Adobe has announced its free multimedia software platform Flash Player, which has been widely used as an internet staple for serving up online games and video, will be phased out at the end of 2020. Adobe in coordination with tech partners like Microsoft, Mozilla Facebook, Apple and Google will bring the curtain down on the closed, proprietary Flash Player, as more secure open standards like HTML5 have become better alternatives for content. Microsoft said in reaction to this news that it would phase out Flash from its Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge browsers in favor of the improved performance and security of HTML5. Mozilla will disable Flash by default in 2019.
The writing on the wall for Flash’s demise has been HTMLs’s assent, and frequent security issues that have forced Browser companies to move away from the plugin player as cyber hackers have used it as a vehicle to download malware. The dominoes began to fall in earnest when Apple cofounder Steve Jobs famously wrote a venomous letter in 2010 saying iPhone and iPads would never support Flash and Apple stopped pre-installing Flash on Mac computers too. From there Adobe announced in 2011, that it would no longer develop the software on mobile devices. Anthony Laforge, product manager for Google Chrome, noted in a blog post that in 2014, 80% of desktop Chrome users went to a website using Flash every day, but now that number has fallen to 17% and is dropping fast.