Flash is not dead, as far as Adobe is concerned. So they have rolled out a road map for Flash and AIR Runtime for the next 5-to-10-year period.
The roadmap indicates that the company wants to increase the potential of Flash in game development and as a plug-in for premium videos in the face of the onslaught from HTML 5.
As part of the move, the company has decided to desert smartphone browsers, sticking to desktop ones only. 2012 will witness three releases for Flash. Version 11.2 which will hit in this quarter will bring in mouse improvements with support for middle and right mouse buttons.
It will also bring in improved script performance and better hardware acceleration along with multithreaded video decoding.
The Q2 update, dubbed Cyril, will add keyboard changes, low latency audio and better support for 3D. The third and last update this year, named Dolores, will hit in the second half of 2012 with multithread application support similar to Web Workers of HTML 5.
By improving the ActionScript programming, Adobe plans to make it a developer’s tool for the next 5 to 10 years. The update which is expected to roll out next year will be aptly called ‘Next’.
It will bring in support for strictly enforced static typing which will help developers detect more errors right when they make it and will offer better performance optimization.
The company is not yet revealing anything clear on what will happen with Windows 8, it says they are still in consultation. Microsoft on the other hand, has made it clear that Internet Explorer in Windows 8 will take plug-ins in only on desktop versions, not on tablets.
Despite a roadmap, Flash is finding its existence shrinking day by day with Android and iOS already not supporting it and HTML5 has taken away the need of Flash player to play videos.
What we feel is that Flash may have some future in game development, but not indeed as a video plug in. AIR will have better chances since Microsoft is expected to give some AIR support for apps on its Metro style UI.