Adobe Flash phaseout

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Jul 252017
 

Adobe Flash has a checkered history. Although in use for decades, many of my clients do not understand what Flash does. “There’s a message that Adobe Flash is not installed — should I install it? The web page is requesting that I enable Flash — is that okay? There’s a message that Flash is out-of-date — do I need to do something?”

So, when the occasion arises, I say that unless there’s some really compelling reason to use Flash, the best practice is not to. I mention the long-running security issues, and that it’s being phased out. But there’s still the question: what is Flash?

Today, PC World published an article “Adobe Flash will die by 2020, Adobe and browser makers say” summarizing the timetable for phaseout.

Adobe Flash, one of the most controversial elements of the web, will be phased out by 2020, Adobe said Tuesday. Browser makers, including Microsoft and Google, simultaneously announced plans for a gradual phaseout over the next few years.

Specifically, Adobe Flash Player will be end-of-lifed by 2020, the company said, meaning that it simply won’t work.

In a blog post, Microsoft laid out its timeline for phasing out Flash support from Edge:

  • Through the end of 2017 and into 2018, Microsoft Edge will continue to ask users for permission to run Flash on most sites the first time the site is visited, and will remember the user’s preference on subsequent visits. Internet Explorer will continue to allow Flash with no special permissions required during this time.
  • In mid to late 2018, Microsoft will update Microsoft Edge to require permission for Flash to be run each session. Internet Explorer will continue to allow Flash for all sites in 2018.
  • In mid to late 2019, Microsoft will disable Flash by default in both Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer. Users will be able to re-enable Flash in both browsers. When re-enabled, Microsoft Edge will continue to require approval for Flash on a site-by-site basis.
  • By the end of 2020, Microsoft will remove the ability to run Adobe Flash in Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer across all supported versions of Microsoft Windows. Users will no longer have any ability to enable or run Flash.

Some major web sites still use Flash for viewing video. Even some high-speed Internet service providers’ (broadband) speed test pages still require Flash be enabled. Anyway, all that will change, eh.