Adobe Flash – in the Pan – at Last!

Does the latest news from Google spell the end for Adobe Flash?

As of September 1, Google has implemented a freeze on Flash adverts by default on its Chrome browser, “to improve its performance and the user experience.” It has purportedly done so to increase page-load speed and reduce power consumption and bring better performance to rich media on Chrome.

This comes five years after Apple’s late CEO Steve Jobs said the company would not allow Flash products on any of its mobile devices, as he believed Flash sapped battery life, was not secure enough, did not perform well and could not be relied upon.

Google may have taken a lot longer to come to the same decision but it had a lot of good revenue generating reasons not to force the demise of Flash.

Amazon, too, no longer accepts Adobe Flash (swfs) for rendering display ads on Amazon.com, AAP, and various IAB standard placements across owned and operated domains.

This is driven by recent browser setting updates from Google Chrome, and existing browser settings from Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari, that limit Flash display ad capabilities displayed on web pages. Amazon said this change ensures customers continue to have a positive, consistent experience on Amazon, and that display ads function properly for optimal performance.

Note that the updated policy does not impact video content or video advertising so it may be a while yet before we see the last of Flash – not too soon for many.

Flash has had a long, and sometimes checkered history since its inception back in 1995. Security experts predicted years ago that with the rise of HTML5, the Flash plugin may become obsolete. Thankfully, for those sick and tried of its erratic behavior and having to install countless number of security updates over the years, that prediction has almost come true.

It should be no surprise that security vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash Player accounted for a third of all vulnerabilities reported in Adobe products. I have tracked 32 vulnerability issues and warnings since 2010. Quite a record for a single software product, probably only surpassed by Microsoft Windows I would hazard to guess.

Unless you absolutely have to keep Flash Player to view ancient ads and videos I would recommend you also flush it from any of your machines/devices (have a Flash flush). In 2015, no self-respecting online entity would still insist on using Flash, surely? If they do, that would be a good reason to steer well clear of them.

This article was originally published by DisruptiveViews. It has been reproduced with their permission.

Tony Poulos
Tony Poulos
Tony is a freelance writer, regular speaker, MC and chairman for the telecoms and digital services industries worldwide. He has founded and managed software and services companies, acts as a market strategist and is Editor of DisruptiveViews.

In June 2011, Tony was recognized as one of the 25 most influential people in telecom software worldwide.