Flash, Adobe’s popular application to play most of the Internet’s multimedia content, will be retired in late 2020, the software company said on Tuesday.
Adobe, along with partners Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet Google, Facebook and Mozilla, said Flash support will gradually be phased out over the Internet in the next three years.
After 2020, Adobe will stop releasing updates for Flash and web browsers will no longer be compatible with the application. Companies are encouraging developers to migrate their programs to modern programming standards.
“Few technologies have had such a profound and positive impact on the Internet age,” said Govind Balakrishnan, vice president of product development for Adobe Creative Cloud.
Flash, created more than 20 years ago, was once the software preferred by developers to create games, video players and applications capable of running on multiple web browsers.
When Adobe acquired Flash, when it bought from Macromedia in 2005, the technology was on more than 98% of personal computers connected to the Internet, Macromedia said at the time. But Flash’s popularity began to wane after Apple’s decision not to make it compatible with its iPhone.
In a public letter in 2010, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs criticized Flash’s reliability, security and performance. Since then other alternative technologies have been released to Flash, such as HTML5.
In the past year, several web browsers have started asking users to activate Flash before they can run it. “This trend reveals that sites are migrating to open web technologies, which are faster and more efficient than Flash from an energy point of view,” Google said.
“They are also safer,” he added.