Adobe is beginning the process of winding down its Flash rich-media software, beginning with a name change: Flash Professional is to become Adobe Animate CC, starting with the next release in 2016.
When Macromedia launched Flash, prior to its acquisition by Adobe, it was one of the first tools to offer an easy way of embedded rich and interactive media into a web page. Sadly, that power and flexibility brought its own problems: in the years since, the software has been plagued by a mess of security flaws leading to users' systems being hijacked through nothing more than viewing a malicious page with Flash content embedded. More recently, HTML5 has offered an alternative to Flash for many rich media tasks and companies are responding: streaming giant Twitch has begun shifting from Flash to HTML5
, while Google blocked Flash adverts
in a recent update to its Chrome browser.
Aware of the negative connotations attached to the Flash brand, Adobe has announced
that it's going away - at least in part. Its Flash Professional content creation application is to be rebranded as Adobe Animate CC, as a reflection of the growing amount of HTML5 content created using the software - and a tacit admission that Flash isn't the selling point it once was.
The Flash format isn't going away right now, though. 'Animate CC will continue supporting Flash (SWF) and AIR formats as first-class citizens,
' claimed Adobe's Rich Lee in the announcement. 'In addition, it can output animations to virtually any format (including SVG), through its extensible architecture.
' By the company's own figures, around a third of content created in Flash Professional is exported as HTML5 - leaving the majority still using the vulnerability-laden Flash format.
The first release of Adobe Animate CC is due for release in January 2016.