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End of an era: Adobe Shockwave dies today



  Adobe Shockwave Background and Logo
Adobe

Adobe pulls the plug from Shockwave ̵

1; no, not Shockwave Flash, which is different today. This 1995 plug-in, known as Macromedia Shockwave, was used for games, presentations, and other multimedia applications on the Web.

RIP Shockwave

Adobe releases Shockwave today, April 9, 2019, Download the Shockwave Player for Windows from Adobe for a longer period. However, companies with support contracts can still use it for several years. The Shockwave Player for Mac was discontinued in 2017. If you find an old website with Shockwave content, it can not be played with officially supported software.

Fortunately, the Shockwave web has gone further, so Shockwave is for you. I only see it when you browse websites for more than a decade.

Flash is still nearby for a while. Adobe plans to discontinue Flash by the end of 2020.

Adobe Shockwave vs. Adobe Flash

Both Shockwave and Flash were developed by Macromedia, a company Adobe acquired in 2005. Each of these platforms is a multimedia software platform with a web browser plugin. Shockwave content is played by the Shockwave Player plug-in, while Flash content is played by the Flash Player plug-in.

Shockwave plays a huge role as Flash gains more and more of its skills over the years. However, the two products have different histories. Shockwave's pedigree goes all the way back to VideoWorks for the original Apple Macintosh. Point-and-click adventure CD-ROMs and educational experiences created with Shockwave were popular in the early '90s and were created by Macromedia Director. The Shockwave Player plugin was released in 1995 to bring these features into the burgeoning web.

Macromedia introduced features for the video game industry in 2001, and there's a fair chance you've been playing a shockwave game in your browser in the years that followed. For example, Candystand.com was owned by Nabisco, the company behind Life Savers, and offered a variety of browser games using Shockwave. The above YouTube video shows an officially licensed Donkey Kong land that was released in 2003. Yes, Nintendo created browser games in collaboration with Life Savers Candy.

The Web was full of experiences like that – most of them are now lost in time. Habbo Hotel was a social online community / virtual world aimed at teenagers. Habbo started with Shockwave and later switched from Shockwave to Flash as the Web went on.

 Homestar Runner with Adobe Flash

Flash was launched as a vector-based animation tool called SmartSketch, which becomes FutureSplash. Macromedia acquired it in 1996. While Shockwave had heavier multimedia experiences, Flash was all about basic vector graphics and animations – remember Homestar Runner? That was Flash. Flash developed from there and received support for scripting, video, 3D, and other functions that absorbed and left more and more features of Shockwave.

Now even Flash is left behind by HTML features built into modern web browsers. Unlike Flash, these browser features make games and other multimedia experiences work everywhere – from your Windows PC through your iPhone to a built-in browser in a video game console – without the need for browser plug-ins.

Then what is Shockwave Flash (SWF)?

 SWF file on a Windows desktop

Macromedia has made things more complicated by the confusion of "shockwave" and "flash," even though they are separate software components. That's why Adobe Flash uses SWF files. According to Adobe, this is officially for "small web format".

However, this was not what it originally meant, as a blog post by an Adobe employee says. SWF originally stood for "Shockwave Flash". Macromedia has renamed many of its products as "Shockwave." For example, when Shockwave was given the opportunity to play MP3 files, Macromedia named the company "Shockwave Audio." Macromedia later acquired Futuresplash The company owned Flash and named the product "Flash" and the browser plug-in "Shockwave Flash". "Shockwave" referred to any kind of in-browser multimedia experience.

It's as if Microsoft is beating the term ".NET" on everything in the 2000s. .NET was a software framework for Windows application developers. However, for some reason, you signed in to your Hotmail account with an account called .NET Passport. Both companies have changed their minds and have since renamed the brand, but the file extension .SWF continues.

It's time to uninstall Shockwave

 Uninstalling the Adobe Shockwave player in Control Panel

If you have Adobe Shockwave installed on your computer, you should uninstall it. Adobe will no longer update it with security patches. Fortunately, most web browsers have blocked it and other old plugins like Java now. At this point, the only browser that is running Shockwave is Internet Explorer – and Internet Explorer is also largely a discontinued Web browser.

Of course, you do not have to uninstall Shockwave. If you have it installed, it should continue to work. If you find an old website with Shockwave content in the future, you may be looking for a third-party download site that Adobe's old Shockwave installer no longer provides. However, Adobe is no longer issuing security updates, and that is bad news. The Internet has left it behind – and Flash is the next.

But hey, at least you can still use Winamp on a modern Windows 10 PC.

RELATED: What happened to Winamp and Can you use it now?


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