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Flash is Ubiquitous

Posted by Sravan | July 17, 2008 .

In the past, I’ve voiced that the non-pervasiveness of Flash (rather an average user’s ability to install plug-ins) is one reason website designers should consider before going for Flash. I officially scrap that as a point no longer valid.

Millward Brown, one of the world’s leading market research agencies, recently closed a survey commissioned by Adobe Systems, Inc. with a goal “to track and compare Plug-In technology used to view content on the web.” This study, conducted quarterly, placed Adobe Flash Player at a comfortable 99% as the most pervasive software platform. Java (85%), Microsoft Windows Media Player (79.3%), Apple QuickTime Player (65.5%) and Adobe Shockwave Player (59.2%) round up the top five. The maximum margin of error was reportedly +/-6%.

Pervasiveness, or penetration, is defined based on the presence of a platfrom on Internet-enabled desktops in mature markets (US, UK, Canada, France, Germany and Japan). The study has results from countries like mainland China, South Korea, Russia, India, and Taiwan as well. However, nothing explicit was mentioned about Philippines, Brazil and Romania which according to our trend check are among the top 9 regions searching for RIA technologies.

To me, the biggest surprise is the high position of QuickTime. Can anybody explain it?

Visit the methodology page for in-depth details about the study, and the version penetration page for statistics by version.

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6 Comments so far
  1. clark  July 17, 2008 9:15 am

    Quicktime’s position is unbelievable. On windows the Quicktime player is a bug ridden piece of crapware that consistently throws memory address errors, locks the UI and even crashes the browser quite often.

    I suspect if there was a way to measure usage metrics vs installed metrics we would see a different ratio of Flash Player to Quicktime.

  2. Jimbo  July 17, 2008 11:08 am

    >To me, the biggest surprise is the high position of QuickTime. Can anybody explain it?

    I-tunes/Ipod - every Windows computer that installs I-tunes must also install QuickTime

  3. Russ  July 17, 2008 12:38 pm

    yeah I was going to mention ITunes as well. Also before Flash video took off, QT was the best option for online video, and there is still some residual mentality from that.

  4. radekg  July 17, 2008 4:13 pm

    Anytime I see web site with QT movies on it I just leave. It is pointless installing that piece of crap on my computer. I think thta because some time ago even when I had QT installed it was always asking me for installation. Since then I avoid it.

  5. Sravan  July 18, 2008 7:21 am

    Yeah, usage metrics should be something very different.

  6. William Chadwick  January 21, 2009 3:07 pm

    You’re comparison using Google Trends compared the wrong things. Really you should have compared Adobe Flash vs. Microsoft Silverlight, that will show you a more realistic picture of the way things are in the market. .NET developers are driving the search statistics for Silverlight, but in actual content on the web and installed players and web searches Flash takes the cake by a long mile. It’s a mature technology that has a market penetration Microsoft has never had. http://www.google.com/trends?q=Adobe+Flash%2C+Microsoft+Silverlight&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all&sort=0

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