Microsoft Ditches Flash in Windows 8 Metro IE10 in Latest Setback for Adobe

Pulkit Chandna

All eyes have been on Microsoft ever since its BUILD conference got underway in Anaheim, California on Tuesday. While Redmond is using the new event primarily to acquaint developers with Windows 8, it’s also giving just about everyone else a glimpse of the operating system’s future in the process. Talking about the future, there seems to be an emerging consensus around the tech world that it’s going to be pretty bleak for plugins like Flash and Silverlight.

Like many others, Microsoft also expects such plugins to be usurped by HTML5 over time. Dean Hachamovitch, who spearheads the IE team, has revealed that the Metro style IE10 app is strictly meant to offer an entirely plugin-free web experience.

“Windows 8, IE 10 is available as a Metro style app and as a desktop app. The desktop app continues to fully support all plugins and extensions. The HTML5 and script engines are identical and you can easily switch between the different frame windows if you’d like,” Hachamovitch wrote in a blog post.

“Metro style IE provides all the main navigation keyboard shortcuts and mouse support you’ve come to expect—creating tabs, moving between tabs, closing tabs, entering addresses, searching, and more. I’m using this browser full–time, and given the amount of time I spend in Windows Phone, the same experience and use of touch is definitely a plus. But you can decide on what works best for you, and not compromise.”

Writing on the Building Windows 8 blog, Windows division president Steven Sinofsky cited battery life, security, reliability, and privacy as the company’s key concerns about plugins. He feels plugins like Flash make it difficult for “the web to move forward and for consumers to get the most out of touch-first browsing.”

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