Internet Explorer 10 ‘Metro’ Won’t Support Plug-ins, Flash
Microsoft is just saying no, just like Apple did, on the subject of web-based plug-ins. According to the Building Windows 8 blog — that Mecca of Windows 8 information — Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 8 under the Metro interface will not support any plug-ins including Flash. Microsoft’s reasoning, and my 2 cents, are all coming up if you keep reading …
The Windows 8 Blog outlines some eerily similar reasons for why Microsoft isn’t supporting Flash and other web plug-ins under Metro. It’s summed up nicely by Microsoft’s Dean Hachamovitch, who is currently leading the Internet Explorer team for Windows 8.
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. The experience that plug-ins provide today is not a good match with Metro style browsing and the modern HTML5 web.
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. Providing compatibility with legacy plug-in technologies would detract from, rather than improve, the consumer experience of browsing in the Metro style UI.
Short of calling out any particular plug-ins, like Steve Jobs did when talking about Flash and Adobe, these reasons are the same reasons they were roughly a year ago when the iPad launched and Jobs declared a moratorium on the ubiquitous plug-in. Microsoft has truly jumped in with HTML5, even noting users can build Metro-style apps with it. And for the industry, that means we officially have three big trendsetters supporting HTML5 as a platform and HTML5 for an open web: Apple, Google and now Microsoft.
Is this the death knell for Adobe’s Flash roadmap? Not likely — at least, not yet anyway. But I challenge our readership to disable Flash and see how much of the web is HTML5-friendly these days. YouTube, Vimeo and many other sites support HTM5 video, which seems to be the hotly contested source of Flash’s main use. If you find yourself at website entirely running pure Flash, it probably hasn’t been updated since 1998 (or you’re visiting an obnoxious restaurant’s homepage). HTML5 has a lot to offer, and it’s time to embrace it.
But hey, don’t worry. If you’re using Windows 8 and you’ve opened Internet Explorer under the regular Windows desktop, you’ll have the same web browsing experience you’re used to. But Microsoft has proven itself in moving to the future with yet another “bold” Windows 8 move, and that gets major kudos in my book.