Today Unity announced they don't see Adobe being firmly committed to the future development of Flash and will remove Flash support for Unity. Not the best PR for Flash and Adobe. Will we see a strong roadmap for Flash and gaming soon or is Unity doing the right thing?...
Sad to see them go but SWF is used to a multitude of purposes. I use it about 20% for apps, 20% for RIAs, 10% for desktop product demonstrations, 50% for kiosks. I don't use it for gaming or the web at all. For all my purposes, Stage3D has opened a new world of processing power. Now my kiosks can have augmented reality on a mild specced system and awe people. Few other tools make these jobs so easy. Not to mention those who're allergic to learning HTML5 technologies and rely on Flash to power canvas.
You should link the roadmap. The current performance they're getting from the fruit of all their efforts thus far is very good. It was a HUGE pain to get my own clients to understand the ramifications of continuing on with their old AS2.0 AVM1 projects. Nobody wants to hear "Hey, just recode your entire project so you have the same thing, pay a ton, but hey, it's on Flash Next!". We'd go right back to that going AS3->ASNext. It isn't broken yet so I wouldn't fix it.
Link to the roadmap:
A random sample of Adobe responding to this roadmap (check comments):
Adobe does a great job of making it look like they really don't give a crap about older tools until they just fall under their own weight. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Several products have already died this way, and others are just barely hanging on by their fingernails (looking at you, Director, ColdFusion).
What you need to take from this is that it doesn't matter that Adobe has a lot of other products that hook into Flash in important ways, such as Captivate, After Effects, and even InDesign. Adobe is simply ham-handed at handling the PR for products that are no longer considered "cool." They have absolutely zero skill at resurrecting interest in a technology that has taken a pr hit. My personal theory is that this is because their higher-ups lose interest in a technology that gets slightly tarnished even before the rest of the internet has time to get to that point--even if they own the technology in question.
This means that you can expect Flash to basically molder away for a long time before disappearing. Adobe shows few signs of even realizing they have a skill gap here, much less taking steps to address the problem. You could argue putting Mesh in a higher-level position was a step in the right direction, but it does not look like he has been able to do much to stop the bleeding. This could be because he's a developer at root and just isn't equipped to fix a marketing/pr problem, or it could be because they haven't really given him the authority to do what would be needed to resolve the issue (similar to what happened with the Director of eLearning when Adobe EOD'ed Authorware).
Does this mean that you can't make money with Flash? No. The Titanic may be sinking, but it's huge, and it will be many hours before the orchestra sinks below the waves. Not only does Adobe have many products that are tied to Flash, but many other companies do as well, and an ecosystem that large takes a long time to fall apart. Adobe EOD'ed Authorware in 2007, and I didn't fire my last AW client until 2010, and that was a much smaller ecosystem that had been hanging on by its fingernails for a couple of years already.
Smart companies planning projects are going to have to gradually move away from Flash, not because of the technology itself, but because of Adobe's abysmal record on being able to recover from these sorts of situations. But that process takes time, and you can still play for the guests that are abandoning ship as long as you have one eye on the lifeboat you're planning to get onto when you reach the water line.
It's a shame, because I'd like to write a book about some of the techniques I use with Flash. But by the time I got it written, no one would give a crap (they probably wouldn't if I could publish today).
I think you're cashing in chips a bit early. If I'm wrong, please point to the programmable multimedia engine replacing Flash. Considering the academic usage alone it makes me wonder why people think winds this strong change so frequently.
Obviously, it's HTML5, as incomplete and less capable as it is. Flash replaced Authorware (and Director) for interactive training, even though it was nowhere near as powerful at the time and in many ways still isn't. Since I've played this game before, I know what the signs are and how it works.
Flash will live on in AIR.
With mobile taking over, the Flash "plug-in" is dying fast, so Adobe is now investing in AIR/Actionscript3 for app development. This bodes well for those of us comfortable with the Actionscript language.
Looking forward to Flash Pro CS7. (though I wouldn't be surprised if it eventually gets a name change: ie. "Adobe AIR Pro"?