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Internet Explorer 10 Broadens Flash Support

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Flash has been used for many different projects as it enables gaming, video, and interactive content. The platform has been famously maligned in the past but remains popular thanks to its multi-platform roots and ability to stream media.

Microsoft has demonstrated its recognition of both Flash's popularity and the importance for it to provide a hospitable environment by announcing that Internet Explorer 10 will updated to run Flash content by default on both Windows 8 and Windows RT. Rob Mauceri, Group Program Manager, of Internet Explorer for Microsoft notes that it in order for a device to be a primary device and not PC-dependent, it must be able to run the majority of content needed by the user on a daily basis.

Mauceri observes that his team worked with Adobe to refine the Flash player used in Windows 8 so that it is “...optimized for touch, performance, security, reliability, and battery life.” It is instructive to note that these are the same areas given as contributing to the decision Steve Jobs made to discontinue Flash support for Apple devices in 2010.

Website developers using Flash can reference Microsoft's guide for targeting Windows users. This guide also contains details on Microsoft's Compatibility View list which is used by Internet Explorer 10 to block specific websites from running Flash content in order to provide for a safe and secure browsing experience. Separately the modern.IE site is provided by Microsoft to assist developers in creating IE compatible websites.

It remains to be seen whether this Adobe-Microsoft partnership will yield better results than the Adobe-Apple relationship. Perhaps the PC-centric roots of Windows RT will provide an advantage that helps Microsoft's mobile devices like the service succeed. Mauceri states that the goal of this broader Flash support is to provide a “bridge” that will give time for existing sites based on Flash to transition to HTML5-based technologies.

The same HTML5 for which Jobs wrote 3 years ago: “... lets web developers create advanced graphics, typography, animations and transitions without relying on third party browser plug-ins (like Flash)...[these] open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too).”


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