Windows 8: Adobe sees Flash in the future of the Metro UI

Windows 8: Adobe sees Flash in the future of the Metro UI

Summary: Adobe sees Flash as playing a pivotal role in Windows for years to come.

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While Microsoft has said that Adoble Flash has no place in the Metro UI in Windows 8, Adobe has different ideas.

In a blog post by Danny Winokur over on the Flash Platform Blog, it's clear that Adobe sees Flash as playing a pivotal role in Windows for years to come.

We expect Windows desktop to be extremely popular for years to come (including Windows 8 desktop) and that it will support Flash just fine, including rich web based games and premium videos that require Flash. In addition, we expect Flash based apps will come to Metro via Adobe AIR, much the way they are on Android, iOS and BlackBerry Tablet OS today, including the recent number one paid app for the iPad on the Apple App Store, Machinarium, which is built using Flash tools and deployed on the Web using Flash Player and through app stores as a standalone app.

While nothing will change with respect to plug-in support for the classic Windows 8 desktop, Microsoft has decided to give plug-ins the shove with respect to the Internet Explorer 10 'Metro UI' browser. Instead, Microsoft is cutting legacy ties when it comes to Metro and pushing HTML5 over proprietary  plug-ins such s Flash.

The reasons given by Microsoft for dropping plug-in support in Metro is performance, efficiency and security - three points that make a lot of sense when it comes to tablets. But the Metro UI isn't confined to tablets. Microsoft is pushing the Metro as the default 'desktop' for all, and this means that 'default' support for technologies such as Flash are no longer present in Windows, and some people aren't happy.

In a comment on the Adobe Flash Platform Blog, John Page had this to say:

I have a math reference (http://www.mathopenref.com) site that is widely used in schools which has many animations that use Flash. They are the product of years of development work, but are now being orphaned along with countless other educational web sites.

It was bad enough that Apple banned Flash on the iPad, but we all thought that Microsoft would stick to their traditional positioning of never abandoning legacy applications until something new had completely replaced it. No such luck!

HTML5 is not an option in education yet. Roughly half of my customer base is still on Windows XP, and the IE that supports HTML5 will not run on those. Schools dont have the resources to upgrade all that hardware overnight.

So I am faced with switching to HTML5 and losing half my customers, or not run at all on the tablets. Even if I did switch, it would be a huge amount of work to rewrite the legacy applets for no real reason. They will look just as they do now and developemnt of new content would have to stop to free resources for the massive rewrite.

Microsoft has made a large error with this strategy, and Adobe does not seem to be offering much leadership in changing thier minds.

HTML5 may be the future, but Microsoft has always shown good manners in sustaining legacy applications (witness DOS). They blew it this time.

Microsoft is 'pulling an Apple' by thinking that it can yank the rug from beneath years of legacy and force a new way of working onto millions of developers. It's a big gamble.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

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37 comments
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  • RE: Windows 8: Adobe sees Flash in the future of the Metro UI

    Flash is a dead man walking. Adobe is delusional to think it has a future. The iPad and tablets are the future, processor intensive battery draining software like Flash just doesn't fit the new paradigm.
    gtdworak
    • RE: Windows 8: Adobe sees Flash in the future of the Metro UI

      @gtdworak This just isn't accurate. The emperor has no clothes people. We build both Flash and HTML5 apps (and Silverlight). Any rich media technology burns CPU. This is because there's actually something going on most of the time. Our HTML5 pieces are eating even more CPU (in some popular browsers) and performing no where near as consistently as Flash has. We're talking basic stuff that was possible in Flash 10 years ago. The only advantage that we are finding that HTML5 has is that it works on an iPad. Outside of that closed and controlled environment, it pales in comparison in performance, CPU, and dev time for rich media.
      RepublicOfDuh
      • RE: Windows 8: Adobe sees Flash in the future of the Metro UI

        @RepublicOfDuh

        Let's sound like a broken record.

        Apple doesn't support full HTML 5 - specifically autoplay in video and audio tags - which means sophisticated web apps on everything except the iPad.

        I currently support Flash or HTML 5 on my web apps - works on everything except Apple.
        tonymcs@...
      • RE: Windows 8: Adobe sees Flash in the future of the Metro UI

        @RepublicOfDuh Flash really is a dead man walking. Currently Flash has more market share with 99% than HTML 5 and its 40% market share. Expect these numbers to shift more and more into HTML5???s favor. The trumpet has been sounded the Age of the Browser Plugin is at an end. The majority of modern browsers and platforms will not support Flash. Adobe can feel strongly about Flash but if there is no browser willing to support its future what life does it have? It won???t live as a desktop development platform on windows, especially when Windows has plenty of feature rich development platforms with APIs that are fully supported by Windows. Flash will linger for a bit but that???s because people haven???t upgraded.
        thugbot@...
    • RE: Windows 8: Adobe sees Flash in the future of the Metro UI

      @gtdworak
      You are wrong about tablets being the *only* future. They are a fun novelty, sure, but one that's only available to the most affluent with disposable incomes. In simpler terms, not everyone who currently owns a PC will suddenly afford/buy/want a tablet. I'm not sure if this is a troll post or what, because it's hard for me to believe someone can be so myopic as yourself.

      As mentioned by RepublicOfDuh, HTML5 is actually more processor intensive than Flash. But I guess you didn't realize that, because A) You're not an engineer, and B) The Gospel of Jobs conveniently forgot to impart that little tidbit to its acolytes.
      Random_Dev
  • Removed Flash and all other Adobe software from my entire network 5 years ago

    As soon as YouTube gives html5 video to all users who have html5 browsers that can view it Adobe will fade away. Its actually wonderful to surf the web without all the annoying performance killing flash ads. But the math site will still run fine on Win8 in the desktop IE10.
    Johnny Vegas
    • Not quite: Microsoft said they will not allow Flash in IE10 by default even

      @Johnny Vegas: on desktop version of Windows 8. However, no one prohibits to use Chrome or any else browser with Flash support.
      DDERSSS
      • Wrong

        @DeRSSS

        Wrong. Desktop IE10 will allow Flash plugins.
        msalzberg
      • Microsoft must be doing something right

        if people like @DeRSSS have to lie about it.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: Windows 8: Adobe sees Flash in the future of the Metro UI

        @Michael Alan Goff
        Or maybe @DeRSSS meant that it is not enabled by default? Doesn't mean that it's not supported
        belli_bettens@...
    • RE: Windows 8: Adobe sees Flash in the future of the Metro UI

      @Johnny Vegas Flash does way, way more than video on the web. It couldn't even do video for the first several years. It's use in education is a perfect example. HTML5 is no holy grail (yet). It is nowhere as suited for the development of rich media (such as this math site) than Flash. This is the problem. We are being sold and inferior platform at this point (I work for a company that develops in both). You can get YouTube's HTML5 player now if you want. It's been around for many months--problem is, it sucks. Also, as the media companies embrace HTML5 more (which will require HTML5 to improve to the point that it can accomplish the same ads as you can in Flash with the same amount of effort), you will get your annoying ads. You just won't be able to turn them off, since there's no plugin to block.
      RepublicOfDuh
    • RE: surfing without Flash banner ads is great

      ... Until they start making banner ads in HTML5, and you find out you can't just disable them or adblock them like you can with Flash. Oh I know, I'll just disable JavaScript instead! DERP
      Random_Dev
  • Per Adobe: A robust Flash experience on mobile devices is a reliable

    prediction and reality!

    Oh where have I heard words to that effect before? For the past five years Adobe execs have stated that policy.

    Sorry Adobe, but for the past five years, a robust Flash environment on mobile devices has been an unattainable reality.

    Hopefully when Win 8 debuts in a year or so, Adobe's programmers can get all the power, security and reliability issues dealt with. But, so far, all I've heard from Adobe has been just a lot of hot air.
    kenosha77a
    • I hate to admit it

      @kenosha7777

      but maybe Steve Jobs was right about flash.

      I got a Xoom because of a lot of things, partially for the flash support. I still love my Xoom, I don't regret the purchase, but flash hasn't been a reason why.
      Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: I hate to admit it

        @Michael Alan Goff

        But maybe Steve Jobs was right about Flash under iOS only?

        [i]~~~~~~~~~~
        Learn from past mistakes ??? yours and those made by others. Sometimes the best teachers are the bad bosses and the negative experiences.
        ~ Sir Ernest Shackleton, 1874-1922[/i]
        WinTard
      • I don't think it's iOS alone.

        As I said, I'm using my Xoom and I dislike what the flash experience is like.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: Windows 8: Adobe sees Flash in the future of the Metro UI

        Tablet-wise I've got an HP Touchpad and an iPad2. Flash 10.3 on the Touchpad works and works well. It's nice to browse the web and see it the same as I see it on my laptop. You can turn it off if you want. There is no reason it can't run in Safari on an iPad2 except that Steve says so.
        RepublicOfDuh
    • RE: Windows 8: Adobe sees Flash in the future of the Metro UI

      @kenosha7777

      With all due respects I beg to differ.

      My BlackBerry Playbook performs flawlessly on the full Flash 10.3.214.2 under QNX. It rivals the performance of workstations with 20x ~40x the raw CPU power. And it also implements hardware acceleration. No crashes or other undesirable side effects yet.

      And the Samsung Galaxy S2 with its beautiful Super-AMOLED-Plus display (which you can view with [b]polarized[/b] sunglasses outdoors) also renders the full Flash 10.1.105.333 correctly.

      Just my honest experience with both these devices which I purchased and own.

      [i]~~~~~~~~~~
      Don???t be drawn into public disputes with rivals. Rather, engage in respectful competition. You may need their cooperation someday.
      ~ Sir Ernest Shackleton, 1874-1922[/i]
      WinTard
      • RE: Windows 8: Adobe sees Flash in the future of the Metro UI

        @WinTard

        I read all five of the Amazon buyer comments about the Samsung S2. Congrats on your phone. Seems to be a well liked device.
        kenosha77a
      • RE: Windows 8: Adobe sees Flash in the future of the Metro UI

        @WinTard Yeah, but you obviously don't know what you're talking about. Just because you've tried Flash on these devices FOR YOURSELF and are demonstrating independent, critical thought, doesn't mean that you're right. Where do you get off discussing reality and fact?! Thinking for yourself and drawing your own conclusions is entirely antithetical to the way Apple insists you must think. So you're wrong. You just are. Steve Jobs says so.
        PatrickBay.ca