Adobe has quietly closed its first and only 64-bit Flash beta for any operating system, and left the 64-bit future of Flash in limbo.
As other technologies slowly make their way to the 64-bit promised land, Adobe has all but signalled a complete retreat for Flash by closing its 64-bit Flash for Linux beta; leaving only a short message on its Adobe Labs page.
Thank you, don't come again (Credit: Screenshot by Chris Duckett/ZDNet Australia)
"The Flash Player 10.1 64-bit Linux beta is closed. We remain committed to delivering 64-bit support in a future release of Flash Player. No further information is available at this time. Please feel free to continue your discussions on the Flash Player 10.1 desktop forums."
Ironically, a glance of the Flash forums says "Important: Do not use this forum to discuss the Flash Player 10 64-bit Linux pre-release or Flash Player 10 and earlier release players".
Here is the place to talk about the 64-bit beta, unless you are here to talk about the 64-bit beta(Credit: Screenshot by Chris Duckett/ZDNet Australia)
When it first announced the beta, Adobe had said: "We are committed to bringing native 64-bit Flash Player to Windows and Mac in future releases. We expect to provide native support for 64-bit platforms in an upcoming major release of Flash Player.
"Windows, Macintosh and Linux players are expected to ship simultaneously moving forward," it said. "We chose Linux as our initial platform in response to numerous requests [...] and the fact that Linux distributions do not ship with a 32-bit browser or a comprehensive 32-bit emulation layer by default."
Links to the project, and even the beta's release notes (Google cache here) have been removed. While the possibility remains that Adobe may surprise us with a 64-bit build in the near future, the omens are ominous and this does not seem like regular procedure for an upcoming release of a project.
The only certain takeaway at this point is: if Apple wants to stop Adobe crying foul over Flash on the iPhone, move the iPhone to 64-bit.
Since the publication of this article, Adobe has sent ZDNet Australia a statement:
We have temporarily closed the Labs program of Flash Player 10 for 64-bit Linux, as we are making significant architectural changes to the 64-bit Linux Flash Player and additional security enhancements. We are fully committed to bringing native 64-bit Flash Player for the desktop by providing native support for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux 64-bit platforms in an upcoming major release of Flash Player. We intend to provide more regular update information on our progress as we continue our work on 64-bit versions of Flash Player. Thank you for your continued help and support.