It's almost over for Abobe's Flash, as tech companies start to finalise their plans for their remaining elements of support for the once-pervasive technology.
Flash officially moved out of support on December 31 2020, some three years after Adobe and major browser makers announced the plan to kill off Flash and began urging content developers to move to HTML5 and other technologies.
Microsoft may this month broadly release a Windows 10 update that will automatically and permanently remove Adobe Flash Player. The update will be released via Microsoft Update Catalog, Windows Update and WSUS. It will permanently remove Adobe Flash Player as a component of Windows devices.
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Microsoft made the optional Flash-removing update available in October on the Windows Update Catalog but didn't roll it out more widely through Windows Update.
Microsoft's support page for the "Update for the removal of Adobe Flash Player" indicates that it will be available on Windows Server Update Service (WSUS) "in early 2021". While Microsoft is rolling out the Flash removal update more widely in early 2021, it will still be optional for users to install.
Microsoft says it will start recommending users install the update a few months after it becomes available through Windows Update and WSUS. Once it's installed, users can't uninstall the update.
Google Chrome this month will also release Chrome 88, which completely removes Flash support and capability from Chromium. This in turn affects Microsoft Edge since it is based on Chromium. Chrome will block Flash Player as "out of date".
Firefox-maker Mozilla released the Firefox 84 in December as the final version to support Flash. Firefox 85, due out on January 26, 2021, will ship without Flash support.
Adobe released its final Flash Player update in December and has been urging people to uninstall the software. From January 12, 2021 the company will block Flash content from running in the software.
The Flash removal update for Windows 10 is available for all versions of Windows 10, but the update only removes Flash Player that was installed by Windows in either Internet Explorer, Edge or Chrome. Users who manually installed Flash Player will need to follow Adobe's uninstall instructions for Flash.