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Flash 10.1 Beta 3 brings GPU acceleration to GMA500 netbooks

MSI X320

The MSI X320 will benefit from the GMA500 support

There’s a funny dynamic going on in the world of Flash which, let’s remember is used by almost the whole world.  On the one hand the likes of Apple are trying to encourage the world away from Flash because it is a processor hog and towards HTML5 instead.  While on the other hand Adobe is demonstrably working to make Flash HD video run better on lesser hardware by enabling GPU acceleration in version 10.1.

The initial Flash 10.1 announcement covered plenty of popular graphics cards and onboard chipsets, including Intel’s now ubiquitous GMA4500MHD.  However it didn’t show any netbook love…until now.  Adobe has now announced that Flash 10.1 Beta 3 will support GPU acceleration on netbooks running Intel’s GMA500 graphics chipset and Broadcom’s Crystal HD accelerator.  So just thinking aloud, once the world is ready to move online media streaming and animations from Flash to HTML5 will the world actually care, since Flash will be GPU accelerated on so much hardware?

Just to be clear, I’m not saying that we should look to persist with using standardized software at the expense of developing more efficient solutions.  I’m simply suggesting that it is in the interest of end users for participants in the Flash war (Flashpoint?) to make peace.  As an industry let’s continue to invest in new alternatives such as HTML5, Silverlight and Next-Gen-Flash, let’s support them all thereby allowing the consumer to choose.  For that reason I commend the introduction of Flash on Android.  The end-user does have a powerful voice and it’s the reason we’re getting Flash GPU acceleration isn’t it?  It feels to me like Adobe has heard the consumer loud and clear.

If you’re going to try out the Flash 10.1 Beta, remember it is a Beta which means it’s not production-ready and could mess up your system.  I’m in!

Neil Berman


Feb 24, 2010 - Posted by | Analysis, News | , , , , , ,

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