Microsoft's decision to make a "Metro"-style IE10 browser app free of plug-ins has sparked a response from Adobe.
been very public about its plans for Internet Explorer 10, which will arrive on
the upcoming Windows 8 in two flavors: a "Metro"-style application and a
According to a
recent post on the official Building Windows 8 blog, the desktop version
will fully support plug-ins and extensions. But the Metro-style browser will be
bifurcation in browsers stems from Windows 8's two user-interface modes: A
touch-centric one for tablets, based on a set of colorful tiles, alongside a
more traditional desktop. Microsoft claims switching between these modes will
behind this decision seems fairly straightforward. "Running Metro style IE
plug-in-free improves battery life as well as security, reliability and privacy
for consumers," Dean Hachamovitch, head of Microsoft's Internet Explorer team,
wrote in that Sept. 14 posting. "Plug-ins were important early on in the Web's
history. But the Web has come a long way since then with HTML5."
analysts immediately seized on the news as potentially worrisome for Adobe
Flash Player, which continues to power much of the Web's rich content, even if
the plug-in wasn't explicitly mentioned in the blog posting. Adobe is already
in something of a war with Apple, which made a very public policy of banning
Flash from its iOS devices. Adding Internet Explorer 10 to that no-Flash group may
complicate things for Adobe.
For its part,
Adobe evidently felt the news was worth a response.
In a Sept. 15 posting on Adobe's corporate blog,
executive Danny Winokur suggested: "We expect Windows desktop to be extremely
popular for years to come (including Windows 8 desktop) and that it will
support Flash just fine."
He added: "We
expect Flash based apps will come to Metro via Adobe AIR, much the same way
they are on Android, iOS and BlackBerry Tablet OS today."
offered a deep dive into Windows 8 during its BUILD conference this week. Other
Windows 8 capabilities include ultra-fast boot, picture password (which
involves tapping parts of an image to access the system) and an application
store, which will list win32 applications in addition to "Metro" applications.
IT administrators and developers will have the ability to run multiple
virtualized operating systems on the same physical machine.
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Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.