Linked by David Adams on Thu 15th Sep 2011 07:08 UTC, submitted by kristoph
Windows Microsoft announced during the build conference, and Steve Sinofsky reiterated in a blog posting 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. The experience that plug-ins provide today is not a good match with Metro style browsing and the modern HTML5 web." Sinfosky goes on explain why Microsoft will not include Flash and why it's no longer needed. It's as close as we'll get to an obituary for Flash. Update from Thom: Added a note in the 'read more'!
Permalink for comment 489706
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Interesting non-dev perspective
by CaptainN- on Thu 15th Sep 2011 14:29 UTC
CaptainN-
Member since:
2005-07-07

It's always interesting to see non-devs analyze the decline of Flash on the web, and point to "performance problems" and things like that. A developer worth anything would easily explain that in order for anything to run well on a single core - sub 1Ghz any core - the content needs to be designed to run well on it. The same goes for moving to GPU rendering - it doesn't work like a CPU - things need to be done differently. It has so much less to do with the runtime (Flash is just the runtime).

I am a developer, and specifically a web developer with an emphasis on Flash. I can tell you that most Flash content was meant to run on much faster hardware - out of order Intel CPUs in the 2Ghz range, usually with 2 or more cores. Content designed to run on that kind of hardware was never going to run well on a single core ARM CPU in the 1Ghz range.

That said, I think Adobe has done a fantastic job of getting performance up for their moble runtime. They've even made it relatively painless for a graphics intensive app like Machinarium (currently built using the iOS version of AIR, which is mostly Flash) to be ported with relative ease. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/machinarium/id459189186?mt=8

Machinarium perfectly highlights design leading performance, even if most of the media - those who don't actually develop anything - missed it. That game was meant to run on much faster hardware - at least a pentium 4 1.8 Ghz CPU. Have a look: http://store.steampowered.com/app/40700

They got that to run well on a dual core 900Mhz ARMv7 CPU. That's impressive in my book.

Flash use is declining, but what's the real reason? It has everything to do with the setting that allowed Flash to thrive in the first place - you just couldn't do certain things because IE6's ubiquity prevented you from doing it. The choice was either don't do cool things, or use Flash (or some other plugin - Unity3D, Java, etc.). Now that IE6 is pretty well and dead - we can finally do most of the cool things without the need for a plugin. In places where you used to sprinkle little Flash applets we are increasingly using jQuery and other so called "HTML5" tools (Ajax, DHTML, there's a long list of dead marketing terms for these things - HTML45 is just the latest one).

Flash, Unity3D, and Java (even some others) still have places where it makes a lot more sense to use them, and they'll continue to be used in those places (intranets, games, etc.) - but yeah, the ubiquitous time for Flash in the browser is certainly over- and it has nothing to do with Flash being terrible or any of those things Thom listed. All of those are nonsense, and totally miss the point.

Reply Score: 10