When running on tablets, Windows 8 will run a different version of Internet Explorer 10, consigning Flash to the desktop mode. Does anyone still love Flash?
Off Like a Flash
After all the hoo-hah of the Windows 8 unveiling, and the opening up of the developer beta, now we come to the harsh reality: Not everything will work in every mode. In this case, Microsoft is following Apple in trashing Flash support from its tablet and mobile versions of the Internet Explorer 10 browser.
If you need some Flash content, you'll have to go back into desktop mode and use the fuller-featured version of the browser. This is due to Metro IE10 not needing to use any plugins, going the HTML5 route for its media connectors.
With many websites now running HTML5, or with smart ones knowing when to serve Flash or when to fall back to another mode, this won't be as radical a move as when Apple canned Flash from its iPhone browser, but will still not sit comfortably with the Flash crowd. We've already seen the latest Flash Server choose to play nicely with iOS devices.
Content was King?
In a post on the Building Windows 8 blog, head of the IE team, Dean Hachamovitch, noted "The experience that plugins provide today is not a good match with Metro style browsing and the modern HTML5 web. Running Metro style IE plugin free improves battery life as well as security, reliability, and privacy."
This tallies very much with what Apple said a few years back when launching iPhone. So, those Flash coders will have to ensure their sites are flexible enough to work across a range of modes now, but realistically, they should have been doing that for some time now.
UPDATE: Sony had a no comment to make when asked if its Webkit-based PS Vita browser could work with Flash, which sounds like another 'no' to us. Given the PSV's potential as the first must-have gadget in 2012, it looks like another small nail in Flash's coffin as a viable platform.