Despite Microsoft declarations that the future of the web was HTML 5 and that Windows 8 would do away with the technology Apple loves to hate, it looks like Adobe Flash will be supported on the next version Windows after all - albeit as a stop-gap and only as a component of Internet Explorer 10.
It was previously assumed that IE10 would only use web-standard technology to prevent Flash crashing or otherwise upsetting the stability of security of the OS or its various bits. However, it appears that Microsoft has realised that the vast majority of online video is still Flash-based (not to mention games and ads), and that it would be very difficult to get around it.
Adobe made the Flash source code available to Microsoft so that IE10’s policy of not allowing third-party add-ons could be kept intact. However, the software giant will be implementing it using a white-list, meaning you’ll only get Flash for previously approved sites which have been proven to maintain stability, performance and security. While this is in many ways a positive development, we imagine it also means that initially quite a few harmless but not very popular websites may be left in the lurch, so hopefully MS will make entry to that list relatively simple and painless.
IE10 with Flash, compared to without, above.
While we do feel some geeky loyalty to Adobe’s flexible software, there’s no denying that at times it can be a resource hog, and if we had a penny for every time we’ve encountered varieties on “Adobe Flash has encountered a problem and needs to close”, we would have a lot of pennies. Maybe even some pounds. So we’ll shed a tear as Flash shuffles ever closer to the end of the road, but may not miss it so much when it’s gone.