Adobe Flash Player


Flash can manipulate vector and raster graphics and supports bi-directional streaming of audio and video. It contains a scripting language called ActionScript. Several software products, systems, and devices are able to create or display Flash content, including Adobe Flash Player, which is available for most common web browsers, some mobile phones and other electronic devices (using Flash Lite).


  • Macromedia Flash 3 (1998)Brought improvements to animation, playback, and publishing, as well as the introduction of simple script commands for interactivity. As of 1998, Macromedia has shipped 100,000 Flash products.

  • Macromedia Flash 4 (1999)Achieved 100 million installations of the Flash Player, thanks in part to its inclusion with Microsoft Internet Explorer 5. Flash 4 saw the introduction of streaming MP3s and the Motion Tween

  • Macromedia Flash 5 (2001) Flash 5 was a major leap forward in capability, with the evolution of Flash's scripting capabilities as released as ActionScript. Flash 5 also saw the ability to customize the authoring environment's.

  • Macromedia Flash MX was released on March 15, 2002, with the new Macromedia Flash Player 6 with support for video, application components, shared libraries, and accessibility.Macromedia Flash Communication Server MX, also released in 2002, allowed video to be streamed to Flash Player 6 (otherwise the video could be embedded into the Flash movie).


Future developments

An important new development in Flash (as of 2007) is its increasing use in providing the presentation layer in handheld devices. Adobe is courting cell phone and PDA vendors, and partnering to deploy Flash Lite as the user interface.The next version of Flash will have two additional components designed for large scale implementation. Adobe is adding in the option to require an ad to be played in full before the main video piece is played.


Criticisms of Adobe Flash have included questions of its usability, the problems Flash-laden pages cause for those with disabilities, security issues, limited platform compatibility, performance and compatibility issues on certain platforms, the inability for search engines to index data contained in Flash binary data, and its use as a means to restrict access to content and the implementation of Digital Rights Management.

Adobe Flash (previously called Shockwave Flash and Macromedia Flash) is a set of multimedia software created by Macromedia and currently developed and distributed by Adobe Systems. Since its introduction in 1996, Flash has become a popular method for adding animation and interactivity to web pages; Flash is commonly used to create animation, advertisements, and various web page components, to integrate video into web pages, and more recently, to develop rich Internet applications.

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