ... View Full Bio

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

News
Becoming a Self-Taught Cybersecurity Pro
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  6/9/2021
News
Ancestry's DevOps Strategy to Control Its CI/CD Pipeline
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  6/4/2021
Slideshows
IT Leadership: 10 Ways to Unleash Enterprise Innovation
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  6/8/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Slideshows
Flash Poll