Adobe Flash Player
The Adobe Flash Player logo.Adobe

Adobe Systems has announced plans to kill off its Flash Player plug-in by the end of 2020 due to waning interest and public opinion after years of criticism regarding security flaws and its many, many updates.

The platform was once widely used for online videos, animations and games, but has been usurped in recent years by the new standard offered by HTML5, which serves a similar use without the need for a dedicated plug-in.

Adobe vice president of product development, Govind Balakrishnan, said the decision was reached because technologies like HTML5 have "matured enough and are capable enough to provide viable alternatives to the Flash player.

"Few technologies have had such a profound and positive impact in the internet era," he added, referring to Flash, not HTML5.

Flash was installed on 98% of PCs when Adobe acquired Macromedia and Flash along with it in 2005. Twelve years later and usage has plummeted. Even as recently as 2014 it was used daily by 80% of PC users, but now the figure sits at 17%.

The report from Google, which ended support of Flash in 2016, added: "This trend reveals that sites are migrating to open-web technologies, which are faster and more power-efficient than Flash. They're also more secure."

Developer Malcolm Barclay, who had worked on Flash, told the BBC: "It fulfilled its promise for a while but it never saw the mobile device revolution coming and ultimately that's what killed it."

Apple were always vocal critics of Flash, which it never supported on its platforms. The rise of iPhone and the Apple brand was certainly a contributing factor to the plug-in's planned demise.