Adobe Lays Out the Future of Flash

Despite the fact that Adobe killed the mobile version of its Flash Player, the platform isn’t dead. To help clear up questions about where the multimedia platform is headed, Adobe released a roadmap (PDF) showing how it will continue to support Flash, and which operating systems it plans to drop.

Adobe plans to continue supporting Flash Player for the Mac and Windows, but Linux users are going to be left behind. Instead, Linux users will be directed to Google’s Chrome web browser and its built-in Flash Player.

Adobe details the future of FlashAdobe details the future of Flash

Flash Player 11.2 should ship some time during the first quarter of 2012 with improved hardware-accelerated graphics support, and additional updates throughout the year will improve gaming capabilities.

Adobe is acknowledging that roles Flash previously served on the Internet are shifting to newer technologies such as HTML5 and CSS3, but the company still sees its multimedia platform as important. Flash’s new role, according to Adobe’s roadmap, lies in “creating and deploying rich, expressive games with console-quality graphics and deploying premium video.”

Planned features for post-11.2 updates include keyboard support in full-screen mode, better audio performance, expanded hardware support for video, improved ActionScript support, and more.

Adobe reiterated that Flash Player 11.1 is the final version for mobile devices, although it will release security updates and critical bug fixes.

Adobe’s open commitment to Flash doesn’t come as a surprise considering the platform is a big part of the company’s business plans despite the general shift towards HTML5 and CSS3. With Apple and now Microsoft pushing Flash alternatives, however, it’s going to only get harder for Adobe’s to keep the platform relevant in the eyes of computer users.

[Some images courtesy of Shutterstock]