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Windows 8 tablets won't support Adobe Flash either?

Like Apple with iOS for iPhone and iPad, Microsoft appears to have no intention of supporting Adobe Flash or other web plugins in the upcoming IE 10 for Metro in Windows 8 tablets.

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.

Will there be the same level of outrage-mongering by then, or will it have become as accepted as RealMedia-free video, ActiveX-free websites, and floppy-less PCs?

[Building Windows 8 (opens in new tab) via Daring Fireball]

Rene Ritchie
Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

49 Comments
  • Weird that Microsoft would lock out their own Silverlight plugin. Unless, of course, they're planning to bake the technology into IE somehow.
  • Windows 8: Release date & What is in store http://morldtechgossips.blogspot.com/2011/09/windows-8-to-be-released-in...
  • This only if you use the "Metro" style IE but you'll still get the desktop IE, that runs plug-ins just fine
    And let's not forget that you can use chrome, and plenty of other browsers since the desktop Windows will still be there
  • I'm sorry, but there are too many websites out there with Flash to make this work. Why take away a feature that the iPad DOESN'T have? You're going to need to one-up the iPad as much as you can wherever you can to be successful, Microsoft...
    Can't you just have a Lightning mode or something that shuts down all plug-ins, and a Full mode that turns them on?:P
  • flash is overrated. I almost never hit sites that need it when surfing on my phone.
  • or you can just switch to desktop mode and watch flash videos and play flash games...
    it's no problem at all. there is flash support but not in metro ui mode.
  • A Flash Gordon picture would've been better.
  • Thing is, I think their rationale - and Steve Jobs' - is spot on. Flash is just not that good, and a standards-based approach through HTML5 and beyond is architecturally better. In some ways Flash would have been fine, but Adobe have not been that great at investing in it, and have sort of proved that going their way means buggy and slow. I think SJ was very brave (not uncharacteristically) in refusing to put flash on the iPad. Now he's done it and shown that a) consumers don't care all that much and b) the market will adapt quickly then Microsoft are with what they're doing just making a rational decision. ActiveX is the historic parallel. It was pants, it needed to die, and it did - almost so quickly we soon forgot about it...
  • Steve is still solo on that "no Flash" island. :)
  • Is Apple Hunting Down The Jailbreak Community ? : http://j.mp/pgq6lr
  • Chris. I understand you're a moron and are unable to comment without unrelated insults, but what part of this site, and all of the other tech blogs doesn't revolve around speculation?
  • Good, we have HTML5 now get rid of flash!
  • As Lee Corso says..."Not so fast my friend." ;-) It is here to stay [see my other comment].
  • [huge inhale] Ahhh...the smell of sensational punditry in the morning. Love it! :-D
    Windows tablets will have the Flash Player. [<--- read that as "period"] lol
    Understand this:
    Plugins are absolutely allowed on Windows tablets. This blog post is perpetuating falsehoods about the tablets when it really is Metro IE blocking plugins, including Microsofts own Silverlight, but when you get to a page with plugins you can easily switch to "default" Windows and view the page. Supposedly [haven't tested myself] the switch is seamless.
    Dean Hachamovitch [the IE man at Microsoft] posts on IE10:
    "You can set your default to either style, seamlessly switch between them, or use any other browser you choose on Windows 8."
    "But if you do see value in the desktop experience – in precise control, in powerful windowing and file management, in compatibility with plug-ins – those capabilities are just a finger tap away."http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2011/09/14/metro-style-web-browsing-o...
    Here is a response from Adobe: http://blogs.adobe.com/flashplatform/2011/09/flash-support-on-windows-8-...
    So...this TiPB post is incorrect. Flash lives on. Silverlight...well...it is still here for the meantime. ;-)
    Oh and yes, outrage is setting in but it is mostly out of the Silverlight camp. Some in the Flash camp are questioning what's happening but once they get beyond the sensationalism, like this post, and see the truth...all is well.
  • MSFT didn't block Flash from the device. It is allowed, along with other plugins, in the classic UI.
    See...solo. Ok...since Metro doesn't allow plugins...solo and a half.
  • MS has experience with supporting compatibility requirements and pushing for phase outs.
    On the other hand, Apple's phase out method is just a 'scorched earth' policy...
  • I haven't had to update Flash in quite a while but I don't mind updates from anyone. If they weren't updating you'd complain about it being outdated with holes. :)
    Can't please'm all. :)
  • @zeagus You must have been outdated. The last update was 8/24: http://www.adobe.com/support/flashplayer/downloads.html.
  • @zeagus Here are more details to show they don't update anywhere close to every week:
    (Released 8/24/2011) Flash Player 10.3.183.7 (70.6 MB)
    (Released 8/9/2011) Flash Player 10.3.183.5 (70.6 MB)
    (Released 6/28/2011) Flash Player 10.3.181.34 (75.7 MB)
    (Released 6/14/2011) Flash Player 10.3.181.26 (75.6 MB)
    (Released 6/5/2011) Flash Player 10.3.181.22 (75.7 MB)
    (Released 5/31/2011) Flash Player 10.3.181.16 (6.3 MB)
    (Released 5/12/2011) Flash Player 10.3.181.14 (70.5 MB)
    (Released 4/15/2011) Flash Player 10.2.159.1 (66.3 MB)
    (Released 3/21/2011) Flash Player 10.2.153.1 (66.3 MB)
    (Released 2/28/2011) Flash Player 10.2.152.32 (38.4 MB)
    (Released 2/08/2011) Flash Player 10.2.152.26 (66.3 MB)
    (Released 11/04/2010) Flash Player 10.1.102.64 and 9.0.289.0 (126 MB)
    (Released 9/20/2010) Flash Player 10.1.85.3 and 9.0.283.0 (126 MB)
    http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/142/tn_14266.html
  • @zeagus So, 9 days and 14 days = weekly. Good stuff.
    I'm glad to know it "happened" in one month so it is by default a weekly thing. #solid I'm not denying some closeness in dates but every week is a stretch.
    But again...I prefer them to address security concerns immediately. If they didn't, you naysayers would use that as fuel. All good though. :)
  • Flash is newer than HTML5. What you can do with HTML5, we've been doing in Flash for 5-7 years. HTML5 is catching up and is a great asset to us developers but each job has the right tool.
    Yes, Flash sites should be converted. I stopped building those years ago.
  • As a dev I look forward to advancements in HTML. HTML5 is a great step forward but in no way will it ever completely replace flash. What you can do easily in flash like flash games you would need JS, css3, canvas and a bunch of JS libraries to do effectively. Test it speed wise and you'll see why we still use flash. The whole HTML5 hype only started because of Steve jobs and idevices not supporting. But HTML5 is not a flash replacement it does a good job with video but when doing complex animation and 3D it is extremely slow. The fact is flash like any technology has flaws but people forget how important it has been the last 10 years. I don't think HTML will ever replace flash completely simply because HTML is a markup and was never intended for animation.
  • That is their big selling point. I'd be disappointed if they had some with classic+metro and some without. Metro alone isn't enough, IMHO.
  • For full sites? Sure. HTML FTW but not for everything.
  • http://johncblandii.com/2010/04/fanboy-im-not.html
    :-D
  • @zeagus Unrelated to this but yeah...post was there just for a situation like this. :) Point of the post is I'm not bound any tech.
    sticksandstones ;-) #backtogrownuplandforme lol
  • @stsfg Nah...you are actually the first to call me such [to my recollection]. The post is about clarifying my position when I defend tech, whether it is Flash, Silverlight, PHP, Ruby, .NET, ColdFusion or any other language I code in.
    But...glad I could make you laugh. :-D
  • Wrong as ever there buddy. Adobe provides the leading streaming server [FMS] for CDNs across the world and it has provided H.264 streaming for years now. For them to ignore a segment of the device world would antiquate FMS [giving way to a competitor like Wowza] so they provided http streaming for iOS devices [m3u files, etc].
    I get your point but their reasoning had nothing to do with them seeing Flash going away.
    Oh and they are focusing on HTML5 as well: http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/muse/.
  • @zeagus Ahh...don't be so sensitive. I'm far from a jerk.
    They NEVER refused to stream H.264 [it has been there] and you don't use HTML5 to stream [it is a consumer (player)]. Look at the timeline:
    * '09-'10 - they expected Flash on iDevices [which means no need for iOS specific streaming]
    * '10 - "Thoughts on Flash" - Steve [http://www.apple.com/hotnews/thoughts-on-flash/]
    * Fall '10 - Released FMS 4 (was already in the works prior to Steve's "letter") [http://www.adobe.com/aboutadobe/pressroom/pressreleases/201009/090910Ado...
    * '11 - Announced upcoming iOS streaming months after releasing 4.0 [http://blogs.adobe.com/ktowes/2011/04/sneak-peak-future-adobe-technology...
    In terms of software, they actually responded fairly fast with FMS seeing as last year they released a major version and right at a year later they included a major feature [iOS streaming]. Also consider FMS is about on an 18-24 month release cycle.
    Point is...FMS is a separate business for Adobe and advancements/decisions in that part of Adobe are not related to the future of another department [Flash Player]. They do work in tandem but one does not tell the story for the other.
  • Those posts were from executives. :)
  • Oh well, good job even Adobe have given up on Flash. Thus why they are working on Edge.
    http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/edge/
  • ..., Adobe AIR 3 [http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashplatformruntimes/air3/], and Flash Player 11 [http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashplatformruntimes/flashplayer11/].
    Adobe is in it for the long haul. ;-)
  • haha. I mean the tech inside of it not which one has been around longer. :) HTML5 is missing a lot that Flash has had for years. All of the excitement about what HTML5 can do is a rehash of what we were doing in '03 with Flash.
    I love the advancements though. I look forward to the rise of HTML5. It is only another way for me to make more dough. :)
  • You're right. They could really botch this. I think it should be all [plugins on metro+classic] or nothing [the way Windows Phone 7 is now].
  • Might Fox or Chrome make metro browsers and have plugin support. Don't forget that apps have the ability to load their own drivers, rather than rely on back end DLLs that Windows loads pre-loads into Metro.
    I feel like they're trying to push IE in my face as if it's the only solution out there. Bold move MS...
  • No different than Apple forcing Safari [now allowing new browsers] or Google pushing "Browser" [mobile chrome]. Metro is their mobile platform so forcing IE isn't a bad thing, per se, but they should definitely allow other browsers.
  • They are for sure! I'm loving what I see out of HTML5.
    The issue is browser adoption [not HTML5]. IE7/8, etc are killing HTML5 adoption, which is where Flash is not limited [by browser].
    We'll be discussing this again next year just like we [the community] were last year. lol.
  • and it won't support iOS apps either which are worse than flash because they lock you in to a specific OS/ecosystem where apple screws devs and content providers out of 30 percent ofevery sale..
  • First, the situation is totally different as html 5 is now 2 years older. 2nd, you'll probably be able to get flash on there if you want at some point as the dev model for those is much more open.
    And of course, there's the option of switching to desktop mode.
    Just another ridiculously biased, misinformed post. We're used to that here now though.
  • It's likely to still be supported in the desktop-mode. Plus there are already tablets that support Flash on the market...
    Our big thing that's been holding back tablet adoption is that NONE of them support JAVA.
  • Face it, with how quickly these things "go away", we'll have HTML6 before Flash finally dies.
  • Yeah, HTML5 isn't going to kill Flash. It withheld attacks from JavaFX, Silverlight, Ajax, etc. By time HTML5 is fully supported, Flash will be on v12 or 13.
  • Responding to John C. Bland in #40, because, well, how often do you get to throw a random Bible quote into comments without starting a religious flamewar?
    Regarding MS not committing fully one way or the other, Webster's version of Revelations 3:16 seems to foreshadow the consumer reaction:
    "So then, because thou art luke-warm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit thee out of my mouth"
  • HAHA...nice! :-)
  • Flash is terrible HTML5 is the way to go... Just like java... get over it
  • ... Again, I could care less about flash. There hasn't been a time where I've wanted or needed it. Especially on my iPhone, I even deleted it off my Mac.
  • This not true watch the demo on YouTube they have full win 8 running on ARM. Windows 8 is windows 8 there is no metro ui only version
  • Ran across these today:
    Snapdragon Processor Enables Flash Player on Windows 8 - A Qualcomm, Microsoft & Adobe [shows some amazing performance in Flash]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Qu7iESwL8E
    Adobe Flash demo on Windows 8 [shows it not possible on Metro]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxJmXfl4VpE&feature=related
    Looks sweet to me! :) Let's see if it still works come launch though.
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