Adobe has decided to stop development of the Flash plugin
for mobile platforms, deciding instead to work on the development of HTML5.
In an email briefing to Adobe’s partners, uncovered first by ZDNet, the company’s plans
to ditch the mobile version of Flash were revealed, with the email
“Our future work with Flash on mobile devices will
be focused on enabling Flash developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR
for all the major app stores. We will no longer adapt Flash Player for mobile
devices to new browser, OS version or device configurations. Some of our source
code licensees may opt to continue working on and releasing their own
implementations. We will continue to support the current Android and PlayBook
configurations with critical bug fixes and security updates.”
This will obviously be seen as a major victory for
Apple which has consistently failed to include support for Flash in its devices
by default – and prevented app developers including Flash in any of their apps. Indeed the future of Flash on the whole is looking increasingly
doubtful as Microsoft has stated that the default Windows 8 browser won’t be
getting a Flash plugin by default.
While Apple has always maintained that Flash is a security
risk as well as a “battery hog”, in the last 18 months, security vulnerabilities
in Flash on the desktop has been increasingly used to infect Windows PCs leading more and more people to see HTML5 as the future.
New open standards like HTML5 look to be the future for mobile
devices and very possibly PCs too and it seems as if Adobe has finally listened
to Steve Jobs who said in a 2010 open letter entitled Thoughts on Flash: “Perhaps
Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less
on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind.”
But it’s not only Adobe who are planning on killing off their browser plugin to play back rich web media, as another report from ZDNet claims that Silverlight will be killed off by Microsoft following the launch of Silverlight 5 later this month.
While the company itself is remaining tight-lippped about future of Silverlight, the news is not that unexpected as Microsoft has already declared that HTML5 is the future.
Is it disappointing to see Adobe end support for Flash on mobile
platforms or has the company just finally seen the writing on the wall? Let us know in the comments below.