Just like Mobile Safari on iPad/iPhone, Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8 Tablet won’t Support Flash

All iPad and iPhone owners are very much aware that Mobile Safari does not support Flash, and never will– according to Apple, Flash is simply too resources-hungry to be allowed to run on any mobile device.

And while most ‘Apple-haters’ were convinced that the reasons put forward by the Cupertino-based company were nothing more than propaganda, as it turns out, Microsoft came to the same conclusion as Apple. In other words, Steve Jobs and his team were not that biased after all.

Via a post on the Building Windows 8 blog, Dean Hachamovithch, the head of the Internet Explorer team, and Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows division, both confirmed that the ‘metro’ version of Internet Explorer 10 that will end up in Windows 8 Tablet will not support Flash (or any other plugins for that matter). And just like Apple, the company is now betting on standard-based alternatives, namely HTML5.

This post is about a big change in Metro style IE, which is the plug-in free experience. In Windows 8, IE 10 is available as a Metro style app and as a desktop app. The desktop app continues to fully support all plug-ins and extensions. The HTML5 and script engines are identical and you can easily switch between the different frame windows if you’d like.

A previous IE blog post discussed how plug-in free sites are becoming more mainstream, and what sites can do to run plug-in free. We examined the use of plug-ins across the top 97,000 sites world-wide, a corpus which includes local sites outside the US in significant depth. Many of the 62% of these sites that currently use Adobe Flash already fall back to HTML5 video in the absence of plug-in support. When serving ads in the absence of plug-ins, most sites already perform the equivalent of this fallback, showing that this approach is practical and scalable. There’s a steep drop-off in plug-in usage after Flash, with one control used on 2% of sites and a small collection of controls used on between 0.5% and 0.75% of sites.

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.

Even though Microsoft cautiously avoids pointing fingers at Adobe, it is clear that just like Apple, Microsoft believes that the use of HTML5 over Flash offers a better battery life, and avoids potential security and privacy issues.

This news shouldn’t surprise anybody, as Windows Phone 7 does not support Flash either. Microsoft joined Apple on the HTML5 front– considered by some to be the “Flash killer”, the upcoming standard provides many new native features such as bitmap manipulation (canvas), geo-location, much more freedom for developers to run local apps/runtimes via the browser (web workers, websockets…), and most importantly, native support for video.

[Post updated at 11:11AM Central to better reflect that this news applies to the mobile/metro/ARM version of Internet Explorer 10]

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Newstedt/100000178655331 Jason Newstedt

    Fine. Don’t support Flash. They’re not going to sell many of those anyways. Windows is terrible in the mobile ring. And the only reason why Apple is successful is because of the marketing campaign that was geared towards a bunch of sheeple that would’ve followed Steve Jobs off a cliff.
    iPad users are starting to realise the limitations of it already, and it’ll only be a matter of time before they realise the advantages of Chrome and Android to make the switch.

    • John Derrien

      Why the hate? Let’s face it, Flash is dead. YouTube is converting all their videos to HTML5-compatible formats, and the rest of the web is moving on. Flash is dated, antiquated, heavy, painful and really not intuitive. It had its place 10+ years ago, but with today’s web, the selling points of Flash are pretty much gone. I have an iPad, as well as an Android phone, and not a single time I felt limited by the lack of Flash on my tablet (and honestly I hate that my phone can support Flash, as it kills my phone once a page makes a call for it).

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001144568746 Moe Young

      As an Apple hater, I bet you use a windows pc, that has 90% market share. And Android, that now has the largest mobile market share. So in other words, you are going with the masses. Doesn’t that qualify YOU as being a sheep?

    • Anonymous

      LMAO at the pathetic lemming Apple-hating fool Jason Newstedt.

      I mean, who the hell stores that much rage up for a company that sells a product you don’t have even to buy?  Hmm…  moron?  fool?  Momma’s boy stuck in his parents basement?  

      LMAO @ you Jason Newstedt

    • Anonymous

      This post is about Flash support for mobile devices and not Android vs Apple, just shows your a Fandroid sheep, nothing more.

      Plus let me ask you this, Android is an OS as is iOS. So Android is installed on many different makes of phone, now lets pretend that form day one android was installed on one phone like iOS is installed on the iPhone – would android be that popular i ask?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Newstedt/100000178655331 Jason Newstedt

    Fine. Don’t support Flash. They’re not going to sell many of those anyways. Windows is terrible in the mobile ring. And the only reason why Apple is successful is because of the marketing campaign that was geared towards a bunch of sheeple that would’ve followed Steve Jobs off a cliff.
    iPad users are starting to realise the limitations of it already, and it’ll only be a matter of time before they realise the advantages of Chrome and Android to make the switch.

  • Adam Lein

    You can still hit the button that loads the same page in the full desktop IE 10 browser on Windows 8 and thus load the website using any plug-ins you want including Flash. 

    • John Derrien

      We’re talking about the tablet (ARM) version of Windows 8, not the desktop version (x86). Microsoft said it won’t port non-ARM apps to the tablet version, so
      the full blown IE10 won’t be available on ARM-based tablets, you will only have Metro. 

  • FTard

    Misleading title. Just because Internet Explorer 10 ARM version won’t run flash doesn’t mean Chrome ARM version won’t.

    • Ftard lova

      Ur the ftard, ftard. Will take years before Chrome on Windows 8 ARM supports Flash, Google does not build the Flash libraries, Adobe does. Windows 8 isn’t even available yet, and when released, it will take a while before Google build a version of Chrome for it!

  • F. King

    F. King: It’s time for a better, newer format it’s called evolution. Let the haters stay in the past with the rest of those who couldn’t handle change.

  • Anonymous

    All i can say is good riddance.
    Flash is dead and from the ashes rose HTML5

  • Anonymous

    All i can say is good riddance.
    Flash is dead and from the ashes rose HTML5