Saw an interesting item from Martin Brinkmann at Ghacks this morning. Seems that Adobe Shockwave is retiring. The final element of this software platform, the Shockwave Player for Windows, hits EOL on April 9, 2019. (See this Adobe FAQ for all the gory details.) Apparently, Shockwave has been unwinding for a while now. Adobe Director (the authoring tool) hit EOL on 2/1/2017, and the Shockwave Player for macOS did likewise on 3/1/2017. When the Windows version follows suit next month, it’s officially time to say bye bye Adobe Shockwave.
Right now, the download page for Shockwave is still accessible. Come 4/9/2019 it will vanish.
After You Say Bye Bye Adobe Shockwave, Then What?
Opinions differ on how users and admins should respond to Shockwave’s immanent departure. Brinkmann observes that “Third-party download sites may continue to offer Shockwave Player for Windows, and users may install the program on Windows devices.” He goes on to say that the company won’t be supporting the platform any more after that “with the exception of Enterprise licenses that may still be valid.” Rhett Jones at Gizmodo is ready to rumble, and recommends that “you should use this moment to delete Shockwave from your computer once and for all.”
I’m of the opinion that Shockwave is neither a blight on the Internet, nor any kind of panacea, either. If you use it, you don’t need to lose it. If you don’t use it, there’s no reason to keep it around. I looked at my collection of 8 PCs and was amazed to find that ALL of them have Shockwave installed. I’ve removed it from a couple of test machines, and will fool around with my usual websites and see if this alters my experience. If not, I’ll happily remove the Shockwave Player for Windows from the remaining half-dozen machines. After Adobe quits maintenance, though, leaving it up and running exposes users to potential security vulnerabilities and possible exploits.
The secret to getting rid of Shockwave is to remember the full name of the product: Adobe Shockwave Player for Windows. You can use Control Panel/Programs and Features or Settings/Apps/Apps & features to uninstall the program. But you have to search for it under the “A” named items, not the “S” named ones. Until I figured that out, I wasn’t able to kill this doddering old wreck of a software platform.