Microsoft have confirmed they will end support for Adobe Flash Player by the end of 2020 due to the product's diminished usage as well as the availability of more secure options such as HTML5, WebGL, and WebAssembly.
Earlier today, Adobe said in a blog post that they will "stop updating and distributing Flash Player" after 31st December, in line with their previous commitment with industry partners such as Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla to phase out the once-widely-used software by the end of 2020.
"Since open standards such as HTML5, WebGL and WebAssembly are continually maturing to serve as viable alternatives for Flash content, most browser vendors are integrating these open standards into their browsers and deprecating third-party plug-ins," Adobe said.
"Adobe will continue issuing regular Flash Player security patches while maintaining the operating system and browser compatibility through the end of 2020. End users will be prompted on their machines to uninstall Adobe Flash Player later this year. As always, we recommend that our customers use the latest, supported, and up-to-date software," the company added.
People using the Windows operating system will not receive security support or product updates for Adobe Flash Player after December this year, Microsoft said, adding that security update for Flash Player that applies to Microsoft Edge Legacy and Internet Explorer 11 will also cease by the end of the year.
Enterprise users can continue to use Adobe Flash Player as a plug-in
According to Adobe, since many enterprise users will need Flash Player commercial support and licensing beyond 2020 to run internal business systems such as interactive dashboards, digital training, and intranet, their official distribution licensing partner Harman will be able to offer additional product support for Flash Player starting next year.
"HARMAN has a long-standing history as a Flash partner, maintains knowledge of the platform and ecosystem, and is well-positioned to support our enterprise customers through this transition given more than a decade of experience," Adobe said.
Starting next year, Harman will help enterprises transition Flash content to alternate technologies, create custom downloadable applications that will load specified Flash content for end-user distribution, and provide updated Flash Player installers that will allow Flash to run with compatible browsers in an internal environment.
Microsoft said that for enterprise users who will need to run Flash Player after it is discontinued, Microsoft Edge will allow Flash Player to load as a plug-in via the Internet Explorer mode feature. However, the Flash Player plug-in will be treated as any other third-party plug-in and will not receive Customer Support from Microsoft.