There have been a number of announcements and a lot of commentary on the future of Flash, Flex and AIR in the past few weeks. As a software development agency with significant experience in these technologies, we have received a number of enquiries as to our thoughts on the matter.
"Flash is dead"
Probably one of the most bandied about phrases in web technology discussions. And Flash has by all accounts, been dying for some time. Out of interest we did some digging to see if we could find the earliest declarations of the demise of Flash and found one reference to an early touted “Flash Killer” article from March, 2000. Ironically, this was with regards to a tool from Adobe themselves in the form of Live Motion before their acquisition of Macromedia (who owned Flash) in 2005.
In more recent years of course, Microsoft entered the arena with Silverlight. Another similar rich, browser plugin-based platform which arrived with similar Flash slaying fanfare from various tech journalists and bloggers. Whilst Silverlight has had no real impact on Flash’s success it has picked up its own momentum and experienced a decent uptake. However, it too is seemingly now in the same firing line as Flash.
So with some perspective then, is Flash (and Silverlight) dead? To our mind no, certainly not. However, things are changing and both Adobe and Microsoft are showing a shift in focus towards the support and tooling for web development to be done in HTML5. Adobe have announced they will no longer be developing the mobile in-browser Flash Player (note this is Flash Player on a mobile device in the devices web browser). Adobe also announced that in the long term, they believe HTML5 is the best technology for enterprise application development. Microsoft has announced Windows 8 and it too has a very strong focus on support for HTML5 applications. So whilst nothing is dead there are clear signs attention is being directed towards HTML5.
Is my application doomed?
Flash was first available in 1996 and is now up to version 11.1. Content written for the original Flash Player will still run today on the latest version, every release has maintained backwards compatibility. There are going to be no issues with any Flash based applications in the foreseeable future. Adobe are still actively developing Flash and AIR and have made no indication they intend to drop the platform.
How does this affect Moov2?
As mentioned previously, whilst these technologies are not dead, things are changing. This is business as usual for us at Moov2 and any other software technology company worth their salt. The technology and tools we use are always changing. Adobe and Microsoft have shown their commitment to HTML5 as the preferred platform for the future of web applications development and we happen to agree. We have already been working on several HTML5 applications and have been very pleased with the results.
We will be tackling more HTML5 projects in the coming months, we’re also aware there are still some things that aren’t best achieved with HTML5 alone. Fortunately we can still rely on Flash, Flex, Air, Silverlight or whichever other technology is most appropriate for the task at hand. Of course the other hot topic to which we’ve been giving a lot of attention to recently is mobile development.
If you’re concerned about your current or future technology options get in touch and make use of our extensive experience.