Microsoft has confirmed that Metro Internet Explorer for Windows 8 will not support plug-ins. This of course means no Flash which is similar to the famous move Apple made years before. While Microsoft Internet Explorer has always been a fan of plug-ins, recently with the new IE9 there is a slight hint at gearing more towards being standard-oriented, which with the news of no plug-ins for Metro, shows their goal was to ultimately eliminate plug-ins altogether.The decision is not a surprise however, with recent news on the Windows 8 development, Microsoft is gearing towards basic web consumption, full-screen apps, longevity and ease of use. For many cases where Flash or other plug-ins may have been necessary in the past; such as video or audio, new standards and containers are already being implemented which are faster, simpler and more secure. Along with the desktop form of 8 being accessible at all times, it is easier to switch to the more full-featured IE10. By clicking a button on a page that requires a plug-in, and you’re brought into full desktop mode.
The idea is to better implement the decision made by Apple, where some iOS users are unable to access parts of the internet at all, Windows 8 tablet users will not have any problems browsing the web as normal. Although most are in acceptance of how Apple went about their route to no plug-ins, there is a slight bit of strength shown in Windows 8 towards overall accessibility.
While some might question the idea of having such a dumbed down browser, much of the same can be said for Safari, which has sacrificed almost all functionality to be as compatible with all Apple devices as it is. The difference being that Microsoft is giving you the option, you can either use the dumbed down metro version or the full-version at the click of your finger. A choice that isn’t as easy to make on Apple devices.
While this lack of plug-ins is the future for IE10, there is no indication that other third-party browsers like Firefox or Google Chrome will lack plug-ins themselves. Microsoft is simply making a choice on what market it wants to define on its own tablets. Although, there is still much speculation on if the Metro interface will be just as powerful and full-featured as the desktop most of us have become accustomed to, while some might be swoon in by the re-design it will take a lot more than that to convince me it is a step in the right direction.
Adobe has voiced their opinions, and says they intend to bring Flash content to Metro via the Air and likely the app store. So there is no complete detachment of Adobe and Microsoft relations unlike the previous problem Adobe had with Apple.