Microsoft puts Flash on notice with 'plug-in free' Metro IE10

By on September 15, 2011, 11:30 AM

In what could be a major blow for Adobe's Flash, it seems Microsoft is now distancing itself from the technology with claims that the Metro version of Internet Explorer 10 in Windows 8 will be a plug-in free experience. You'll still be able to view Flash and other plug-in content in Windows 8, but you'll have to switch to the classic Windows desktop in order to see it.

"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 Dean Hachamovtich, who leads Microsoft's IE team, on a blog post. "The experience that plug-ins provide today is not a good match with Metro style browsing and the modern HTML5 web."

Hachamovitch says that IE 10 without the excess baggage of plug-ins improves battery life as well as security, reliability and privacy for consumers. His reasoning is similar to Steve Jobs' open letter criticizing Flash where he said that the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces, and open web standards.

Microsoft's decision came after examining 97,000 web sites, and discovering that 62% of them use Flash, but many of those need it only to display ads and a large number of them fall back to HTML5 if Flash is not supported. YouTube is one example of this and many others have followed suit thanks in part to the huge popularity of iOS. Interestingly, Microsoft didn't say anything about Silverlight support but we assume it will also be limited to the desktop version of IE.

It's not all doom and gloom for Adobe yet; even though the Metro-style interface will be the first thing users see when they fire up Windows 8, we assume a lot of them will stick with the traditional desktop when working on their laptops and desktops. But it's still interesting to see the dominant OS maker challenging the relevance of Flash on the web.




User Comments: 16

Got something to say? Post a comment
Guest said:

Its about time that bloated power hungry shite got a kick in the balls. Adobe has become so lazy with bloating and CONSTANT updating of their software. This might be the push they need to get back on track.

Guest said:

Firefox hangs daily until I open task manager and stop the Flash process. Then it's back to surfing.

Route44 Route44, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

If I am reading this correctly I believe Windows 8 will support everything Windows 7 supports.

Plus, again if I am reading this correctly, Windows 8 will provide two IE browsers. The regular desktop browser which acts the same as IE9 does today (i.e. it will support plugins) while the Metro-style browser won't support plugins. The latter is for tablets and touch.

If you need to use a plugin, you can push a button and be taken to the desktop version of IE. Or use a different web browser though it will be interesting to see how Firefox, etc. handles this.

Guest said:

Cool, so in 2 years this will be available when Windows 8 ships.

Guest said:

All I have to say is good riddance.

I have never liked Flash and never will.

Bye bye Flash.

tehbanz tehbanz said:

people always hatin on the flash.

yes adobe has let it get out of hand with the bloat and constant updates.

but without it the internet would suck. don't deny the flash! just petition for a better flash.

As for the user who has flash issues, uninstall flash, then firefox , then re-install firefox, then flash. or switch to linux.

SammyJames said:

Ever since Adobe bought FrameMaker, I was suspicious of their increasing size. I'm happy that Microsoft is doing this. I would still be wary of seeing as one monolithic giant takes on another -- but maybe that is the only way to get away from the monopolistic attitude taken by Adobe, et al.

There are times when the government needs to step in and break up a monopoly. There are other times when the market can correct itself. This may be one of those latter times.

We shall see.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I've had some issues with Flash, but I'd rather deal with the occasional hiccup, than have access to it removed "for my own good".

But as long as I get the same experience without Flash, I don't care, what's under the hood. I just don't want to start dealing with some castrated iOS-type experience.

Guest said:

if flash could be transformed into a physical person, i would be executed by lethal injection.

SammyJames said:

Guest said:

if flash could be transformed into a physical person, i would be executed by lethal injection.

Yes. You would be executed by lethal injection.

Why would that be again...?!

Guest said:

Adobe is a monopoly? God help us.

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I hope this makes the BBC actually adjust the iplayer site so it plays on windows phone and windows 8 metro ie10. But mainly my phone - pisses me off that it doesn't work for wp7.

Guest said:

I believe he was implying that he would kill Flash if it was an actual person. The prosecution would be unrelenting, and the jury unforgiving, in the punishment of this man who did the world good. And as a result he would be sentenced to death.

MrAnderson said:

It is so funny how everyone is dumping on Adobe. Just because HTML5 can be implemented does not mean it will not have it's on security issues. We will see plenty of trouble either way. Security through obscurity just is not enough in this age.

I don't like the idea of browser makers dictating to me what plugins I can use or none at all on my desktop... I would not mind if they build a more secure plugin system and require rewrites... but Flash is still a need at least on my desktop. Video is very important... sure we are in a time where an all Flash site is just lame...but I really think they are doing this to shake up the ad market and get back control of video distribution.

Oh Adobe hopefully you will create a codec for flv? and by CS 6 you will have solid tools to support rich media development that can compile fla file data to an HTML5 package instead of swf. Microsoft will force Adobe to really compete with them in the media at tools arena, which should not be too difficult for Adobe. They should be able to write tools that can create Metro UI app packages even now...

But it is crazy how people will bite the hand the nurtured media on the web till the browser makers finally decided to implement tighter on standards. Shame?

RH00D RH00D said:

tehbanz said:

people always hatin on the flash.

yes adobe has let it get out of hand with the bloat and constant updates.

but without it the internet would suck. don't deny the flash! just petition for a better flash.

As for the user who has flash issues, uninstall flash, then firefox , then re-install firefox, then flash. or switch to linux.

I'm not hatin' on Linux but I've had a lot more problems with Flash on Linux than Windows.

Guest said:

Cool, so in 3 years it will be available on Windows 8, with a ribbon interface.

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