Microsoft is ending support for Adobe Flash Player in its latest Windows 10 update. So, users have up until December 31 to remove the software from their device. This new update removes support for all Adobe Flash Player installed in Windows 8.1 through Windows 10 versions.
However, for users who still want the software on their device, Microsoft released an optional Catalog update, where users can manually download the software. Users should be informed that it cannot be deleted in the future once manually installed. To do this, users can reset their device to an earlier version or reinstall their Windows operating system without applying the new update.
In 2017, the Big Four tech companies – Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Google, alongside Adobe and Mozilla, announced that they were ending support for Flash come December 2020.
Most browser makers had been pushing hard to remove Flash. However, this step couldn’t take place as fast as people wanted because web standards a few years ago weren’t mature and Flash developers in sectors such as gaming, education, video streaming, and other niches needed time to redesign their software.
However, in 2017, Govind Balakrishnan, the then vice president of product development at Adobe Systems, said the company felt the industry has met with the standards required, and there was the need to finally pull the plug.
Flash’s popularity grew immensely following Microsoft Internet Explorer’s emergence as the go-to choice browser for users after the browser wars of the 90s. Virtually everyone installed Flash in their browsers. It was compatible with many browsers. Again, programmers didn’t have to worry about significant differences in various browsers such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, and others because Flash worked fine with all of them.
However, Flash had its drawbacks too. The fact that it could run numerous programs exposed browsers to many security vulnerabilities, causing some browsers to crash.
Apple was not a fan of Flash from the onset. Apple CEO Steve Jobs said the technology was developed during the PC era. He knocked the software for being proprietary, battery-draining, posing security risks, and being unstable – the latter a major reason he banned the software from apple’s devices. Job said he was preparing the world for a post-PC era where flash technology played no part.
Microsoft has since released its Windows updates on October 10, 2020. Users can now update their systems to the latest version.