Adobe’s Untapped Goldmine

What if you could push any .exe file to the millions of computers worldwide that have the Flash Player installed? With one click, a user can install Central, Breeze Presenter, or even upgrade Flash Player 8 on their machine from any web browser with the Flash Player, assuming they have administrator rights.

My boss is excited about combining the Flash Platform & PDF on the client (a.k.a. Apollo). I used to be excited about desktop Flash development, but because of market demand, it’s been relegated to PHP & Flash Lite work; a fun hobby.

I think of the 2 clients who paid me to find out a way to tap into Flash Player’s ability to install applications. I was unsuccessful. Only apps residing at can be installed using System.Product.install, although, you can manually install your own EXE’s into the unique folder and interact with them using Flash Player in a browser. Still, this requires you to somehow get the user to install an EXE on their machine; not an easy feat. If we could do that easily, then Flash Player’s ubiquity wouldn’t matter.

There are uses for this such as remotely controlling apps like AjaxAMP, and interfacing with lower level code using Flash Player as the GUI, like FlashMidi does.

If you could push an EXE to millions of users around the world, what would it be?

3 Replies to “Adobe’s Untapped Goldmine”

  1. p0rn! Or an ultimate spam bot trojan! What else? ;)

    wonder if you could rewrite the ‘hosts’ file on the client system so that ‘’ points to your IP, do the install, and then clean up that host entry? hmmm.

  2. This would definitely be cool. However, I’m sure the reason Macromedia didn’t allow other people to make use of this functionality is for the same reasons that they have such heavy security on any sort of socket-like connections. I think they’re scared of Flash becoming a security risk like ActiveX in IE.

    I don’t doubt that if this functionality were opened up to anyone, we’ll be seeing extra security dialogs with messages like, ‘Are you sure you want to install this software?’ Of course, Flash has tighter security than ActiveX, and it can’t access the system in the same ways. Personally, I think it would be a cool new realm for Flash, but I worry that it will be branded a risk.

  3. Man, great idea but the first thing that pops into my mind is HUGE security risk no matter what platform you are on. Josh is right in that Macromedia has gone out of their way to ensure a safe environment while using flash, but it does get in the way sometimes. That being said I have found ways around every obsticle that I have encountered, I do that by using other languages to do the work that flash cannot.

    Now, back to the question at hand… I would have flash install a copy of ClamAv on all computers. Or a root-kit for osx… hehe, we could only wish.

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