Flash Player 11, the next major version of Adobe's near-ubiquitous browser plug-in, is now officially set for release in early October, the company said in a press release today. Adobe AIR (the runtime which allows Flash and other code to be run as desktop apps) will also be updated to version 3.

The press release details a few of Flash 11's new features, but there are two that are of particular interest to you, the discerning AnandTech reader: the first is GPU acceleration for 2D and 3D graphics, which is specifically designed to make Flash games run better (Flash's GPU acceleration was previously limited mostly to video). The second is 64-bit support under Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, long a sticking point for users of 64-bit operating systems. As one of the modern Internet's most-used plug-ins, Flash carries a lot of weight, and I don't think I'm the first to link the absence of 64-bit Flash with the slow pace of 64-bit browser development and adoption.

Flash 11 promises to be an improvement over Flash 10.3 in many ways, but its competition is still stiff: the Unity Web Player is already driving 3D games in browser windows today, while the Silverlight plug-in also enables rich web content. Its most direct competition in the long run remains HTML5, which Apple (and soon, Microsoft) and others are pushing to enable rich content without the use of plug-ins

Source: Adobe

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  • piroroadkill - Thursday, September 22, 2011 - link

    No, what's wrong with you? It even can install through Windows Update.

    Nothing wrong with Silverlight, and to be honest you barely every see it.
  • slashbinslashbash - Thursday, September 22, 2011 - link

    I'm very happy with Silverlight in comparison with Flash. And I'm a Mac user, mind you. The Mac version of Silverlight works great. If Silverlight replaced Flash 100%, I wouldn't mind it a bit.
  • erple2 - Thursday, September 22, 2011 - link

    Nothing wrong with Silverlight, and to be honest you barely every see it

    Silverlight doesn't run on a Mobile device, or (reliably - moonlight is way too hit-or-miss to be consistent) on any Linux based OS's. That's what's wrong with it. You also used to not "see" Flash until whole sites were created through it, making them essentially unusable through certain browser combinations at the time.

    If you see mobile devices as the future, then that becomes a major problem. Until Microsoft works out how to make SIlverlight more agnostic, it's not going to take off beyond desktop share. Currently it only runs on Windows (not windows mobile) and Mac. But it ignores > 50% of the browser market.
  • Scrogneugneu - Friday, September 23, 2011 - link

    Same here, never bothered. So far (apart from Microsoft's websites), I haven't found it to be something missing from my installed plugins.
  • name99 - Thursday, September 22, 2011 - link

    So THIS will finally be the version of Flash that doesn't suck? Great. I totally expect that Adobe will deliver.

    Meanwhile, in unrelated news, Charlie Brown perhaps you'd like to run up and kick this football?
  • Aikouka - Thursday, September 22, 2011 - link

    One of the biggest problems that I have with Flash right now (10.3) is that the updater isn't very good. The problem is that it only runs on Windows start up, so you either have to check whether there's an update manually or only get prompted upon start up. There are also two versions of Flash (ActiveX and the "other one"), and I'm not sure if they both update at the same time. Based on the download size always being ~2mb (which is the size of only one plug-in), I doubt they do.

    Thinking about it now, if it occurs on start up, I assume there's an entry for it. I should go look for it and create a shortcut to allow me to run it any time. That would at least make manual updating easier.

    Since flash vulnerabilities tend to be a pretty common attack method for malicious code, I'd like to see Flash be a bit more aggressive in its updating.
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Thursday, September 22, 2011 - link

    I'd love to see Adobe move to a unified updater for its products already. Acrobat has one updater, Flash has another, the Creative Suite programs have another. Microsoft does it. Google does it. It's not so much to ask, really.
  • fr33h33l - Friday, September 23, 2011 - link

    Granted, Apple was possibly the biggest reason for Adobe's recent improvements and them moving in the direction of HTML5.

    However, given Apple's business model of locking users into native iOS apps and ever stronger ties to their app store, they are definitely not one of the prominent companies driving HTML5 adoption.

    Although you have to applaud Steve Jobs for making it seem as if Apple actually cared about standards and openness in Apple's decision not to support Flash in iOS while all he wanted was 1) eliminating a serious threat to Apple's lock-in model on mobile devices and, possibly, 2) to improve battery life in said products.
  • dfghdfshhh - Friday, September 23, 2011 - link

    Come go and see, will not regret it Oh look

  • Euklide - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link

    There is no turning back: Flash player 11 with its hardware acceleration will change the face of the internet: The web will simply turn 3D. This will take some time, but in less than one year there will be many impressive and highly useful 3D websites (aside from game sites) that will give a new meaning to "web surfing"! The difficult part is to make good use of the third dimension -still an unexplored field for information visualization, interactivity and usability, so it will be a challenge for innovation and will boost these fields and therefore 3D interface evolution. In comparison, HTML5 is way too limited to compete.

    Of course Adobe (and Macromedia) should have done this 11+ years ago. They are dinosaurs, but at least, Flash is ONE consistent standard, instead of a multi-confusing, chaotic, semi-implemented, arbitrary, each-browser doing-its-thing, each-supporting-a-different-subset FAILED-standard as were HTML and Javascript for so many years! The browser developers have FAILED MISERABLY to make or obbey a single standard and this paranoia will continue with HTML5!

    Now Apple is a great company, but they should put the user (their customers) FIRST, not force them or limit them - this is a huge marketing mistake that they will most likely pay soon or later!

    In sort, I personally prefer to develop for ONE single standard that runs consistently across all browsers in 98% of PCs and (soon) in most mobile devices too. I don't want to fight each time with each browser's idiosygracy while chasing their miserable updates in daily basis! Users want consistency for piece of mind too.

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