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Adobe Halts Flash Plug-In Development For Mobile Platforms

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 11/09/11 09:45 AM ET Updated: 11/09/11 04:25 PM ET

Adobe Flash Player Mobile

This post has been updated.

On Wednesday morning, Adobe confirmed rumors that it will end development of its Flash Player plug-in for mobile browsers.

Danny Winokur, Adobe's Vice President and General Manager of Interactive Development, announced the decision in a blog post, explaining that the company will develop native apps for mobile platforms and will focus on the HTML5 web standard, but that it will abandon new mobile browser plug-in development following the release of Flash Player 11.1 for Android and BlackBerry PlayBook.

"HTML5 is now universally supported on major mobile devices, in some cases exclusively," wrote Winokur. "This makes HTML5 the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms. [...] 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."

Winokur went on to write that Adobe would continue to support existing versions of the plug-in.

"We will of course continue to provide critical bug fixes and security updates for existing device configurations," he said. "We will also allow our source code licensees to continue working on and release their own implementations."

Apple had famously rejected the Flash plug-in for iPhone since the device launched in 2007. In 2010, the company's then-CEO Steve Jobs penned a scathing critique of Flash. He praised HTML5 and wrote that "Flash was created during the PC era - for PCs and mice."

"Flash is a successful business for Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs," Jobs also wrote. "But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards - all areas where Flash falls short."

As Winokur noted in his blog post, this is not the end of Flash Player altogether. "We are already working on Flash Player 12 and a new round of exciting features which we expect to again advance what is possible for delivering high definition entertainment experiences," wrote Winokur.

However, tech blogger Dan Frommer argues that Adobe's move "ultimately signals the end of Flash."

On Tuesday, Adobe said it would lay off 750 employees as part of a restructuring plan.

Check out the slideshow (below) to see how tweeters reacted to Adobe's announcement that it will kill Flash Player for phones.

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