Flash Stats of the Week—Rich Internet Application Usage

Today, we are going to share some stats about rich internet application usage. The stats compare the market penetration and global usage of popular web browser plug-ins including Adobe Flash, Apple Quicktime, Microsoft Windows Media Player, Microsoft SilverLight and Java. You can check their usage trends in the past period of time via these stats.

RIA is typically delivered by the way of browser plug-in. At present, Flash, Java and Silverlight are the three most common ones on desktop platform. So what is the most commonly used one? Which one is going up? And which one is dropping down? Let’s have a look along with these stats.

Web browser plugin usage in last three month (3-05-12 to 5-21-12)

Web browser plugin usage in last six month (12-05-11 to 5-21-12)

Web browser plugin usage in last 12 month (Jun ’11 to May ’12)

Web browser plugin usage year to date (Jan ’12 to May ’12)

Web browser plugin usage from Jan ’11 to May ’12

Web browser plugin usage from Jan ’10 to May ’12

Web browser plugin usage from Jan ’09 to May ’12

From the trends we can see that Flash is still the most commonly used plugin for desktop rich media content in the past few years. It was widely used in animation, video, advertisement and games which provide amazing web experience. Although there has been negative rumors due to the security and crash issues, HTML5 and CSS3 is undergoing rapid development, we have to admit that Flash is still a better choice for web content, at least on desktop.

Take game as example; it requires complicated animation, interaction or 3D effects. From that perspective, no one technology can offer the same game experience as Flash does. That’s why most of the game devs and pubs keep Flash in game development.

Java, as the second popular plugin, has undergoing a slight decline from 81.51% to 74.71% in the past few years. On desktop, Windows Media Player and Quicktime encounter with the same situation to different degrees.

SilverLight is undergoing a significant growth. It seems it is going to surpass Java at the end of this year. SilverLight is well designed but is practically Windows-only. What’s more, as Microsoft opened the gate for Flash on Windows 8, we are not sure about future of SilverLight.

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