Computer giant Microsoft unveiled new features and applications for their forthcoming Windows 8 operating system, but also let slip that Internet Explorer 10 won’t support any plug-ins or Adobe’s Flash, which is popular among many websites.
The company said that IE10 will be completely reliant on HTML5, while Flash and other plug-ins will still be available on the desktop version of the Windows 8 OS.
“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,” wrote Internet Explorer team leader Dean Hachamovitch on the Building Windows 8 blog.
Hachamovitch was quick to add that his team examined over 97 000 websites, and found that 62% of them fell back to HTML5 if a plug-in wasn’t present, so Flash isn’t always a necessity.
As for the end of Flash, Danny Winokur, vice president and general manager of Platform at Adobe says it still has some legs. “We expect Windows desktop to be extremely popular for years to come (including Windows 8 desktop) and that it will support Flash just fine…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,” he wrote on the company blog.
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor