Adobe Flash is a popular multimedia authoring platform, and Adobe Flash Player is a proprietary multimedia player, created by Macromedia/Adobe Systems, that is frequently added to web browsers as a plug-in app for playing Flash-based animation, movies, and games.
Traditionally, Flash has been an integral part of rich-text web design. A Flash-designed website had a great visual appeal, and for years, was pretty much considered the standard for websites with high-end graphics. However, recent developments indicate that Microsoft is following Apple’s lead in potentially dumping the Flash plug-in for Internet Explorer 10, in the upcoming Windows 8 platform.
A Microsoft Internet Explorer Team-Lead recently stated that, “For the web to move forward, and for consumers to get the most out of touch-first browsing, the Metro style browser in Windows 8 is as HTML5-only as possible, and plug-in free…”
Apple first jettisoned Flash from the i-Phone and i-Pad. Many websites soon followed suit and started offering HTML5 video instead of the Flash plug-in. Then YouTube joined the parade.
In a recent survey, Microsoft found that out of the top 97,000 websites, 62 percent already offer HTML5 video and non-Flash advertisement to non-Flash devices. Microsoft has remained silent on the fate of its less-than-successful multimedia authoring platform, Silverlight. Some have suggested that current developments might give a push to Silverlight in an attempt to capture some market share at the cost of Flash.
PC users will eventually decide the fate of Flash. If PC users happily adopt the “Metro Style interface” on Windows 8 and IE 10, Microsoft may be writing the last chapter for Flash.
Adobe’s reactions to the changing dynamics of the market are anxiously awaited by both Flash lovers and competitors.