I usually hang out in the "Google News" section so I am sorry if this question is brought up often.
I am considering using Flash on my websites. My fear is that many of my visitors will be prompted to download the flash plug in and I will lose the visitor right away. So what % web sufers that have Flash plug-ins already?
I am seeing more and more Flash ads and banners on the large (i.e. CNN) websites but their audience may be more business oriented. I have 300 city guides/websites which draw all types of internet users.
I haven't had Flash on my system, and never will unless it starts being bundled with browsers and I don't have a choice. I don't like forced content - I want to browse and read at my own pace. I don't want to watch a splash intro, wait for goofy pictures to load, etc.. just give me the information I'm looking for.
I know I'm in the minority here though. I also know that there are a lot of people who use flash as sort of a "better than animated GIF" way of doing pictures. But since I can't differentiate, I'd rather just keep it off.
Considering it has been included in the basic Internet Explorer and Netscape distributions for a while, most Windows and Mac users will have some version of Flash installed. It's the "some version" that is the catch-- Macromedia may be up to version 7 but many people are still on version 5 or possibly even older versions, so they may not be able to experience the more advanced features of your swfs.
To a non-techie, upgrading a plugin is scarcely easier than upgrading their browser itself, and people in corporate environments may not have the permissions to upgrade (whose bosses may view Flash as just for games and videos inappropriate for work in the first place).
A lot of corperate sites consider thier webpage as just another place to show thier comercials. A portion of the web is going interactive multimedia and there is no stopping it. A lot of childrens sites are the same way. It is not necesaraly a bad thing. If you make a really useful interactive online application people will go their and love it. Their are a lot of people that get new computers and say "what is the coolest thing I can see online". "I want my computer to impress me not inform me." As the web gets bigger and more accepted by everybody their will be less and less general ways of doing websites. There are large groups of people that like very different websites and it will depend on what you are trying to sell or show the public. You will never please everybody one group may like the way you have your site and antoher will hate it.