Macromedia finished up Flash 8 this week and released it to their Devnet subscribers. With that happening, it was also time to push the player out of beta as well. As of today you can upgrade Flash Player 8 and not have any of those beta worries.
Check out my Express Install page to see what it’s like to upgrade without having to visit Macromedia’s site. One thing I thought was odd is that Macromedia’s own download page doesn’t give you the option of using Express Install, and instead they only give you a link to download the OS X installer. If you are using Internet Explorer, they have always sent you to d page with a Flash movie embedded so it would trigger the ActiveX install, instead of forcing people to download the executable installer for Windows. Seems like an odd move to me.
I also have some issues with the final wording on the Express Install mechanism. When you start the upgrade, the dialog warns you that “This content requires Flash Player 8” when in fact you may already be using Flash Player 8 and simply need to upgrade from 8.0.15 (a beta version) to 8.0.22 (the ‘final’ version). Can you imagine trying to explain to a client why their website tells them they need Flash Player 8 when they already have another version of it installed, and then not being able to change the text because Macromedia controlls it?
There may also be the few occasions when you would want to build a Flash 7 site, and use the Express Installer to upgrade users from version 6.0.65 to 7. The upgrade message would still inform them that they need ‘Flash Player 8’ when they really only need version 7. This situation is much less common I’m sure, but once Flash Player 9 is released, they will need to change the wording to something more generic anyway because people will still be using it to upgrade users from version 7 to version 8.