Adobe to EOL Flash in 2020

Flash made the web spectacular, and video, which can be delivered in Flash format, universally playable since virtually all browsers came with the Flash plugin installed. Before Flash, viewing video on the web required dealing with a mishmash of formats, plugins, and players (a situation that still exists today outside of Flash). But video delivered via 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, especially YouTube, Flash’s greatest success story, scrambled to find new methods of delivery — specifically open, non-proprietary formats. (In all fairness, Jobs was right about Flash hogging the limited resources available on mobile devices. And relying upon proprietary solutions on the open web is never a good idea). The greater the iPhone’s success, the more certain Flash’s fate became. 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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