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Difference Between Shockwave and Flash

flashShockwave vs Flash

Flash and Shockwave are two internet software that people easily confuse to be the same, especially with the confusing branding of Macromedia called Shockwave Flash. Today, Flash is the most widespread standard for showing online videos while Shockwave is used mostly for creating and implementing online games. These are just the very basic difference between the two.

Shockwave is the initial attempt of Macromedia of an online multimedia player. It allows web developers, with the use of Adobe Director, to create and publish applications online that can be viewed in any browser that has their plugin installed. Flash started out as a vector animation tool. It was created by a company named FutureWave Software under the name FutureSplash. It was later acquired by Macromedia and renamed into Flash.

Flash and Shockwave also differs largely in popularity due to the availability of their plugins. Flash is thought to be installed in around 95% of computers that are connected to the internet while Shockwave is only installed on 55%. This is because you can get a Flash plugin for just about any browser running on any operating system. For shockwave, it is only available on Microsoft Windows and Mac OS. People who are using other operating systems like Linux or Solaris cannot view content with shockwave. Though there are ways to circumvent this on Linux, it is too complex and time consuming for most users. Because of the problems with plugin availability, most sites that offer multimedia content like Youtube and a lot of other sites have chosen Flash to ensure that all site visitors get to see what they have set-up.

In choosing which of the two to use in making certain content on your web site, Flash is still your best bet. Not only because of the greater number of users that can view your content, but also because the capabilities of Flash are steadily evolving and new features are added all the time.

Summary:
1. Flash became widely used in online videos while Shockwave use developed mainly in online game development
2. Flash was initially intended as a vector animation tool while Shockwave was initially intended as an online multimedia player
3. Support for Flash is more widespread than for Shockwave
4. Flash plugins are available on most operating systems while Shockwave plugins are only available for Windows and Mac OS
5. Flash is the one used in most sites that offer videos like Youtube


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