The End of Flash

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Adobe’s once popular Flash Player, a browser-based runtime for displaying media content on the Internet, has reached the end of life for all regions outside mainland China. The final release was made on December 8. Adobe will no longer support Flash Player after this. Flash content will be blocked from running in Flash Player next month.

Adobe is advising that all users to immediately uninstall Flash Player to protect their systems. In their release notes, Adobe thanked customers and developers who have used the technology during the last two decades. An end-of-life general information page has been posted. Adobe originally announced that it would discontinue Flash Player in 2017. Flash technology succumbed to perceptions of it as proprietary technology in an era when standards-based technologies such as HTML5 began to gather momentum. Adobe cited WebGL and WebAssembly as viable alternatives.

Flash's slide started when Apple declined not to support it on the iPhone and iPad mobile devices. Additionally, security issues plagued Flash, and major browser vendors began moving away from the technology. Video content site YouTube backed away from Flash in 2015, opting for HTML5. By giving three years’ advance notice, Adobe hoped to provide enough time for developers, designers, businesses, and others to migrate their Flash content to new standards. The timing of the Flash end-of-life was coordinated with major browser vendors.

So will the end of flash be a Y2K moment for Flash player faults? Security experts state that there is the danger of phishing emails capitalizing on the end of support offering rogue downloads from malicious websites, or even malware masqueraded as the Flash player fix. Users will see a message that Flash is "no longer supported" so be weary of messages to update or download it.