Twitch begins moving toward a Flash-free future, the world's most popular video-game livestreaming portal, has finally taken the first steps toward ending its much-maligned reliance on its awkward Adobe Flash-based player. The company is launching a closed beta for a new HTML5 player that promises better efficiency and improved support for high-frame-rate broadcasts. A limited number of users will be able to opt-in to the HTML5 player beta, but Twitch says more users will be invited to try it out throughout the summer.

It's well past time for Twitch to be moving on from Flash. As one of the first relatively lightweight rich content delivery platforms on the web, Flash became ubiquitous, but it has been a continual source of performance and security problems. Other sites, including Youtube and Facebook, have already moved away from the ailing plugin. Google is already refusing new flash advertisements, and has stated it will ship Chrome with Flash disabled by default later this year.

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