Microsoft has confirmed that Internet Explorer 10 (IE10) will not be supporting Adobe Flash in its upcoming Windows 8 Metro environment – a UI which has been specifically optimized to run on tablet devices.
Obviously, Redmond isn’t alone in jettisoning the hapless plug-in for mobile, as Apple has maintained a long-standing iOS ban on the power-hungry Flash.
However, like Cupertino with its flagship OS X, Microsoft will support Flash on the full-fledged desktop version of IE10 in Windows 8.
The decision will effectively bar Adobe Flash and all other plug-ins from ARM-powered tablets (at least in IE), as the RISC-based devices have been tapped to run the sleek Metro UI.
This could potentially offer x86 tablets some form of competitive advantage, as most WinTel devices will probably allow users to toggle back and forth between Metro and the traditional, Flash-friendly Windows desktop.
According to Microsoft exec Dean Hachamovitch, going plug-in free for Metro will “improve battery life as well as security, reliability and privacy.”
“Plug-ins were important early on in the web’s history. But the web has come a long way since then with HTML5,” he wrote in an official blog post.
“Providing compatibility with legacy plug-in technologies would detract from, rather than improve, the consumer experience of browsing in the Metro style UI… The reality today is that sites are already rapidly engineering for a plug-in free experience.”