Microsoft Joins the Anti-Flash Bandwagon with Windows 8 for Tablets

The past few days have been a-buzz with Microsoft announcing the latest version of their Operating System, Windows 8. The new version features a new UI which is called the Metro Interface, which is optimized for a tablet experience. The OS works equally as well on the Desktop as well.

Windows 8 features their latest browser as well, the Internet Explorer 8. The interesting piece of news which Microsoft has announced over at their blog, is that in the tablet version of the browser, IE 8 will essentially be a plugin-free browser. Which means that Flash content will not render on tablets shipping with  Windows 8.

In their blog post Steven Sinofsky says, “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.

This comment essentially mirrors what Steve Jobs had to say when asked about the exclusion of Adobe Flash support on Apple’s range of iOS devices. Along with Apple & Google, Microsoft too is banking on HTML5 as the technology to provide rich interactive content for tablet users.

Of course, desktop based users of Windows 8 will still continue to to use plugins on their browsers, so Microsoft is not kicking out Adobe’s Flash plugin out of the window completely. This could also mean that Microsoft’s own Silverlight plugin may not work on the tablet version of the browser. Let’s wait and see how this pans out.

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Vinu Thomas

Vinu is a Technical Architect working on Web technologies and a mobile enthusiast, who likes trying out new gadgets and apps. You can follow him on Twitter @vinuthomas

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