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Adobe answers cries for 64-bit Flash on Linux

For impatient Linux fans who've taken the 64-bit plunge, Adobe finally has a 64-bit Flash Player plug-in. It's only an alpha release, though.

Starting to answer the clamorous demand from open-source fans, Adobe Systems plans to release an alpha version of its Flash Player technology on Monday for those using 64-bit Linux software.

Linux has moved more rapidly than Windows or Mac OS X to support 64-bit processors, in part because the developer-friendly compile-your-own-software ethos that prevails makes it easier for the technically savvy to make the switch. But one of the obstacles in the switch is that people could only use the 32-bit Flash plug-in, which meant that they only could use the 32-bit version of Firefox.

The company plans to release the software at its Adobe Max conference in San Francisco.

The 64-bit support will arrive on other operating systems later, Adobe said, but Linux fans get it first because they were the most vocal in their desire for it.

"Release of this alpha version of 64-bit Flash Player on Linux is the first step in delivering on Adobe's plans to make Flash Player native 64-bit across platforms," Adobe said in a statement. "We chose Linux as our initial platform in response to numerous requests in our public Flash Player bug and issue management system and the fact that Linux distributions do not ship with a 32-bit browser or a comprehensive 32-bit emulation layer by default. With this prelease, Flash Player 10 is now a full native participant on 64-bit Linux distributions. We are committed to bringing native 64-bit Flash Player to Windows and Mac in future releases. We expect to provide native support for 64-bit platforms in an upcoming major release of Flash Player. Windows, Macintosh and Linux players are expected to ship simultaneously moving forward."

Click here for more news on Adobe's Max conference.