Mozilla Firefox Doesn’t Need Adobe Flash Player To Play Videos, Thanks To Project Shumway
Looks like days of Adobe Flash Player are numbered.
Mozilla is the latest company to ditch Flash Player in favor of other technologies. Under its program called Project Shumway, named after the cat-eating TV character ALF, Mozilla has developed a new technology for Firefox that can play Flash videos in the browser without needing a Flash player such as Adobe’s. In fact, the tech has already been incorporated in the latest Nightly version of Firefox launched last week.
The latest Nightly version is a testing version optimized for touch and Windows 8. Currently, it is able to play only Amazon product tour videos on Windows and OS X without the Flash Player. The feature, however, will be updated to support more websites and it will be incorporated into Firefox’s normal version as well.
OS X or Windows Vista or later users can enjoy this feature without using any additional software or driver, but Windows XP and Linux users would need H.264 video decoders in order to use Shumway.
In other words, Shumway is Mozilla’s replacement for Adobe Flash Player. The need to ditch Flash Player arose as a result of increasing bugs and security flaws that could be exploited to carry out malicious activities.
Trend Micro, a security software company, recently discovered a new zero-day exploit in Adobe Flash Player that was used in malvertisements. It was the third vulnerability discovered in a month. This is one of the reasons why companies are moving on to other technologies to play videos.
YouTube dropped Flash in favor of HTML5 video last month. It now uses Flash Player only as a backup in case anything goes wrong. Other than YouTube, Apple dropped it from iPhone and Microsoft also called for a web browser without any plugin, which also meant saying good bye to the Flash Player.
“The Firefox Nightly channel now uses Shumway to play Flash videos on Amazon.com,” Mozilla programmer Chris Peterson said in a mailing list message. “The Shumway team has been improving compatibility with Flash video players and will whitelist more Flash video sites soon.”
Shumway is Mozilla’s first step towards providing a safer web experience in Firefox, and facilitates the world in moving on to HTML5.
Flash, which was created decades ago, became hugely popular because of its animation, game, and video streaming capabilities. But the old technology couldn’t cope up with modern hackers and started losing its ground as security awareness among IT experts was spread. It looks like it will soon be gone forever for greater good.