Adobe is finally planning to kill off Flash once and for all. Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Safari have all been blocking Flash over the past year, but Adobe is now planning to remove support for it fully by the end of 2020. “We will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to these new open formats,” explains an Adobe spokesperson.
A number of gaming, education, and video sites still use Flash, and Adobe says it remains committed to supporting the technology until 2020 alongside partners like Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla. Microsoft says it plans to disable Flash by default in Edge and Internet Explorer in mid to late 2019, with a full removal from all supported versions of Windows by 2020. Google will continue phasing out Flash over the next few years, while Mozilla says Firefox users will be able to choose which websites are able to run Flash next month and allow Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR) users to keep using Flash until the end of 2020. Apple is also supportive of the 2020 end of life for Flash, and Safari currently requires explicit approval on each website even when Mac users opt to install Flash.
2020 will mark an end of an era for Flash, but one that feels like it has been a long time coming. HTML5 standards have been implemented across all modern web browsers, and the need for Flash just isn’t there anymore. An end to Flash will bring with it obvious improvements in security and just pure battery life on laptops and other mobile devices that still support the web technology.