Adobe has given Flash Player its final update (and a eulogy)

Adobe Flash Player final update no more support
(Image credit: Mr.Nikon/Shutterstock)

Whilst it feels like the demise of Adobe's browser plug-in has been dragging itself along for almost a decade, Flash Player has finally received its final update, labeled AIR 32, along with an eulogy.

Love it for its association with simple browser games, or loathe it for its ability to invite hackers in with welcome arms, anyone who has been present on the internet since the late 90's will have experienced this memorable software.

On December 8, Adobe made the following announcement:

"Today marks the final scheduled release of Flash Player for all regions outside of Mainland China.  We want to take a moment to thank all of our customers and developers who have used and created amazing Flash Player content over the last two decades.  We are proud that Flash had a crucial role in evolving web content across animation, interactivity, audio, and video.  We are excited to help lead the next era of digital experiences.

Adobe will no longer support Flash Player after December 31 2020, and Adobe will block Flash content from running in Flash Player beginning January 12 2021; Adobe strongly recommends all users immediately uninstall Flash Player to help protect their systems.  

Some users may continue to see reminders from Adobe to uninstall Flash Player from their system.  Please see our Flash Player EOL General Information page for more details and links to instructions for those that would like to uninstall Flash Player manually."

Gone in a Flash

The decision to remove support for Flash Player was made due to the dwindling numbers of users utilizing the service, and with better and more secure options available such as HTML5, WebGL, and WebAssembly it isn’t difficult to see why. Quirky web games and cartoons aside, Flash was a trojan horse for invasive malware and cybercriminals.

Even without nefarious intent, Flash-based pop-up ads plagued devices and website load speeds. In short, whilst Flash may hold some serious nostalgia for those of us who grew up with dial-up internet, the Adobe software is archaic technology that doesn’t hold up to today's standards.

Still, if you have that itch for playing some classics from the early 2000's, there are a handful of dedicated organizations such as The Internet Archive and BlueMaxima's Flashpoint that are preserving these Flash projects and animations so that they don't fall victim to the sands of time.

Via MS Poweruser

Jess Weatherbed

Jess is a former TechRadar Computing writer, where she covered all aspects of Mac and PC hardware, including PC gaming and peripherals. She has been interviewed as an industry expert for the BBC, and while her educational background was in prosthetics and model-making, her true love is in tech and she has built numerous desktop computers over the last 10 years for gaming and content creation. Jess is now a journalist at The Verge.