The late CEO and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs famously blocked the Flash plug-in on Apple devices. Flash wasn’t secure or reliable enough, he said.
And now Microsoft has followed suit.
In Windows 8, the Metro version of Internet Explorer 10 does not permit plug-ins which disallows Flash. As on the iPad and iPhone, Flash sites will simply not work in the Metro version of Internet Explorer. Microsoft makes the same claims that Apple has made for years. Reps say that without plug-ins like Flash, the browser will be more secure and reliable and this will also preserve precious battery life on portable devices.
Microsoft claims it researched 100,000 popular websites and found that 60 percent of them were already offering HTML5 video for site visitors who didn’t have the Flash plug-in installed.
Microsoft claims IE on the desktop interface still supports Flash. But consider the implications. That means that every time you come upon a site that relies on Flash using the Metro browser, you will have to click over to Windows 8 desktop, restart the other version of Internet Explorer, and revisit the site in question to see the Flash content.
Microsoft and Apple’s claims about Flash are hotly debated. In the meantime, I found several websites I use all the time that are Flash-only sites.
Microsoft’s solution works, but it is a bit clunky. If you are working on a full blown PC, why not just install Adobe Air to play the Flash content? I tried this on my touch-screen Gateway running Windows 8 Consumer’s Preview edition and it worked like a charm. Word to the wise …