Microsoft plans on making Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 8 available as a "Metro"-style app that's plug-in-free. That could complicate things for Adobe Flash.
make Internet Explorer 10 available as a "Metro"-style application and a
desktop application for its upcoming Windows 8.
version will fully support plug-ins and extensions, according to a new post on
the official Building Windows 8 blog. However, the Metro-style
browser will be "plug-in-free."
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."
"providing compatibility with legacy plug-in technologies would detract from,
rather than improve, the consumer experience of browsing in the Metro style
UI." People using the Metro-style browser will have the option of tapping "Use
Desktop View" for Websites that require legacy ActiveX controls.
This is a
potentially worrisome development for Adobe Flash Player, even if the plug-in
isn'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 could
complicate things for Adobe, to say the least.
Windows 8 will offer a Metro-style and desktop browser, it will also subdivide
itself into two separate-but-linked operating environments: a touch-centric,
tablet-ready interface centered on colorful tiles (where the Metro browser will
be front-and-center), and a more traditional desktop. Microsoft executives
claim that flipping between the two will be a seamless experience.
As a whole,
the tablet interface embraces the "Metro" aesthetic pioneered by Microsoft's
Zune and Windows Phone software, drawing away from the "Aero" design used in
Windows Vista and Windows 7. And when it flips to desktop mode, Windows 8 does
offer a "look" that's chunkier and more blockish than Aero-although, given this
early stage, it remains to be seen whether this is anything close to the final
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.