Adobe Flash: Blink and you’ll miss it

On December 31st 2020, Adobe Systems will formally cease updating and distributing Adobe Flash. Following this date, from January 1st 2021 Adobe will be removing Flash Player download pages from its site and blocking Flash-based content from operating in Adobe Flash Player.

Once one of the most popularly used portals to view video clips and play online games; the technology also attracted its fair share of criticism. This critique was aimed mainly at its code flaws; which lent themselves perfectly to hackers and the infection of computers.

In collaboration with several technology partners, this announcement included technical details on what the Flash Player EOL (End Of Life) means for consumers, developers, and enterprises, using their particular OS environments or browsers. Partners involved included Mozilla, Facebook, Apple, Google and Microsoft.

Critical to the avoidance of substantial technical disturbance; industries – especially in the education and e-learning sectors – are advised to convert any existing Flash content to new open formats.

Why did Adobe decide to kill Flash Player?

Over the years, open standards including HTML5, WebGL, and WebAssembly, have steadily risen to present themselves as viable alternatives for Flash content.

HTML5 immediately trumps Flash in its ability to create multimedia content available within webpages without the need for users to install and update a dedicated plug-in.

Over the past few years, influential browser vendors have been integrating these open standards into their browsers and opposing most other plug-ins, including Adobe Flash Player.

Adobe announced its decision back in 2017, allowing a generous three years’ advance notice for developers, designers, businesses, and other parties to migrate existing Flash content as needed to new, open standards.

What happens for the remainder of 2020?

Moving forward, Adobe will continue to maintain OS and browser compatibility, while issuing regular Flash Player security patches. The company will also continue to add features and capabilities as defined by Adobe through the end of 2020.

Come 2021, Adobe will remove Flash Player download pages from its site entirely, also blocking Flash-based content from running in Adobe Flash Player.

Adobe recommends that all customers should delete Flash Player after the EOL date since Adobe will not support it. Above all, the software company recommends always using the latest, supported and up to date software, for security reasons.

Moving forward – post EOL

Moreover, Flash Player will NOT be available for download on a third-party website; Adobe does not authorise these versions of Flash Player. The current advice, as stated by Adobe, is to avoid unauthorised versions of Flash due to security risks. Illegal downloads are an easy way in for harmful malware and viruses.

Adobe officials have announced that they take no responsibility for unauthorised versions of Flash Player and that customers’ procurement and use of such illegitimate versions are at their own risk.

If you require any help or advice regarding the end of life of Adobe Flash, please do get in touch with one of our specialists on 01522 883636.