Microsoft ditches Flash for default Internet Explorer 10 in Windows 8

Microsoft ditches Flash for default Internet Explorer 10 in Windows 8
It sounds like an echo of the kind of message Apple has been pushing out for the last couple of years, but Microsoft's decision to drop plug-ins – including Adobe's Flash - from the default version of Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8 is all to do with meeting the standards of the modern web.

Microsoft's decision, detailed by Internet Explorer corporate VP Dean Hachamovitch, comes as the giant looks to embrace HTML5 wholesale, providing users with all the features they'll need without slowing them down or draining battery life.

As such, while those after Flash support can sample the web as it was with the desktop version of IE10, the browser hosted on Windows 8's Metro UI styled start screen will be plug-in free.

No fix for Flash

"For the web to move forward and for consumers to get the most out of touch-first browsing, the Metro style browser in Windows 8 is as HTML5-only as possible, and plug-in free," said Hachamovitch.

"Running Metro style IE plug-in free improves battery life as well as security, reliability, and privacy for consumers. Plug-ins were important early on in the web’s history. But the web has come a long way since then with HTML5."

It's a move that could have a massive impact on social developers, many of which have games – based in Flash – on Facebook.

Games built around other languages or engines, such as Unity 3D, will also be be affected by Microsoft's stance, and, given the millions expected to upgrade to Windows 8 around the globe, could well trigger a broader shift towards HTML5 than seen to date.

Humming with HTML5

That's a switch Microsoft is keen to push.

"The reality today is that sites are already rapidly engineering for a plug-in free experience," added Hachamovitch.

"Google, for example, recently launched their HTML5 YouTube site for phones.

"On Windows 8, consumer sites and 'line of business' applications that require legacy ActiveX controls will continue to run in the desktop browser, and people can tap 'use desktop view' in Metro style IE for these sites."

While Windows 8 will launch with HTML5 support equipped, Windows Phone users have to wait for the roll out of Mango – expected any day now – to enjoy the platform while on the go.

[source: Microsoft]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.


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