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Adobe Flash Player
Flash Player
  Latest version:32
  Developer:Adobe (2005-2020)
Macromedia (1997-2005)
FutureWave (1996-1997)
  Operating system: Android, Chrome OS, Linux, Mac OS, Solaris, Windows
  Price:free
  Homepage:adobe.com/products/flashplayer

Adobe Flash Player is a deprecated plugin that allows interactive web animations to be played back within a browser. It gained widespread use in the early 2000s and many sites used it for streaming audiovisual content, movies, and playing games. However, it was also criticized for its security issues and support was phased out of major browsers by the end of 2020.[1]

History[]

Flash Player was previously developed by Macromedia, which Adobe acquired in December 2005.[2] At that time, the player was at version 8, roughly in parity with the Flash Professional authoring application. However, it was then rapidly updated over the following years through dozens of software updates to patch various security flaws. Malicious websites and online ads took advantage of this by attempting to trick users into downloading fake Flash updaters to install software viruses, unwanted adware, malware, and spyware that can steal their data.[3]

Deprecation[]

Flash EOL

End-of-life image displayed by deprecated Flash Player plug-ins after January 12, 2021.

In April 2010, Apple CEO Steve Jobs wrote an open critique of Flash platform to justify his refusal to support the technology on Apple's successful iOS line, which included the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.[4] An Apple engineer later stated that Jobs was offended that Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen would not take his phone calls for what he perceived to be "mere engineering problems".[5] Developers of third-party web browsers began to blacklist the Flash plugin by default due to security issues.[6] In November 2015, Adobe announced that the next version of the Flash Professional authoring application would be rebranded as Adobe Animate to reflect the change of product focus.[7]

In July 2017, Adobe announced that it would phase out support for Flash by the end of 2020.[8] Support by major browser developers, such as Microsoft, was phased out by December 31, 2020. The latest Flash plug-ins began blocking playback of content on January 12, 2021.[1] Instead, an image would be displayed that would link to an end-of-life notice from Adobe.[9] For enterprise customers that still needed to transition legacy Flash content to alternate technologies, such Adobe AIR, Harman International became an officially licensed distributor and enterprise support provider.[10]

References[]

External links[]

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