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How Long Will Flash Survive?

HTML5 has been on the horizon for quite some time, but the breadth of Flash-based web applications has continued to expand over the last few years. Apple dealt their first major blow to Flash by not supporting it on their flagship tablet device, the iPad. This caused media giants like Vimeo, ESPN, Time, CBS, and Flickr to offer an HTML5 compatible (and therefore, iPad compatible) format for users.

HTML5 has also proven its media capabilities to be more stable and better at managing resources. For example, YouTube’s HTML5 player uses far less system resources than their traditional Flash player. You can do your own benchmarks by enrolling in the beta (link above) and seeing for yourself. 馃檪

So without Apple’s support, are Flash’s days numbered? Well there’s one company which has chosen to embrace Flash as well as its own open-source VP8 backend – Google Inc. Not only did Google unveil its plans a few days ago at the Google I/O showcase, but they’re also integrating Flash 10.1 into Android 2.2.

Steve Jobs is right in saying that the majority of web browser crashes on the Mac are due to plugins, namely Flash. However, one cannot deny how prevalent the platform is. Remember all those horrible-looking-yet-ridiculously-addictive arcade games you play on the net? Most of them run Flash. A lot of the animations you see on websites are brought to you by Flash. Most web developers have grown accustomed to coding in programs like Flash MX or Flash Studio Pro. And with Google’s backing, it looks like Flash will be here for a little longer… but not much longer. Even with Google, Flash’s days are numbered.

Personally, I think Google should make a deal with Adobe and just buy out Flash. 馃榾

Also, if you’ve not done so already, read Steve Job’s thoughts on Flash.

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