Cool Macromedia Flash Player for Pocket PC for only … $499!?


I am sitting here hitting my head against the wall. Literally.  In a move that no one on the planet can understand Macromedia has stopped providing the free Flash Player for Pocket PC and replaced it with a paid stand alone program that costs $499.  I’m not kidding, they expect Pocket PC owners to pay more for a flash player than they probably paid for their device.  Here’s the details from the Macromedia web site:

As of October 3, 2005 Flash Player 6 for Pocket PC download will no longer be available.

Does this change mean Macromedia will no longer support the Pocket PC platform?

No. You may still purchase a bundled device or you can go to the Macromedia Online Store to purchase Standalone Flash Player 6 for Pocket PC.

Here’s a graphic from the Online Store so you can see for yourself:

Flash player for 500 bucks

(via PPC Thoughts)



Clearly this shows that keeping up with the hundreds of different mobile devices is not trivial for any company trying to get a player or an application to run on mobile.

John Dowdell

Update: We’ve figured out a middle path — those uncertified PocketPC systems can still do a free download of the 2003 Player, but we won’t be able to provide any support for such systems. Bill Perry has more details here:

I’m sorry for the hassle last week, but does this now seem like a better situation to you…?



This is what happened with Jeode in the PocketPC a few years ago.

Jeode stopped supplying the PPC JVM (Java) in PocketPC2002.

Depending on the device, Windows Mobile may or may not have Java support.

Unfortunately, for WM devices the iPAQ 5550 came with Jeode while the iPAQ 2215 did not (so no Java).

Flash appears to be goind down the same path.


Mike, you are technically correct but it means that if the OEM of your device does not preinstall Flash in the ROM then you are out of luck. It will affect a lot of people, potentially.

Mike Krisher

Just a note of clarification, Macromedia is not replacing the free PPC player with a cost of $499. The Flash plug-in for Pocket Internet Explorer is going away. What you get for $499, is the ability to take your Flash application for Pocket PC and save it out as a self-running EXE. Meaning, the device does not need the plug-in installed.

If you think about it, this makes sense. It’s much easier to work with the OEMs on the SWF format running on the device and having more information about the device. With the new features of Pocket PC (VGA, etc…) the plug-in would be hard to continue to evolve constantly. It would require a lot of engineering resources I am guessing. However, providing developers a compiler for the platform is a much better use of resources if you ask me.

So Flash for Pocket PC is not dead. The plug-in to Pocket PC is just no longer supported.

Hope that clears up any confusion,
— Mike


Wow, I just checked the price in their UK store: £329 – this works out at $582.17!

Mike Cane

I guess that’s not a typo then? It’s not really $4.99, but close to five hundreds?


The one thing I always envied PPC having was that Flash ability.

(OTOH, I never did actually get the player or *use* it on the now-dead GENIO… go figure.)

John Dowdell

For what it’s worth, the “why” of it is sort of complex, because of the various partnerships, from what I understand… I think Bill Perry may have more info up on it soon, and I’d defer to him for the best word.

But here’s a key point: No consumer should ever have to install something onto their pocket device. It’s more work than with a computer. Having an installable version for developer use is just a stop-gap measure… the goal is to have SWF rendering be a key feature of any new shipping device. We’re not there yet, obviously, but the progress towards that goal is strong…. ;-)

More solid info as soon as possible, promise.



The change to the license was mentioned a couple months ago, but not the new price point. The issue seems to be set top boxes which are apparently based on the same Windows CE core that Pocket PCs are based upon. In order to cash in on the set top market they had to stick it to the Pocket PC market (unless you can get a Pocket PC with the Flash bundle…)


I’m with you on this one. I just don’t undertsand why they would do this. Why limit the flashplayers adoption?

Makes no sense at all.

Comments are closed.