March 2, 2020

The Rise and Fall of Macromedia Flash

How it all went — An illustrated story.

1993

FutureWave

Charlie Jackson and Jonathan Gay founded FutureWave Software in San Diego, California.

1995

FutureSplash Animator

FutureWave released it as FutureSplash Animator on Macintosh and Windows.

1996

The star is born

FutureWave was acquired by Macromedia, who renamed the software to Macromedia Flash.

1999

Scripting

First release with a full scripting implementation and a user interface to bind actions to elements.

2000

ActionScript 1.0

Macromedia Flash 5.0 enters the picture with ActionScript 1.0.

2003

ActionScript 2.0

A prototype-based programming based on ECMAScript. Allowed both procedural programming and object-oriented programming. People started building entire websites with Flash.

2005

YouTube

Three former PayPal employees, took Flash and started a video site called YouTube.

2006

Peak time

Flex framework with ActionScript 3.0. People started developing rich Internet applications (RIAs).

2007

A bad year

Adobe had the opportunity to be on the iPhone at launch, but Apple decided no. YouTube no longer required Flash and video encoding technology started moving FLV to H.264.

2008

Still looking good

Flash 10.0, Adobe CS4, 3D animations, Adobe AIR... A lot happens but the usage trends are turning down.

2010

Steve Jobs

Steve wrote his "Thoughts On Flash". This 1,700-word letter claimed that Flash was buggy, slow, battery hungry, and unsecure. This severely hurt the Flash brand and the trends start to sink.

2011

RIP Mobile

Adobe announced dropping support for all future mobile browsers and the press shouted: "Flash Mobile Player is Dead".

2015

Adobe Animate

Adobe began transitioning from Adobe Flash to a new "Adobe Animate" to reflect its growing use for authoring HTML5 content in favor of Flash content.

2017

Deprecation

Adobe officially deprecated Flash and gave a three-year period for people to migrate existing Flash content to newer platforms. Adobe declared Flash to be end-of-life at the end of 2020.

2020

Death

By the end of the year Flash support will be removed entirely from Google Chrome and Firefox.

References

A Nostalgic Rummage Through the History of Flash

Wired: History of Macromedia Flash

Wikipedia: Adobe Flash Builder

Chromium: Flash Usage Trends

Chromium: Flash Roadmap

Wikipedia: ActionScript

Wikipedia: Adobe Flash

×
Popular searches

Live streaming

Live analytics

Ad scheduling

Monetization