back to article Adobe bets on Flash 11 to fend off HTML5 invasion

Adobe has announced the next version of its Flash Player, repositioning its media platform for a mobile world where it is being increasingly shunned. The company today unveiled the Flash Player 11 and the Flash-based runtime AIR 3, with a heavy emphasis on 3D gaming both in the features and in a roll-call of customers …


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  1. Volker Hett
    Thumb Down

    Hardware acceleration on what?

    Most probably on Windows 32bit with a small selection of graphics cards, maybe a selection of mobiles with Nvidia Tegra chips and that's it then.

    Where is that great flash player for the Palm Pre with WebOS 1.4 announced and demoed with farmville early last year?

    1. Darren 12

      Why did you put a thumbs-down icon when you didn't know the answer to your own question? The answer actually is hardware acceleration on practically everything - 32-bit and 64-bit, DirectX 9 on Windows, OpenGL 1.3 on MacOS and Linux, OpenGL ES 2.0 on mobile.

  2. Tom Harvey

    While reports of death are exaggerated, it's nice to see that at least one of Adobe's products is facing something resembling competition these days. If it turns Flash into a better product then more power to them ... them, and all actually.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When is the date for the first critical Flash 11 fix?

    If adobe are announcing Flash 11 next year, then they should schedule an emergency out of band Flash security update for 7-10 days afterwards. The way they have done today for Flash 10.x.

    Alternatively, they could off a "flash secure edition" which would turn off half the features of flash and be something safe to use. That along with an "acrobat reader without javascript or flash embedding" would help provide value to many users.

  4. JDX Gold badge

    Gaming is exactly the kind of area where Flash is well-suited. You can write code in a proper language rather than code your game in JS for WebGL.

    Will mobile versions of FF et al support Flash in Metro? Will Google make a mobile Chrome for it?

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Agree in general - this is more about the long-standing fight between Flash and Java ME as the development platform for choice for games and the fight for cross-platform development - but not in the details. There is now little practical difference between ActionScript and Javascript, Adobe has done a lot to bring them closer together, as languages but the Flash runtime does come with nicer libraries. Hardware acceleration isn't yet there for the browsers - largely irrelevant for 2D, and for security reasons not generally available for 3D.

      Correctly positioned the tools should allow Adobe to cover a lot of bases - HTML native where appropriate and possible - and reduce developers' headaches.

  5. Anton Channing

    HTML5 was a smoke screen.

    Jobs never wanted developers to move from Flash to HTML5. He wanted them to write apps. And they did...

    1. Random Handle

      Yep, often using Flash Studio or Builder....

      eg Machinarium - most expensive game in iTunes Top-10 and selling consistently well - but there are tens of thousands of others. Apple don't comment and developers largely keep mum for a quiet life.

      [Also not sure about this HTML5+ vs AIR thing either - AIR includes WebKit and plays very nicely with HTML5]

  6. Eddie 4


    Flash is going the same ways as applets (remember them, the once future of the web) & Java's Webstart. Bye, bye...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not sure why it cares

    "Adobe bets on Flash 11 to fend off HTML5 invasion"

    Adobe doesn't make money from flash player. It makes money from its compositing tools.

  8. Mectron

    It's Dead

    Flash is a abobination. It;s should never have been out in the 1st place. It is the number one junkware that infect nearly all computer. it is un efficient, a resources. It should be classified as maleware and adobe should be sue for making it.

    1. Peter 48

      Steve, calm down, getting this agitated with your poor health is not good.

    2. tr00don

      Well, in the beginning Flash was OK. You got small (~5 KB) applets that did 2D vector graphics, including animation. Those looked great.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hardware acceleration on what?

    Well, with 10.1 I was able to watch BBC iPlayer HD on my Compaq 311c - Intel Atom + Ion graphics .... well I could until the BBC did something stupid and changed the header info in the streams so that flash player decided it could not pass it to the GPU ... result went from smooth full screen HD video to one frame every 2-3 seconds. Of course, BBC denied that it was their problem!

  10. tr00don


    Both Apple and Microsoft now reject Flash; it's called commoditization. Apple sell hardware (OS and development tools included) and Microsoft sell the dominant OS and development tools. But their producs are useless without applications. In order to maximize profits, both companies need to minimize the cost of applications. Apple squeeze iOS applications through an approval process whereby they control the price of each app, veto its content, and collect 30% of the revenue; on Mac OS X the implementation of a similar process seems to be underway. Microsoft are caching up by implementing the "dual model" in Windows 8: Metro apps will be similar to iOS apps and "classic" apps will stick to the Windows 7 model. Notice that Java and Mono applications are not directly under attack as development tools for these are free, something that Adobe cannot afford to do for AIR/Flash.

    1. tr00don

      Microsoft had an alliance with desktop/laptop makers which worked for all of them because they achieved volume, market dominance. Now Microsoft are striking a similar alliance with Nokia for handsets but Nokia are no fools: their leverage is Meego, they made sure to show it off first, and the message for Microsoft is clear: "We get to negotiate the price for installing Windows Phone on our devices." If this works out then in afew years we will probably see Windows Phone become dominant in the mobile market, with relatively cheap apps and devs readjusting their life stile for worse.

      On a similar note, a similar trend exists on the Web front. Google sell Web services so they need to commoditize the devices/OS that provide access to these services, hence the "free" Android OS (sorry, no source lately, competitors cannot take a peek anymore). All those Asian device makers fight for market dominance but all they will achieve is give Google what they need.

  11. Buzzword

    How many people will upgrade?

    At my last workplace, the Flash updater wouldn't work through our corporate firewall. The firewall required Windows (AD) authentication, but every other application seemed to manage to connect fine. Somehow the Flash self-updater was never able to connect. There must be millions of PCs in this situation, so I predict millions of PCs stuck on Flash 10.x

    1. Gordon Fecyk

      So you can update everything but Flash?

      If you can update anything at all, your IT department isn't doing their job to keep unauthorized software out. They have a bigger problem than updating Flash.

      And it isn't like IT departments can't auto-deploy updated versions of Flash. MSI packages exist for Group Policy fans like myself. So I wouldn't sweat it over not being able to update this; just let your IT department do its job.

  12. Christian Berger

    I still wonder if Adobe has a special version of Flash internally

    I mean seriously, everybody had horror stories of Flash, like browsers crashing constantly or severely garbled display.

    How can they endure using their own stuff? Does Adobe have a Flash version that works or something?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nope not had a problem

      There's thousands of free very cool flash based games, can't say I've seen flash crash on windows although I've had some glitchy versions on Linux, my son plays an mmo java game too without any issues on windows or linux. Html 5 looks like a nightmare at the moment, many of the web sites 'show casing' it only work on the browser they were written for. Wait until html 5 is ratified and browsers can be properly compliant with something otherwise won't we end up with a web that works with ie6 situation?

      1. Jellyjazz

        Lazy web designers.

        "Html 5 looks like a nightmare at the moment, many of the web sites 'show casing' it only work on the browser they were written for."

        This is lazy web designers forgetting to put a redirect script to browser specific code.

        Bad practices = bad websites, and theres plenty out there.

        Flash is a pain in the backside, and I can't wait to see the back of it and it's bast**d ads forever.

        1. Wild Bill
          Thumb Down

          "browser specific code"

          no thanks

      2. MikeyWilko

        Agree with Jellyjazz..

        ...about the lazy web designers. If html 5 'looks like a nightmare' in your browser, it's because the designer hasn't included enough to fallback to the browser you're using. Being a web designer myself (hopefully not a lazy one), I have produced many html 5 web sites that look almost identical (the odd rounded corner being different etc..) and work all the way back to IE6. You just have to make sure your site caters for older browsers.

        Remember, it could be HTML 5, 6, 7 or 108, but that wont make everything work properly unless the coder/designer decides to build it properly..

    2. Darren 12

      Nope, everyone doesn't. It has worked fine on my iMac for the last five years. I block Flash for the most part so I only see the good Flash. So no horror stories here. The performance of the Flash Player itself is very good. However, it's also very easy to write a buggy, CPU-intensive animation or app with Flash. That's not Flash's fault, that's the developers fault.

  13. Paul Shirley

    some day Flash acceleration will be safe to use,not today though

    One consistent feature of Flash video decode acceleration so far has been that it will take at least 2 system crashes on my XP box before I remember to go in and disable the buggy POS.

    Flash and acceleration just seems to be a recipe for disaster, shoddy Adobe coding feeding the deep OS layers close to the hardware, layers that can take out the entire machine so badly only power cycling guarantees recovery.

    Flash, good for gaming if your game is Russian roulette.

    1. Darren 12

      You clearly have a problem with the drivers of your graphics card. Why don't you update them?

  14. johnwerneken


    Hard to say which of Facebook Google Apple Adobe Oracle or Microsoft are the biggest assholes but Isuspect bigness just leads to more horse's rears than there are horses.

  15. John Sanders

    I have said it many times

    Flash only chance of survival is open sourcing the player so others can fix it and port it ad-nauseum.

    Then Adobe can make a living out of selling its expensive animation editors and IDE's.

    1. Ilgaz

      Check gnash is there, it needs more users reporting bugs and developers contributing code.

      However, an "open source" flash player from adobe wouldn't happen since there is a multi billion industry watching. For example, giving all users the right to "skip" video may cost millions of dollars to producer and distributor. I am not even mentioning DRM.

      Actually there is an example in hand. Same issues and almost ridiculous "fashion" to hate them didn't result well. They keep the model but other companies having similar needs see no point risking their business with open source. I talk about Real Networks and Helix project of them. They just can't open source the whole thing (DRM and codecs) so, hard to explain it to rms.

  16. Hoagiebot

    The fading of Microsoft Silverlight

    I am still really sad about the wholesale demotion of Silverlight as a browser plugin by Microsoft. Don't get me wrong-- I don't hate "the open web," I never bought into the idea that Silverlight was going to be a dominating Flash-killer, etc. Instead, I liked the idea of Silverlight because it allowed me to do Flash-like things in the web browser using the technologies that I already knew, such as .Net languages and the XAML language from WPF. These days the future of Silverlight on the web does not look very bright, which makes me think that my buying into the massive Microsoft hype that originally surrounded the technology when it was released and using it as a shortcut to do Flash-like stuff without learning Flash was a foolish decision, and that now I am going to have to learn Flash afterall (or wait until HTML5 and its related technologies get a little more ubiquitous).

    While I am on the subject of fading browser RIA platforms, whatever happened to JavaFX? I haven't heard any news about that in what seems to be forever. Has anyone ever used it for anything? That technology didn't even get the initial attention or hoopla that Silverlight used to get!

  17. dajames

    One good thing ...

    There is one good thing to be said for Flash ... you can get browser plug-ins to block it. It's not yet clear whether HTML5-capable browsers will provide controls to suppress display of video content unless/until the user asks to see it.

    Most browsers do allow the user to suppress images, though, so there's hope ...

  18. JDX Gold badge

    There is now little practical difference between ActionScript and Javascript

    That's patently untrue. AS3 is far more structured than JS - some JS features are removed and many other language features added. AS3 is far more similar to Java than Javascript. That's not a complaint, AS3 is a nice language to work with and has great interop with Flash resources.

    Also - you have to love the hordes talking about how Flash is bad and evil and inefficient who have never written a line of code in their lives.

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