How Steve Jobs managed to kill Adobe Flash

How Steve Jobs managed to kill Adobe Flash

If you've recently found yourself asking ''why is Flash Player not working?'' you've got Steve Jobs to thank. Back in 2010, Jobs famously penned his open letter ''Thoughts on Flash'' where he opened fire on various Flash problems. Since then, Jobs' issues with Flash security, among other things, have gathered support. More recently by Facebook, and now Mozilla Firefox (the browser recently blocked Flash content). So is Flash dead?

To give you the back story: part of the reason everyone hates Flash is that it is an incredibly outdated technology. Flash content was superseded by HTML5 years ago, but many lazy webmasters never bothered to update their sites, meaning Flash has managed to continue limping on towards its ultimate demise. But this death can't come soon enough for some. Even YouTube stopped supporting Flash content in January.

AndroidPIT Nexus 6 security malware
Security vulnerabilities and hacks have plagued Adobe Flash. / © ANDROIDPIT

On the weekend, Facebook's chief security officer, Alex Stamos, called for an ''end-of-life date'' for Flash whereby broken Flash content would need to be removed. Mozilla took this one step further and has today blocked Flash Player content from its Firefox browser.

Amidst the backlash, Mozilla's head of support, Mark Schmidt, backpedaled a little, claiming that Adobe would only remain blocked ''until Adobe releases a version which isn't being actively exploited by publicly known vulnerabilities.''

Jobs took issue with a number of Flash Player problems, from security weaknesses, battery life and the fact that Flash was designed for computers, not touchscreens. Some things never change: Flash recently hit the news because a whole swathe of Flash security bugs were stolen from a spyware lab called Hacking Team and were being actively exploited. Adobe claims it takes Flash security ''seriously'' but little seems to be done until there's a major scandal.

android lollipop flash player
Flash has had a problematic relationship with Android for years. / © ANDROIDPIT

Adobe can likely keep Flash on life support for years to come, but its increasingly poor security track record, lack of support or development and high profile naysayers of the likes of Apple, Facebook and Mozilla should mean that one of two things happens.

First, that Adobe gets its act together and actively addresses the problem, or two, that very little actually changes and users of Flash continue to pay the price because Adobe isn't willing to officially pull the plug. One thing is increasingly clear though: it's time to let go of Flash. It's time.

Do you still use Flash? Were you aware of how vulnerable it is?

Liked this article? Share now!
Join the discussion

Latest articles

Recommended articles


Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing
Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing

  • Bobbi Keene Jul 1, 2016 Link to comment

    Adobe! Why are you letting that child laborer, low paying job, greedy Steve Jobs – kill Flash to take on a bunch of crap like HTML5, which was not needed in the first place because the Flash Player works just fine on all platforms. Apple is like the Giant Goliath, “the bigger they are, and the harder they fall.” Don’t let them bully you. People are more and more tired of they over priced, stupid micro screen watches, low hard drive memory pads, and overpriced music machines.
    It is time for you to stand up for yourself. Let the users of PC based products know that they will receive ALL of the rich animation and movie contents available for artist throughout the world because they use products that are not made by Apple. Then let Apple users know that they are paying high prices to be CONTROLLED by a company that is supposed to need them, not them being subservient to a company, APPLE.
    Put out images of an apple becoming rotten. For nobody wants to eat ROTTEN apples, which is what Apple Computers are fast becoming.
    It is time to stand up for yourself and all of the intelligent developers who produced Flash during the years when it was not database software for drag and drop, but a designer’s software for creative people who needed JAVA Script to program the interactive properties of they works.
    Do not go through all of this conscience of embracing HTML5 because some tyrant, greedy, control monster like Steve Jobs decided he did not like it. We, your customers, your developers, your designers loved it. Look at all to the confusion you are creating by embracing this non-sense on his part. As for Google, if they want to follow Jobs lead, they can go down, too. There are many web domains that can supplant this useless Giant.
    So do not ruin your program for that idiot. He was and his company is a power hungry giant that is past its usefulness for all of us in the creative world. Greed never works, never has, never will.

  • ScorpioViking Jul 15, 2015 Link to comment

    So long as Flash is used to disperse info. & no app. has managed to absorb it securely then no way it should disappear.