Adobe will finally retire Flash in 2020

End-of-life is coming for the beloved but buggy plugin

Adobe Flash hit with zero day vulnerability again

Adobe plans to phase out Flash completely by 2020, when it will stop releasing updates for the buggy plugin.

Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla's web browsers and platforms will stop supporting it (Google already started this process last year), turning to open web technologies like HTML5, WebGL and WebAssembly.

While Flash has become the basis of many industries and businesses, such as gaming, education and video, its use has dwindled in recent years - Google shared stats showing that just 17% of Chrome users visit a webpage using Flash each day, after it stopped enabling it by default, compared to 80% three years ago.

"Today, most browser vendors are integrating capabilities once provided by plugins directly into browsers and deprecating plugins," Adobe admitted in a blog post.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

"We will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to these new open formats."

Flash's widespread popularity also made it a target for hackers, and even with regular patches Flash suffered from many bugs. One security firm, Recorded Future, found Flash Player comprised eight out of 10 top vulnerabilities leveraged by exploit kits in 2015, with more than 100 exploit kits and vulnerabilities affecting the technology, according to Gizmodo.

That's what led to Google opting to default to HTML5, forcing users to manually allow browsers to play Flash videos. However, one developer has already started a petition on GitHub to open source the technology, and allow web developers to fix it.

"Flash is an important piece of Internet history and killing Flash means future generations can't access the past. Games, experiments and websites would be forgotten," said the developer, Juha Lindstedt.

But until end-of-life in 2020, Adobe will continue to release security patches for Flash, keeping up with browser and operating system changes to make sure it's compatible and adding new features and capabilities as they're needed by the industry.

The software company will also try and stop the use of the Flash player in certain places where it's being distributed illegally as an unlicensed or outdated version.

Advertisement - Article continues below

"Adobe will also remain at the forefront of leading the development of new web standards and actively participate in their advancement.," the company said.

"This includes continuing to contribute to the HTML5 standard and participating in the WebAssembly Community Group. And we'll continue to provide best in class animation and video tools such as Animate CC, the premier web animation tool for developing HTML5 content, and Premiere Pro CC."

Featured Resources

Digitally perfecting the supply chain

How new technologies are being leveraged to transform the manufacturing supply chain

Download now

Three keys to maximise application migration and modernisation success

Harness the benefits that modernised applications can offer

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

The 3 approaches of Breach and Attack Simulation technologies

A guide to the nuances of BAS, helping you stay one step ahead of cyber criminals

Download now


operating systems

Best Linux distros 2019

24 Dec 2019
internet security

Avast and AVG extensions pulled from Chrome

19 Dec 2019

Google confirms Android cameras can be hijacked to spy on you

20 Nov 2019

IBM doubles down on Red Hat independence

10 Jul 2019

Most Popular

Microsoft Windows

What to do if you're still running Windows 7

14 Jan 2020
operating systems

17 Windows 10 problems - and how to fix them

13 Jan 2020
Microsoft Windows

Memes and Viking funerals: The internet reacts to the death of Windows 7

14 Jan 2020

Dell XPS 13 (New 9300) hands-on review: Chasing perfection

14 Jan 2020