Adobe is planning to encourage users to uninstall Flash Player from their computers by the end of the year when the software is scheduled to reach End-Of-Life (EOL) on December 31 , 2020.
The move was announced on a new support page for Flash Player EOL, published by Adobe earlier this month, six months before the EOL date.
Adobe says the company doesn’t just plan to stop providing updates once Flash has hit the EOL deadline, but also plans to delete all Flash Player download links from their web site.
This will prevent users from installing the software and from using an unmaintained version any further.
In addition, Adobe also said that “Flash-based content will be blocked from running after the EOL Date in Adobe Flash Player,” suggesting the company has added or plans to add a so-called “time bomb” to the Flash Player code to prevent users from using it starting next year.
These are some of the most aggressive decisions taken by a software company to block users from using their software once it has reached EOL.
The reason for those moves is because hackers and malware authors have always targeted Flash Player. Adobe doesn’t intend to provide new security updates until Flash Player reaches EOL at the end of the year, leaving Flash users vulnerable to new vulnerabilities and attacks.
For Adobe the best situation would be to get as many users as possible to uninstall Flash Player before December 31, 2020. It’s unclear how this “prompt” will look like, but users can uninstall Flash Player right now by following the Windows and Mac users’ uninstall instructions.
Flash Player Usage Has Started Dying Out in 2017-2018
In July 2017, Adobe announced Flash’s EOL along with all major browser makers, Apple, Google , Microsoft and Mozilla, but also Facebook, which at that time relied heavily on Flash for its online games platform.
Browser makers are scheduled to delete in late 2020, early 2021, the actual code that supports Flash from their browser codebases prior to or after the EOL.
Currently, according to web technology survey site W3Techs, only 2.6 per cent of today ‘s websites are using Flash code, a number that has plummeted from a market share of 28.5 per cent recorded in early 2011.
Speaking at a conference in February 2018, Parisa Tabriz, Google’s Director of Engineering, said the percentage of regular Chrome users who have loaded at least one page containing Flash content per day has declined from around 80 percent in 2014 to below 8 percent in early 2018, a figure that has most likely continued to decline meanwhile.