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Adobe drops Flash for mobile browsers, cuts 750 employees

Wed 09 Nov 2011 10:01am GMT / 5:01am EST / 2:01am PST
Mobile

Company restructuring, will focus on HTML5 and mobile applications

Adobe

We help our customers create, deliver, and optimize compelling content and applications improving the...

adobe.com

According to emails sent to Adobe partners, the company will no longer develop its Flash plug-in for mobile browsers. It also announced 750 job losses.

"Our future work with Flash on mobile devices will be focused on enabling Flash developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores," read a forthcoming announcement revealed to ZDNet.

The reports have yet to be confirmed by Adobe.

"We will no longer adapt Flash Player for mobile devices to new browser, OS version or device configurations," it continues.

The company will instead focus on HTML5 and mobile applications.

"Some of our source code licensees may opt to continue working on and releasing their own implementations. We will continue to support the current Android and PlayBook configurations with critical bug fixes and security updates."

Yesterday the company also announced it was cutting 750 jobs across North America and Europe as part of a major restructure. It's not yet clear if this is related to the end of Flash mobile development, but the company will discuss the restructure at a financial meeting later today.

13 Comments

Kingman Cheng
Illustrator and Animator

951 180 0.2
Personally I think it's about time, but 750 job cuts, ouch!

Posted:2 years ago

#1
As such, what does this mean as a legacy to flash games?
Hmmm

Posted:2 years ago

#2

Patrick Frost
QA Project Monitor

396 195 0.5
They should be able to use Adobe's new tools to covert stuff to HTML 5.

Posted:2 years ago

#3

Antony Cain
Lecturer

263 21 0.1
I doubt it'll have a massive effect on Flash games - as they generally aren't much fun (and very inconsistent) through smart phone browsers anyway. It's a bit of a kick in the teeth for people who invested time in games specifically for mobile - but I don't think many do that without also making a desktop browser version and/or making an AIR version that runs as an actual app.

Posted:2 years ago

#4

Rick Lopez
Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 942 0.7
Honestly Im ok without it. As a graphic designer I find that flash takes alot of juice out of my hardware. in the beginning flash was developed as a tool for creating sophisticated animations using low bandwith and CPU resources, but as it is now it really does a job in heating my computer. Its the same for both MAC and PC. The fans start going to there peak speed, and the computer starts heating up, even for simple animations. I cant view youtube videos, from my laptop, without air conditioning, or else it will heat up so much my computer will shut off. i cannot possibly see flash working for mobile. And while it was good for a time, it became something it should not. Right now flash has so many sophisticated features, its not feasable for web content. I actually find it useful in creating vector based animations to then be exportedas a movie format such quicktime, mpeg4 or wmv. But I would not use it to stream content on the web or a mobile device. It would probably fry.

Posted:2 years ago

#5

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,165 948 0.8
I'm probably the only one who thinks this is a huge mistake. Sure, I can live without mobile flash (though Flash 11 Mobile is really nice), but I think they had a great opportunity for their own business and extending their dominance in providing tools and software for rich web media..

Posted:2 years ago

#6
Wonder how much of this is related to MS dropping Flash/plug-ins for Metro browser in Windows 8.

This is pretty significant IMO: people will move away from "native" Flash support, as future mobile devices won't have it - and it "just" becomes another middleware solution really...

Posted:2 years ago

#7

Khash Firestorm
Senior Programmer

38 37 1.0
"As such, what does this mean as a legacy to flash games? "

switch to unity, thats what we will do. Flash market is dying slowly anyway, adobe and microsoft decisions just speed it up.

Posted:2 years ago

#8
The challenge will be to cater to both HTML5 and legacy flash versions...for the casual/social game companies.
The graphics side of things wont change, but perhaps the tools to achieve animation and effects may be altered.

Posted:2 years ago

#9

Spencer Franklin
Concept Artist

93 124 1.3
So, was Mr. Jobs right these last couple of years about not supporting flash for mobile? Seems it took them a couple years to come to the conclusion that apple already had come to. Interesting times indeed...

Posted:2 years ago

#10

David Cox
Studying Computer Science

1 0 0.0
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems Adobe is making a move toward creating a more complete desktop/browser gaming experience. With the recent GPU support in Flash Player 11 along with Epic and Crytek porting the Unreal Engine and CryEngine respectively to Flash, we have graphically superior browser experiences coming to the desktop. I thought that Adobe was trying to keep Flash relevant with this move. I expected the new GPU support to translate over to mobile games for graphically superior mobile experiences as well. That being said I found this move interesting and a little disturbing. I don't know if Adobe is trying to phase out flash or keep it relevant.

Posted:2 years ago

#11

Andrew Goodchild
Studying development

1,240 400 0.3
"So, was Mr. Jobs right these last couple of years about not supporting flash for mobile? Seems it took them a couple years to come to the conclusion that apple already had come to. Interesting times indeed...
"

Do you not think it may be the oppisite, iOS, WP7 and now W8 metro don't support it, making it far less worthwhile for Adobe. OK, Android does, but if Android supports HTML 5, which also works on iOS, it becomes more attractive. I don't think it's a case ofApple being right, I think this decision was made because Apple's refusal to allow it on iOS.

Posted:2 years ago

#12

Barry Scott
Software Design

19 2 0.1
Adobe has made some very serious mistakes with Flash.
First it fired the engineers that really understood the code.
Those engineers where paid more then their managers became a no-no.
It contracted them back via ARM to get Flash on ARM working.
It failed to develop 64 bit support in a timely way.
It failed to make Flash perform.

Given the history and the reality of HTML5 it makes a lot of sense for them to commit to creating great
tools to exploit HTML5 and the world of Apps.

Last night the press release was on the Adobe site, it has been pulled today.

Posted:2 years ago

#13

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