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February 23, 2012

Flash or no Flash? Adobe releases Flash roadmap, Mobile flash is history

Adobe has published roadmap for its Flash Player and its desktop counterpart, Adobe AIR. Overall the company expects Flash to cater predominantly to gaming and premium video markets. And as stated before, mobile version will no longer be developed.
The company plans 3 versions in the coming future Flash Player 11.2 (1Q 2012), Cyril (2Q 2012) and Dolores (2H 2012).
Further ahead with Flash Player Next, Adobe plans to update Actionscript language and work on the Actionscript Virtual machine. Initial releases for next are planned for 2013.

Desktop Support
Adobe states that it is working to enable Adobe Air in Mac App Store and expect support to be available as part of Cyril (2Q 2012).
Less clear is the path got Windows 8, as to if and how Adobe will be integrated with the Metro interface. Metro is likely to be a plug-in less interface, though desktop will be able to support plug-in. Windows on ARM (WOA) though could be out of Adobe's reach. Company will update its Windows 8 strategy later.
Mobile Support
Adobe will discontinue support for mobile devices and 11.1 will be the last version, though bug fixes could be released.

Flash on IOS was never an option, with Apple never allowing Flash due to speed concerns and Apple afraid of loosing control. Upcoming Windows 8 on at least ARM and Metro is not likely to support plug-ins, so Flash wasn't a possibility. Flash was released for Android, but the recently released Chrome browser didn't have Flash support.
This means that Flash will not have any presence in the fastest growing computing segment. This, we believe is a significant scale back. It remains to be seen how keen developers will be to develop new applications on Flash, as the trend is of users spending more time on non flash enabled mobile devices.
While Flash could be developed and supported for some time to come and it has a rich ecosystem to sustain itself, we think that the platform is on its way out, unless Adobe does something out of the box.

Download: Adobe® roadmap for the Flash® runtimes

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