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Adobe to drop Flash Player support for PowerPC G3

Due to "performance enhancements that cannot be supported on the older PowerPC architecture," Flash Player 10.1 will be the last to support PowerPC-based G3 Macs.

Adobe Systems is dropping support for Apple's older PowerPC G3 hardware in its Flash Player, the company said Thursday.

The news came in a note on its support Web site alerting users to an updated version of the Flash Player that fixes several security issues. Adobe said the next version of the product, Flash Player 10.1, will be the last to support PowerPC-based G3 computers. The new Flash Player is expected to be released in the first half of 2010.

Adobe's move will probably not affect very many people. The last PowerPC-based G3 was produced in the summer of 1999, when it was replaced with the Power Mac G4.

Dropping support for older products is something companies do regularly, in part because it enables them to take advantage of new technologies and push their products forward. Indeed, Adobe said in the support note that it is dropping support for the G3 "due to performance enhancements that cannot be supported on the older PowerPC architecture."

Adobe already requires a multicore Intel processor in order to run its flagship product, Creative Suite 4, so the company is no stranger to dropping support for older Apple machines.

Apple itself dropped support for all PowerPC-based computers with the latest version of Mac OS X, Snow Leopard. Even Apple's iLife consumer product no longer supports the G3 processor.

Apple began the transition to Intel-based processors in 2005, when Steve Jobs said during his Worldwide Developers Conference keynote speech that the company would be moving away from PowerPC.