Still waiting for a 64-bit Flash Player

Summary:Adobe is hard at work on its next Flash Player release. Or, to be more accurate, it's hard at work on the 32-bit version of its next Flash Player. A new Flash 10.1 beta is now available, but it's 32-bit only. Exactly 18 months after I wondered out loud about the whereabouts of a native Flash Player for a 64-bit world, Adobe still says only that it's planned for "an upcoming release."

Adobe is hard at work on its next Flash Player release. Or, to be more accurate, it's hard at work on the 32-bit version of its next Flash Player. The company publicly unveiled the 10.1 release in October at Adobe MAX 2009, and earlier this month Flash Player 10.1 Beta 2 for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux operating systems was made available for download.

Curiously, though, the October press release doesn't mention 64-bit support at all, and the announcement of the latest beta includes only a passing link to "the latest alpha refresh" of the 64-bit Flash Player 10 prerelease for Linux.What about Windows or the Mac? Sorry, folks, no news to report.

I first commented on this topic, in July 2008 (see Dear Adobe, can we please have a 64-bit Flash player?). Today, exactly 18 months later, the wording on the Adobe TechNote page has changed slightly, but there's still no sign of 64-bit code. In 2008, Adobe said they were "working on Flash Player support for 64-bit platforms as part of our ongoing commitment to the cross-platform compatibility of Flash Player. We have not yet announced timing or release dates." Today, the updated page still reports that Adobe Flash Player is "not supported … in a 64-bit browser." As for future plans, the company says only, "We expect to provide native support for 64-bit platforms in an upcoming release of Flash Player following the release of Flash Player 10.1."

Given the huge popularity of 64-bit hardware and operating systems these days, I'm surprised that Adobe isn't more forthcoming with its roadmap.

Apparently Microsoft feels no pressure to deliver a 64-bit version of Silverlight either. As of April, 2009, the company officially said that x64 support would not be included in Silverlight 3, adding "We are considering this for future versions of Silverlight."

Topics: Enterprise Software, Hardware, Networking, Processors


Ed Bott is an award-winning technology writer with more than two decades' experience writing for mainstream media outlets and online publications. He has served as editor of the U.S. edition of PC Computing and managing editor of PC World; both publications had monthly paid circulation in excess of 1 million during his tenure. He is the a... Full Bio

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