Flash’s Fate: Blame Microsoft, Not Apple

By  |  Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at 11:21 am

Commenter Ridd make a good point about Flash over at this story by Erica Ogg on why mobile Flash failed:

The real reason why Adobe is dropping Flash mobile support is not iPhone. It is Windows 8.

Microsoft made it very clear that they won’t allow Flash to run in Windows 8 Metro browser and they are pushing HTML5 as a platform. You do not need a crystal ball to see that without Windows’ (which runs on 95% of PCs worldwide) support, Flash is dead. It will be supported for legacy reasons for a while, but it has no future.

Windows 8 isn’t a mobile operating system–it’s an OS that aims to run well on both mobile devices and garden-variety, traditional computers. If its browser doesn’t support Flash–or any plug-in, how much longer will Flash in any form live on?

 
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12 Comments For This Post

  1. Brent W. Hopkins Says:

    Good riddance. All proprietaryplugins must die. Open source, open standards for human progress.

  2. Torsten Says:

    Although I appreciate this announcement and hope that more and more websites will jump the ship to enter the current age of HTML5, it still need to be noted that Windows 8 is only prohibiting plug-ins for the Metro browser. There is however a second browser in the standard or maybe legacy part of the OS which still allows for plug-ins.
    But anyway it’s a step in the right direction.

  3. laz Says:

    Blame adobe, not ms or apple.

    they are the ones who deliver a bug ridden, security lacking plugin to almost every pc on the planet. something like a 90% install base, yet they failed and lost the market.

    html 5 delivers everything flash does, without needing a ‘plugin’.

  4. John P Says:

    Incorrect; Windows 8 WILL support Flash. Here's how it works: Windows 8 (which is meant for both tablets and desktops) comes with two version of Internet Explorer. If you launch IE from the Start Screen (the new "shell"/Start Menu replacement) then the "mobile" version of IE launches that is similar to other mobile browsers and is a bit limited – this version of IE will NOT support Flash. If you switch to the "classic" Desktop and then launch IE then you'll get the "classic" IE (currently indistinguishable from IE9) which DOES support Flash.

    Windows 8 on a desktop PC will support Flash, but the situation with tablets is a little less clear. As has already been confirmed by MS, W8 will be released in x86 and ARM versions. The x86 versions (for desktops, laptops, and tablets based on x86 processors) will be fully backward-compatible with all previous apps – or rather it's compatibility will be similar to Window 7's. The ARM version of W8 will only be able to install apps from Microsoft's app store and will not be backward-compatible with x86 apps. So Adobe would need to release a version of Flash for W8 ARM version, which it looks like won't be happening anymore.

    Thus to say that Adobe's decision to drop Flash because Windows 8 will not support it is completely untrue. First of all, only development on Flash Mobile will stop – not for "standard" Flash. While it does seem that Flash support will not be available for most Windows 8 tablets (those using the ARM version), currently Microsoft's tablet OS market share is basically zero; somehow coming to the conclusion that this influenced Adobe's decision is far-fetched to say the least.

  5. Busterone Says:

    Naw, I’ll stick with blaming Adobe with failing to execute. So Adobe had four years (even longer if you think about it) and failed to put an easy, well performing player but instead went on the PR campaign about choose and the whole web. What a bunch liars and incompetent people are working there that they couldn’t put a better fight. Well SJ explained why it would not be on an iDevice, how often do you get this insight? Such hubris by Adobe, telling everyone that the issue was really Apple but not Flash. And now they can’t be upfront and clear on why they did away with Flash.

  6. Laz Says:

    Hmm, how about it's neither MS' fault, nor Apples' fault – it's Adobes fault.

    They are the ones who deliver a bug ridden, security flaw ridden, slow, ad-spam enabling plugin to almost all of the browsers on the market.

    And yet, even with a previous 90% high share of the market, they have lost due to the simple introduction of HTML5 – which doesn't REQUIRE any plugins – and because of it's open nature, all the major players have a say and input, so HTML5 is likely going to be fast, secure and compatible.

  7. kurkosdr Says:

    Well, tablets are how a good percentage of surfers will do their surfing from now on, so if the iPad and Windows 8 tablets dont support flash, web designers will eventually move out of flash, so it doesnt make sense pushing flash anymore. As regards to how it is having flash on your phone/tablet, on one hand i like having access to all the embedded videos (like the ones at gameradar) and to built-entirely-in-flash websites. On the other hand, websites with lots of flash ads and no mobile version such as sysopt.com suck your battery dry. Its literally a mixed blessing. I personally prefer having a full internet even with the drawbacks.

  8. Andy3 Says:

    I say good riddance to flash and highly welcome HTML5. Flash has always been cumbersome and slow. The unwanted ads have been impossible to work with. Shape up or be replaced has not induced adobe to make a better product. It is time to get rid of them and allow the best product to be used. The videos and total flash sites will be ported over soon enough.

  9. Collins Says:

    Does Flash have ads at all?

    Or is it that some ads use Flash?

  10. Ian Says:

    Yes, but for how long is Microsoft going to spend money on two dev teams to maintain two versions of a single release of a browser? I doubt it. I seriously believe come IE11 or beyond, Flash support will be gone completely. HTML5 is basically already making it redundant.

  11. LazNot Says:

    If you knew what you were talking about, you'd be talking about JavaScript vs. ActionScript as opposed to HTML5. HTML5 does not allow one to create interactive web content, only static content. JavaScript is what Apple is pushing for the client-side scripting of HTML5 web pages. HTML5 also, as a spec, supports Flash in case you didn't know.

    And when you say buggy, security-flaw ridden, slow, etc., I don't think you really know much about JavaScript's history. Just as much if not more malware has been made using client-side JavaScript than Flash.

  12. LazNot Says:

    … and JavaScript implementations have traditionally been slower and buggier than ActionScript. Seriously, if you want to make comparisons, talk about how great JavaScript is please to the world, because that's the only viable web content alternative Apple is supporting to Flash's ActionScript.

    And finally, to end all these arguments, @see Frash for iOS (unofficial Flash port). It runs Flash better on an iPad than Apple's own Safari runs equivalent JavaScripts.