Flash is frequently used for advertisements, games and flash animations for broadcast. More recently, it has been positioned as a tool for "Rich Internet Applications" ("RIAs").
It originated with the application SmartSketch, developed by Jonathan Gay. It was published by FutureWave Software, which was founded by Gay and Charlie Jackson. SmartSketch was a drawing application for pen computers running the PenPoint OS.When PenPoint failed in the marketplace, SmartSketch was ported to Microsoft Windows and Mac OS. As the Internet became more popular, FutureWave added cell animation editing to the vector drawing capabilities of SmartSketch and released FutureSplash Animator on multiple platforms. FutureWave approached Adobe Systems with an offer to sell them FutureSplash in 1995, but Adobe turned them down at that time. FutureSplash was used by Microsoft in its early work with the Internet (MSN), and also by Disney Online for their subscription-based service, Disney's Daily Blast. In 1996, FutureSplash was acquired by Macromedia and released as Flash, contracting "Future" and "Splash". Flash is currently developed and distributed by Adobe Systems, as the result of their 2005 purchase of Macromedia.