Microsoft to jettison Adobe Flash with 'plug-in free' browsing in Windows 8 Metro IE10

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
The tablet-optimized Metro version of Internet Explorer 10 in Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 will be a "plug-in free experience," as the company follows Apple's lead in abandoning Adobe Flash in favor of HTML5 on tablets.



Microsoft revealed Wednesday on its Building Windows 8 blog that the Metro version of IE10 will drop plug-ins because the experience that they provide is "not a good match with Metro style browsing and the modern HTML5 web." The company will, however, continue to support Adobe Flash and other plug-ins on the desktop version of Internet Explorer 10.



Metro is Microsoft's name for the custom interface and touch layer for tablet devices built into Windows 8 . The Redmond, Wash., software company offered up details on Windows 8 at its Build conference in Southern California this week, providing developers with a "pre-beta" version loaded on a Intel Core i5-powered Samsung tablet.



IE team lead Dean Hachamovitch wrote in the post that going plug-in free in for the Metro version of IE10 "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," he noted.







Microsoft invested significant time researching the decision. The IE team examined the top 97,000 sites around the world, determining that, of the 62 percent of those sites that use Flash, many of them already have an HTML5 option as well. Beyond Flash, other plug-ins were rare, with the next most common one used on just 2 percent of sites examined.



"Most sites work fine in IE without plug-ins; others work fine in IE when IE identifies itself as another browser or runs the site in a different mode," Hachamovitch noted, adding that users can tap a "Use Desktop View" button from the Metro style app to view sites that require Microsoft's own legacy ActiveX controls.



For its part, Apple has made known its commitment to open web standards over proprietary technologies. "Every new Apple mobile device and every new Mac ? along with the latest version of Apple?s Safari web browser ? supports web standards including HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. These web standards are open, reliable, highly secure, and efficient," the company's page on HTML5 reads.



Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs criticized Flash last year after receiving numerous complaints about the technology's incompatibility with iOS. He presented six points condemning Flash -- openness; the "full Web;" reliability, security and performance; battery life; touch; and the substandard quality of third-party development tools.



Adobe appears to be gradually conceding ground to HTML5. Last week, the company announced support for HTML5 video in an upcoming version of its Flash Media Server product. Though Adobe billed the added feature as being able to "deliver Flash technology to Apple iPhone and iPad devices," the tool simply adds the ability to serve standards-based HTML5 video.



But, Apple has also relinquished some control over the iOS platform with respect to Flash. Last fall, the iPad maker removed its ban on third-party development tools, paving the way for Adobe to release tools that create iOS-friendly versions of Flash applications.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 119
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,387member
    Yet another nail in Flash's coffin!



    But, but, but... I'm ENTITLED to decide to put Flash on any device I own! Flash is a web standard! How dare Apple and now Microsoft deny me freedom of choice!

    Its a conspiracy to control the web!! It's a ... Oooh!! Unicorn!!!!



    </sarcasm>
  • Reply 2 of 119
  • Reply 3 of 119
    Apple is to the tech industry as Nicolaus Copernicus is to heliocentric cosmology.
  • Reply 4 of 119
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post






  • Reply 5 of 119
    And they said Apple's Steve Jobs was wrong...when he jettisoned Flash..?

    Just like they said he was wrong about tablet form factor.
  • Reply 6 of 119
    I'm really proud that MS is finally getting it. Good on them.
  • Reply 7 of 119
    Wow .. seriously. Does M$ really, really need to copy almost everything that Apple does?
  • Reply 8 of 119
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Digital_Guy View Post


    Wow .. seriously. Does M$ really, really need to copy almost everything that Apple does?



    In this case, yes. It's almost the end of 2011 and Adobe still hasn't gotten Flash to be a decent plug-in for consumers. For developers, that's another story, but for consumers it's still a resource hogging, crash-prone disaster.
  • Reply 9 of 119
    Finally, something Apple and Microsoft fanboys can agree on!
  • Reply 10 of 119
    I agree this is a great place to follow Apple's actions.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Digital_Guy View Post


    Wow .. seriously. Does M$ really, really need to copy almost everything that Apple does?



  • Reply 11 of 119
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post






    That is a nail in a coffin if ever I heard of one.
  • Reply 12 of 119
    BUILD conference attendees that were yesterday handed tablets and a developer version of Windows 8 confirmed that Flash still does not run in the Internet Explorer 10 browser (see image) that came with the new OS and Samsung tablet.



    Some took delight in watching frustrated peers attempt to install Flash onto their tablets.



    “Just walked through press room and saw two people trying furiously to install Flash on their Win8 tablets. LOL,” wrote the editor of a series of Windows books, Jon Hassell.



    Even a former Australian Microsoftie, Scott Barnes, was disappointed after attempting to revive his daughter’s EEPC with Windows 8.



    “I put win8 on my eepc.. was hoping to use that as my 4yr daughters laptop for Penguinclub but..flash dont work...bah! ,” he Tweeted.




    Flash sort of makes it on Windows 8
  • Reply 13 of 119
    I have to admit that Microsoft lately acts like Google as we used to know it, and Google with its commitment to Flash, copying, stealing, refusing to innovates is getting more like Microsoft



    Time to switch Google search to Bing and Gmail to me.com?

    I think it is.
  • Reply 14 of 119
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,521member
    So can we expect Shantanu Narayen to issue a point by point refutation of Microsoft's statements?



    It sure seems like they repeated some things from Steve Jobs' open letter, which Narayen said were "patently false".
  • Reply 15 of 119
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,087member
    When the hell has the industry NOT followed Apple's lead, on anything? Apple is always mocked/ridiculous/insulted at first, but ultimately, wthether its months or years later, everyone follows suit. You just need to step back and see the big picture, which is what Apple always does when they make these decisions. Its just that noone has the guts to put the stake in the ground as Apple does- so they avoid the risk, as well as the potential rewards.
  • Reply 16 of 119
    This is great news for consumers.
  • Reply 17 of 119
    I do like it when we get statements like this, "we decided not to implement this functionality to benefit our users". Coincidently it also meant we had to do less work.



    In this case though I do agree. Flash IMO should only ever be used for video. Microsofts approach of having a metro ie and normal ie also means that when you do get to a video you still have the option to view it, rather than current smartphones and tablets where your just left having to switch to a pc. I wonder if a future option could be to enable plugins per instance of them on a page. E.g. When a page has a flash video you first click to enable flash on that zone and then when you navigate away flash is turned off again. That could help save battery life without limiting the device.



    What I don't get though is Adobes had this issue for a while. To me the solution would be to release a browser with flash built in. Might be a bit borderline for getting past the iOS restrictions.
  • Reply 18 of 119
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post


    I do like it when we get statements like this, "we decided not to implement this functionality to benefit our users". Coincidently it also meant we had to do less work.



    In this case though I do agree. Flash IMO should only ever be used for video. Microsofts approach of having a metro ie and normal ie also means that when you do get to a video you still have the option to view it, rather than current smartphones and tablets where your just left having to switch to a pc. I wonder if a future option could be to enable plugins per instance of them on a page. E.g. When a page has a flash video you first click to enable flash on that zone and then when you navigate away flash is turned off again. That could help save battery life without limiting the device.



    What I don't get though is Adobes had this issue for a while. To me the solution would be to release a browser with flash built in. Might be a bit borderline for getting past the iOS restrictions.



    Or? you could save a lot more battery by running video natively in HTML or native APIs. Crazy idea that's been working for years.
  • Reply 19 of 119
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Or? you could save a lot more battery by running video natively in HTML or native APIs. Crazy idea that's been working for years.



    But the point is that the content is in flash not html5. If everything used a standard video format then it would be fine. But we're now 4 years on from the origional iPhone and I still constantly read articles where the video is in flash. Each time the is no option but to switch to something that supports flash. So when you say "crazy idea that's been working for years", that's basically like saying we've fixed the problem for draining batterys while watching videos, we just took out the video functionality. Next step, eliminate the high battery usage problem when making phone calls by removing the phone functionality.
  • Reply 20 of 119
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post


    But the point is that the content is in flash not html5. If everything used a standard video format then it would be fine. But we're now 4 years on from the origional iPhone and I still constantly read articles where the video is in flash. Each time the is no option but to switch to something that supports flash. So when you say "crazy idea that's been working for years", that's basically like saying we've fixed the problem for draining batterys while watching videos, we just took out the video functionality. Next step, eliminate the high battery usage problem when making phone calls by removing the phone functionality.



    What major and relevant sites are these that don't support modern codecs in HTML5 or native APIs?
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