Adobe to EOL Flash in 2020

The last holdouts of the once glorious web-media format known as Flash now know how much longer they have to create their animations and videos. Adobe has announced that Flash will be end-of-lifed in 2020. For the last few years Flash’s ultimate fate was not a matter of ‘if,’ but ‘when.’

Flash made the web spectacular, and made video, which could be delivered in Flash format, universally playable since virtually all browsers came with the Flash plugin installed. Prior to Flash, viewing video on the web required wading through a mishmash of formats, plugins and players — not unlike the situation that exists today. But video delivered in Flash could be viewed everywhere, opening the door for video to become the content staple it now is. That is, until the iPhone launched.

The iPhone did not ship with Flash and would not play it. Websites (and especially YouTube, Flash’s greatest success story), scrambled to find new methods of delivery, namely open, non-proprietary formats. (In all fairness, Jobs was right about Flash hogging too much of the limited resources available on mobile devices. And relying on proprietary solutions on the open web is never a good thing). The greater the iPhone’s success, the more certain was Flash’s demise. And so came the recent announcement from Adobe:

Adobe is planning to end-of-life Flash. 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.

Farewell Flash, you served us well. But open, efficient formats are far better for everyone in the long run.

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