The Evolution of Flash Video
Recently, an overtly negative attitude seems to have arisen towards the use of third-party plugins such as Adobe's Flash Player. Despite this attitude however, leading open-source players, rather than pushing users to abandon Flash in favor of native browser playbacks, seems to still be making use of these third-party plugins, and the reason is fairly simple.
The two key components to any video playback system are a video decoder and an application framework. While HTML5 offers a quality application framework, due to certain limitations, it has not yet developed a working video decoder.
Also, until just a couple years ago, Apple products also made use of Flash before suddenly rejecting it in favor of other options. Even companies such as Netflix, who have avoided using Flash, took a similar approach with third-party plugin players. Still, as it turns out, most web videos wind up being played through Flash, despite preferences in programing language. Even the newest version of Video.js, HTML5's player framework, has added a built-in Flash player, and this combination has come with a number of advantages.
So, while Flash may have seen several changes over the last decade, from being a popular application framework in 2002, to being reduced to a simple video playback app in 2007, and into today, to the point that it no longer needs to be a full-featured player, it is certainly not going anywhere. While this still may not be the most ideal arrangement, the far more preferred option of a universal video playback is still years away. Until that day comes though, the current model certainly represents a drastic step up from the traditional Flash player.