Recently, Microsoft announced that Adobe’s Flash will now be “click to run” in its Edge web browser. That means that by default, any ads or videos or graphics that use Flash will not run. You will have to activate them to see them do their thing. Google has similar plans for Chrome in early 2017.
Now, you may be asking yourself: “Flash still exists?” or perhaps even “Who cares?” While both of these are legitimate opinions, there are still a surprising number of websites that still use Flash to deliver content, especially video. Who? Hulu, Huffington Post, CNN, Crunchyroll (for anime fans), Fox News, Starbucks, The New York Times and even Vimeo (???).
Why haven’t these folks switched to HTML5 entirely like the rest of the planet? Money, of course. These companies have stuck with the increasingly rickety, embarrassingly hackable Flash platform because it’s cheaper than updating. Now, that looks like it will end in 2017 when all of the main browsers (including Mozilla’s Firefox, by the way), will give Flash the old stink eye when it tries to run on your computer. Of course, Flash is already a thing of the past on most mobile devices, so this will likely (finally) be the death of Flash for good.
This isn’t really newsworthy because of Flash’s demise, but more so because it is almost (read this in your best Wallace Shawn voice) inconceivable that Flash still exists at all! Inconceivable!
Flash had a good run. Perhaps you get a little misty when you think back to it playing videos, flying graphics over the top of websites, running poorly made browser games, forcing you to constantly update it at inopportune times, crashing your computer or even opening up your operating system to malware. But it’s time to say goodbye.
If you haven’t already, you need to leave Flash behind or you will be left behind with it. Happy New Year, Adobe. Take your ancient technology and bury it in the backyard beside Shockwave and Pagemaker. The web has moved on at last.