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Flash everywhere

November 18, 2011

As you may have heard, here at Extravision we will soon be releasing a beta of our new reporting application.

One of the improvements we wanted to offer was to deliver a richer, more graphical and engaging experience, and we're delivering this using Flash.

Although Adobe claim an extremely high penetration statistic for Flash, there is always the chance that in any particular market sector, for whatever reason, people may not have the Flash Player, or at any rate not a recent version. For this reason, we've been looking into the statistics of our users, and here are the results.

We've designed the new reports to only require the version 10 Flash Player to later.
To put this into perspective, this was released way back in 2008 and Adobe are now rolling out version 11.1. The previous version, 9, became unsupported for security updates at the start of this year, so Flash Player 10 is the oldest version you can still install with confidence. In a pinch, you can even use applications that need Flash Player 10 from your smart phone or tablet.

So, although we knew Flash was the only way to deliver the great experiences we were aiming for, we still wanted to make sure our users would have a trouble free time.


Pie chart showing Flash Player Versions


We can see that the vast majority of our customers are running the most recent and immediately prior versions. Some 95% of people will be able to use the new reports application without needing to do anything at all.

What about that other 5% though ? Well, the most popular version that would need an upgrade is the only recently obsoleted version 9 with 4% of the users. But from Flash Player 9 it's a very seamless, automatic, reboot-free upgrade 'in place' for most normal users, so we think that those wont be too much of an issue either.

So now we're at the point where something like 99% of our user base will be able to use the new reports.

But we still care about those of you in the last few percent, so we've then dug down, and oddly there are then more version 6 than 7 or 8 players. Around 2% we couldn't detect the Flash Player at all (either it's only enabled on some web sites, or it's not installed).

If you do happen to fall into this group of people, our support team is on hand to help you over any hurdles. We are working on a mobile version of the application that you can use on the go, which won't require Flash at all, just a recent browser that supports HTML 5. If you are not sure if you have the correct version of Flash Player, just visit http://www.adobe.com/go/getflashplayer and you'll be able to install the most recent one there and then, or contact your IT department.

Of course, these statistics only cover our users, but we think it provides a good reference point while Adobe are still fussing over updating their Europe-wide numbers for the most recent quarter.

Being able to give 95% or more of you a great experience, without having to worry about incompatible browsers, or asking you to update or change your web browser, sounds like a great plan to us, so we hope you enjoy the new reports when we unveil it soon !

Posted by Tom Chiverton
New Features, Technology

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