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What's Adobe's 64-bit Flash plan?
Written by Daniel   
Monday, 21 June 2010 18:15

From C/Net News

64-bit versions of Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux now are in widespread use, and software for the operating systems is following suit. So it may seem a bit backward that Adobe withdrew its only 64-bit version of Flash Player.

But don't take the disappearance of Adobe Labs' experimental 64-bit Flash Player for Linux as a sign of things to come. Moving its widely used browser plug-in beyond the 32-bit era is a "top priority," said Tom Nguyen, Adobe's Flash Player product manager, on Saturday.

 



However, Adobe isn't committing itself publicly to a delivery schedule. And if it doesn't move with some alacrity, it risks inflicting broken Web sites on computer users who do make the 64-bit shift with their browsers.

Plenty of people would be perfectly happy to see Flash fade from the Web, ranging from those who resent how it enables intrusive advertisements to those who are actively working to reproduce much of Flash's abilities in Web standards such as HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). But there are also innumerable people who rely on Flash for online games, interactive charts, video streaming, and other uses. Those who switch to a 64-bit browser without a suitable version of Flash could find the Web doesn't work as they expect.

Making the 64-bit transition has been a long, grinding process for the mainstream computing industry, starting from the lowest levels of computing hardware and now moving through software. On personal computers, it began with processors--first from AMD, then from Intel. Operating systems were next to come along. Linux, with its technically savvy user base, made an early transition from 32-bit to 64-bit, and Apple made much of its 64-bit Mac OS X move with version 10.6, aka Snow Leopard. The larger population of Windows users have moved more slowly, but PCs running 64-bit Windows became commonplace with Windows Vista.

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