Microsoft will be updating Internet Explorer 10 in Windows 8 and Windows RT today to allow Flash content to run by default, Rob Mauceri, Group Program Manager-Internet Explorer has announced. On its IEBlog, Mauceri notes that over the course of their testing, they found a lot of sites with Flash content to be compatible with the Windows experience for touch, performance and battery life. Following the update, the Compatibility View (CV) list will block Flash content in those handful of sites that are still not compatible with the Windows touch experience or those that rely on other plug-ins. Those with Windows Update will be able to receive the update.
“We believe having more sites 'just work' in IE10 improves the experience for consumers, businesses, and developers. As a practical matter, the primary device you walk around with should give you access to all the Web content on the sites you rely on. Otherwise, the device is just a companion to a PC. Because some popular Web sites require Adobe Flash and do not offer HTML5 alternatives, Adobe and Microsoft continue to work together closely to deliver a Flash Player optimized for the Windows experience,” he notes.
Getting Flash support by default now
Mauceri explains that the curated CV list pertains to IE on the desktop for Windows RT. He adds that Flash is blocked primarily because the site requires other plug-ins that are not available on Windows RT.
Moving further, Microsoft reveals that for Windows 8, they worked together with Adobe to add a version of Flash that is optimised for touch, performance, security, reliability and battery life. Interestingly, Adobe too made tweaks to the Flash player to ensure that it sat well with the Windows 8 experience. It is this optimised Flash that Microsoft has made a part of Windows 8, and will be offering users through Windows Update. Elaborating on what users should expect, Microsoft says that Internet Explorer 10 with Flash on Windows 8 will allow them to “see more of the Web”.
Microsoft notes, “When we released Windows 8 and Windows RT we used the IE Compatibility View (CV) list to enable sites to run Flash content compatible with the Windows 8 experience, including touch responsiveness, performance, and battery life.” As per the post, IE on desktop in Windows 8 will run all Flash content, as it does on Windows 7.
In May last year, a forum post on WinUnleaked.tk indicated the possibility of the Metro UI featuring build-in Flash support. The forum post revealed, “Adobe Flash player is included in the Release Preview, Adobe shared the “source code” with Microsoft. Internet Explorer Immersive will coming with flash too.”
The reason for a plug-in free experience was to improve battery life while maintaining security, reliability and privacy for consumers. Paul Thurrott's Supersite for Windows says, “…Microsoft does work closely with Adobe, closely enough that Adobe actually provided Microsoft with source code access to Flash, allowing them to seamlessly integrate the technology into IE 10. Thus, Microsoft did not need to make an exception to its no-add-on policy for Internet Explorer Metro. By making Flash a part of IE 10 Microsoft ensures the code meets its own standards for reliability, compatibility, security, and also probably the performance. We hope it works just fine for Microsoft.”