Microsoft has confirmed Windows 10 will be dropping support for a once-essential piece of software. Adobe Flash Player was an integral part of surfing the web – used for a wide variety of games, web applications, and online video streaming services. But the former titan of the internet has increasingly been criticised over the years for its performance and battery drain as well as for security risks.
It looked like the writing was on the wall for Flash Player when Adobe last year confirmed they were ceasing support. And now Microsoft has confirmed plans to start removing Adobe Flash Player from Windows 10 devices.
In July the KB4577586 download, also known as ‘Update for Removal of Adobe Flash Player’, will become mandatory for all versions of Windows.
This update won’t impact third-party installations of Flash, but instead versions of the Adobe software that had been bundled with Windows itself.
It comes after Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari all ended support for Flash player prior to the start of this year. While KB4577586 is a mandatory download in July, Windows 10 users may get it before then – depending on which patches they download.
Next month the KB4577586 update will also be included with the Preview Update for Windows 10, version 1809 and above. Microsoft also explained in a blog post online that KB4577586 will be included as part of Windows 10 version 21H1 which is expected to start rolling out this month.
Outlining their decision, Microsoft said: “To help keep our customers secure, Microsoft will remove the Flash component from Windows through the KB4577586 ‘Update for Removal of Adobe Flash Player’.”
While ESET security expert Amer Owaida said the decision had been a “long time coming”. In an online blog post, Owaida added: “Over the course of its existence, Flash Player has been plagued with multiple security issues, including critical security vulnerabilities. Its long and troubled history of misuse by bad actors of various ilk includes a malicious knock-off version on Google Play and, as ESET research has also shown, faux Adobe Flash Player installers have been used by the Turla APT group in order to trick their targets into downloading malware.”