Adobe Flash and other plug-ins will be barred from one of the two Internet Explorer 10 browsers in Windows 8, Microsoft has said.
Microsoft has said that Adobe Flash and other plug-ins will be barred from the Metro version of IE10 in Windows 8.Photo credit: Microsoft
The Windows update will come with one version of IE for the operating
system's touch-friendly Metro
interface, which debuted in Windows
Phone 7, and one for the traditional Windows desktop
interface. The latter will support Flash and other plug-ins, but the
Metro-style IE10 will not, according to IE team leader Dean Hachamovitch.
"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
HTML 5-only as possible and plug-in free," Hachamovitch said in a
post on Wednesday. "The
experience that plug-ins provide today is not a good match with
Metro-style browsing and the modern HTML 5 web."
Running the Metro-style IE10 without
plug-ins "improves battery life as well as security, reliability and
privacy for consumers", he said.
"Plug-ins were important early on in the web's history. But the web
has come a long way since then with HTML 5. Providing compatibility
with legacy plug-in technologies would detract from, rather than
improve, the consumer experience of browsing in the Metro-style UI,"
Plug-ins were important early on in the web's history. But the web has come a long way since then with HTML 5.– Dean Hachamovitch, Microsoft
Adobe, the company behind Flash, said apps and games based on the
ubiquitous multimedia technology will still be usable in the Metro environment,
thanks to the cross-platform
"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," Flash
vice president Danny Winokur wrote in a
blog post on Thursday.
Machinarium provides an example of the repackaging of Flash-based
apps that has taken place since Apple
refused to let its iPhones and iPads support the technology. Using
AIR, Adobe packages elements of Flash in with the application to
create a standalone app that can run on devices that do not themselves
come with Flash support.
HTML 5 development
Winokur also noted Adobe is "working closely with Microsoft,
Google, Apple and others in the HTML community to drive innovation in
HTML 5, to make it as rich as possible for delivering world-class
content on the open web and through app stores".
Adobe has indeed been working on HTML 5, partly as a way of getting
round the ban on Flash on iOS devices. A week ago, Adobe released
a new version of Flash Media Server that recognises when the
client browser does not support Flash, and delivers video streams to
that browser using the HTML 5-friendly HLS technology instead.
Hachamovitch noted that 62 percent of
the top Flash-using sites in the world already fall back to HTML 5
video when they detect the user's browser does not support Adobe's
"When serving ads in the absence of plug-ins, most sites already
perform the equivalent of this fallback, showing that this approach is
practical and scalable," he wrote.
Line-of-business applications requiring legacy ActiveX controls
will continue to run in the desktop browser, Hachamovitch said. He added
that a simple button will let people switch from the Metro-style IE10
to its desktop counterpart when plug-in compatibility is needed.
In a note on Hachamovitch's blog post, Windows chief Steven
Sinofsky pointed out that HTML 5 and script engines in the two IE10
iterations "are identical and you can easily switch between the
different frame windows if you'd like".
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