Old school computer geeks face a bit of a shock as two software giants ready to pull the plug on popular programs.
First, Microsoft shocked the world by deprecating Paint, a bottom-end graphics app bundled with the Windows operating system for years.
Hen, Adobe has killed Flash, the almost universal powerhouse behind web sites for years until Apple decided against adding drivers for the program to the iPhone and iPad.
In response to howls of protest, Microsoft has agreed to keep paint available – but only as a free online download.
A new graphics package, Paint 3D will come as a free bundle with Windows 10.
Old favourites scrapped
Another old favourite is also biting the dust in Windows – email manager Outlook Express is replaced with Mail, which does the same job.
Meanwhile, Adobe will retire Flash by 2020.
Several online giants, including Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Mozilla will gradually withdraw Flash support over the intervening time.
“Few technologies have had such a profound and positive impact in the internet era,” said Govind Balakrishnan, vice-president of product development for Adobe Creative Cloud.
Web developers are urged to migrate their Flash installations to more modern software.
Like many Adobe products, Flash is a cross-platform program.
Developers created adverts, games, video players and other apps that could run in any browser.
Adobe acquired Flash when swallowing web software house Macromedia in 2005. Then, the company bragged that 98% of internet connected computers harnessed the technology. Now usage statistics have dropped to 17% of web users programming in Flash and the number is falling.
He modern alternative is HTML5, which does most of what Flash could accomplish faster and more securely, says Adobe.
The future is with HTML5, WebGL and WebAssembly, which means older programmers developing a new skillset for the next generation of interactive web sites.
“Several industries and businesses have been built around Flash technology – including gaming, education and video – and we remain committed to supporting Flash through 2020, as customers and partners put their migration plans into place,” said Adobe.
Next on the horizon is a superfast Mozilla Firefox browser capable of open nearly 1700 tabs in just 15 seconds – streaking ahead of Google Chrome and Microsoft’s Edge.