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Microsoft drops Flash from IE on Windows 8 tablet

Microsoft have announced in a blog post that one of the web’s most widely used technologies for viewing content rich websites is going to be absent from some versions of Windows 8.

The software giant is to drop Adobe Flash from the web browser used on the Metro interface of Windows 8. However, Flash will be supported on desktop versions of IE on Windows 8.

The announcement was made by Dean Hachamovitch, head of IE development at Microsoft. In the blog post he said that Microsoft have worked really hard to ensure that Windows 8 Metro rely as little as possible on older technologies, and instead focused it’s attention on the latest web technology, HTML 5.

He also said that by supporting HTML 5 it meant that it would make Metro “plug-in free”, and that “The experience that plug-ins provide today is not a good match with Metro style browsing and the modern HTML5 web, Providing compatibility with legacy plug-in technologies would detract from, rather than improve, the consumer experience of browsing in the Metro style”.

However, although the Metro UI does not support Flash, should users want to view a website that requires Flash, its still possible to exit the Metro UI and return to a more traditional desktop view and then run IE.

It would seem that Microsoft are following Apple’s lead, as the company  has “banned” Flash on its OS since an open letter expaining the decision was published in April 2010.

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