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Also... it was a time of an aesthetic shift. The web was ripe for a reboot, for simplicity, for text-driven stuff... Think what punk did to prog rock in the late 70's — it rebooted the whole aesthetic and resulted in... the 80's, even if they were shit.
I hated that web reboot at first because it was going backwards in a way... but this is how the web evolves: in circles.
We stopped designing for 800px long ago and thought the only way was up and suddenly had to design for 320px again when smartphones were introduced.
Also, one overlooked factor: Google search. Effectively, it did more to kill Flash than Apple did, and did it first.