Flash death looms
Adobe has issued its last Flash Player update.
Since its launch 24 years ago, Flash has enlivened the internet experience, bringing multimedia content, rich Internet applications, streaming audio and video to web browsers.
“Today marks the final scheduled release of Flash Player for all regions outside of Mainland China,” Adobe wrote in a release note for final update.
“Adobe will no longer support Flash Player after December 31, 2020, and Adobe will block Flash content from running in Flash Player beginning January 12, 2021.”
Adobe announced the end of life for Flash in 2017, arguing that new open standards like HTML5, WebGL and WebAssembly can now “provide many of the capabilities and functionalities that plugins pioneered” and are “a viable alternative for content on the web”.
Behind this PR line is the fact that Flash has become a serious security disaster, requiring endless security patching, including several “zero-day” issues. Already, many content makers, former software partners and users have been pushed away from the platform.
The companies that provide the world’s most popular browsers - Apple, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla - have all come up with their own roadmaps to phase out Flash.
Apple’s Safari 14 release, offered in late September, lacks any Flash capability. It is an unsurprising move from a company that has avoided the Adobe plug-in across its devices.
“Flash Player will be marked as out of date and will be blocked from loading” in Chrome this January, Google says.
Microsoft announced it will purge Flash from Windows in an update from September. It will include an uninstall-Flash in its Windows Update and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), making it “optional” in early 2021”, before changing to a “recommended” status a few months later.
Firefox 84 will be the “final version to support Flash”, Mozilla says. Firefox 85, scheduled for release on January 26, 2021, will “ship without Flash support”.
Adobe has provided the following support page with additional information specific to enterprises.