Mozilla Firefox Finally Announced it will Disable Adobe Flash by Default

Yes, you read it right — The Internet browser Firefox will disable all the Adobe Flash content by default. The way forward is HTML5. Let me give you a quick summary of what has happened until now, the impact its currently having on the Internet (especially on the casual gaming industry), and how I hope we will move forward from here.

Mozilla finally joins other tech companies like Google and Facebook in reducing the usage of Flash on the Internet. This huge announcement made by one of the biggest tech companies is another indication that Flash is coming closer to its end. For the last two years, I have followed the news about Adobe Flash almost everyday.

What is exactly is Flash?

Most of you probably know that Adobe Flash was very popular from the ‘90s till the early 2000s for displaying animations, vector-based images, and other interactive content on the Internet. It did a good job and was one of the first and most used technologies on the Internet to show videos, play games, use your microphone and webcam, and listen to music on websites.

Flash helped to grow the Internet, which is always a great thing.

So, what’s the problem?

Well, Flash has had its best time…

Personally I think its the worst plugin still alive today.

Flash has some major, huge, and very large security and performance issues. It’s a security nightmare. Some of the world’s largest tech companies have to spend a tremendous amount of time on developing security fixes and trying to keep the plugin in a state that could be considered “stable”. I am talking about Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Mozilla. Imagine all the engineers and knowledge working hard to keep Flash alive and secure for users of the Internet.

“Adobe has confirmed that many PCs are now required to run two separate versions of its Flash Player due to a software installer problem.”

The latest Adobe Flash Player update included thirty-three vulnerabilities that could lead to remote code execution in Flash Player. Also, every now and then, Adobe releases emergency patches to solve zero-day security leaks.

These kind of code executions could eventually lead to hackers having complete control over a computer or laptop. It’s really great that the tech community is working hard to solve this issue.

The current situation

Luckily, we are starting to slowly phase out the amount of Flash being used on the web. Google’s Chrome — the most used web browser, was one of the first in September 2015 to start automatically “pausing” less important Flash elements. Google is also making awesome progress on limiting the amount of Flash advertisements in their advertisement network. Chrome will always choose HTML5 over Flash when possible. Flash will need to be explicitly enabled on every site that tries to use it, after the fourth quarter 2016.

The default browser on Apple devices — Safari, will show the user a message if the version of Flash Player is out of date. And also provide the user with instructions on how they can update to the latest Flash version to make sure the newest fixes for security and performance problems are installed on the system. Apple never supported Flash on iPhones, iPods and iPads. Steve Jobs shared his thoughts on Flash back in April 2010, explaining why open standards like HTML5 will win on both mobile and desktop devices.

Adobe — the company behind Flash, is encouraging content creators to build with new web standards like HTML5. And Edge — the web browser provided by Microsoft, will also automatically “pause” non-primary Flash elements on websites.

Today, finally, Firefox is joining the battle! At Mozilla, they will start this August by “blocking specific Flash content invisible to users”. Mozilla estimates that this change alone will reduce the amount of crashes by 10%. In 2017, Firefox will disable all Flash content by default and require “click-to-activate” from to user.

Well, one thing’s for sure — it’s time for new open technologies to take over the tasks Flash did before. However there’s still a lot of both crappy and useful Flash content on the Internet, the main question now is what to do with all that content.

What about the Flash games?

Especially in the casual gaming industry, there is still a huge amount of popular Flash games played every day by millions of users. Now that the support for Flash in web browsers is decreasing every day, popular casual gaming websites are looking for ways to replace their Flash portfolio with HTML5 games.

It’s not an easy task to source hundreds of good quality games. At Cloud Games we work with a very large network of HTML5 developers to create the most awesome HTML5 games for these publishers. We provide those games to publishers for a monthly fee or based on a revenue share deal.

Cloud Games solves the issue of sourcing a large amount of high quality HTML5 content for large casual gaming websites. We do this by working together with a big network of quality HTML5 game developers.

HTML5 is really the only way forward for games running in web browsers. Unlike Flash — HTML5 is supported by all types of devices, including phones, tablets, desktops, TVs and even airplanes. It’s natively supporting 2D/3D graphics, video/audio, and device access to input and output devices like cameras, microphones, GPS and gyroscopes. By directly using the hardware of the device, HTML5 is able to deliver much higher performance.

When will Flash disappear from the Internet?

Well, unfortunately, I am pretty sure this won’t happen tomorrow, it won’t happen next week and probably not even in 6 months from now. Internet browsers won’t just flip the switch to completely turn off Flash right now, since the impact would still be way to big.

Based on all the information provided by the largest tech companies, I personally think it will probably take to at least early 2018 when browsers will start fully disabling Flash by default.

Let’s move to HTML5 :)

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