Adobe Flash closes, goodbye from December 31, 2020: what changes

From December 31, 2020 Adobe will no longer support Flash Player. Too high a cost to solve ongoing security issues: here's what changes for websites

As already announced in July 2017, the last hour of Adobe Flash Player is coming: the once leading Web platform for creating and playing in sites multimedia content will officially close its doors on December 31, 2020. As of January 1, 2021, Adobe will no longer be providing any support to those using this technology.

With three years to go since the announcement, then, in theory the global Web should be more than ready for this event but, in reality, there are plenty of sites that still include content written in Flash. Adobe, in any case, has been advising everyone not to use Flash Player for a long time and has removed the download pages from its official website, but it still keeps active the development of security patches for this product. Because security, or rather the lack of it, is precisely the problem behind the decision to kill Flash: for years, in fact, it has been exploited by hackers and viruses to execute dangerous code on computers. These are always "zero-day" vulnerabilities, not initially foreseen in the development of this technology, which have been discovered over the years.

Adobe Flash is no longer needed

Besides being dangerous, Adobe Flash is now essentially useless: everything that can be done in Flash, and much more, can now be done through HTML 5. As a matter of fact, today, whoever creates a Web site has no advantage in using Flash instead of HTML, which, unlike Flash, is in good health. And this is not said by Flash detractors, but by Adobe itself: "Open standards such as HTML 5, WebGL and WebAssembly have improved continuously over the years and are credible alternatives to Flash content".

Lower costs for Adobe

For years, the software house has considered Flash just a burden: developing patches to plug the many dangerous security holes of this platform, in fact, costs while the economic return is now zero. Adobe would have wanted to divest Flash well before, but could not do so because the Web has been using this platform heavily for years and it was necessary to give time to developers, after the 2017 announcement, to replace Flash content with other content in HTML or other languages. Adobe made this decision in collaboration with Internet bigwigs, including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla.