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Yes, Google Chrome Is Dumping Adobe Flash This Year

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Google chrome logoThomas Trutschel—Photothek via Getty Images

The end is nigh for Adobe Flash.

Google (GOOG) Chrome plans to kick the software, known for its bugginess and perennial security flaws, to the curb this year. The team behind the popular web browser reiterated its commitment to ditching Adobe’s (ADBE) multimedia-friendly tool by 2017 in a blog post on Tuesday.

The Chrome browser will begin blocking the majority of the web’s Flash—more than 90%—next month, the company said. By December, the browser will make Flash’s replacement, HTML5, a markup language for displaying media on web pages, its default. (Sites that support only Flash will require a person’s permission to run.)

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Anthony LaForge, the Chrome team’s point person for Flash and author of the blog post, credited Adobe’s software for helping to make the Internet a livelier place. “Adobe Flash Player played a pivotal role in the adoption of video, gaming and animation on the Web,” he said. But the time has come for a new technology to shine, he added.

LaForge said that HTML5 offers “improved security, reduced power consumption and faster page load times.” Aside from having to click the occasional checkbox on Flash-only sites, “the only change you’ll notice is a safer and more power-efficient browsing experience,” he wrote.


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The deprecation of Adobe Flash has been a long time coming. Google (GOOGL) began the process of banning Flash-based ads last fall, got serious about it intentions to eliminate them earlier this year, and already published roadmaps for the ultimate phase out.

Google is not alone. Other browsers, like Mozilla’s Firefox, followed suit. Even Adobe has recognized the writing on the wall.

High-profile technologists have bashed the buggy software, too. Facebook’s (FB) chief security officer Alex Stamos got vocal about the need to dump Flash last year. He echoed complaints once voiced by the late Apple (AAPL) founder Steve Jobs, who famously denied enabling it on products like the iPhone.

According to data from the Irvine, Calif.-based analytics firm Net Applications, Google Chrome boasts roughly half of the browser market share on desktops as well as tablets and phones. The runner-up, Microsoft’s (MSFT) Internet Explorer claims about 30% on both.