Microsoft, like Apple, refused to support Flash technology in the new Metro IE10 browser, citing similar arguments

In one of two varieties of Internet Explorer, which are bundled with Windows 8, extension modules, in particular Adobe Flash, will not be supported.

Explanations of the reasons why Microsoft settled on such a decision, given by Dean Khachamovich, the leader of the Internet Explorer development team, can cause a sense of deja vu. More than a year ago, Steve Jobs, then CEO of Apple, explained the decision to abandon Flash support in iPhone and iPad with almost the same words.
The trial version of Windows 8 for developers includes Internet Explorer 10, which is available in two forms. In one, its appearance and management principles are the same as in the new Metro interface of the future operating system. The other has a traditional view and operates on a familiar desktop, which is also accessible to Windows 8 users. The Metro interface is largely based on the Windows Phone 7 interface, a fundamental innovation in it are animated icons, the so-called tiles. The version of the browser, implemented in the same style, at Microsoft called "IE in the style of Metro."

“The Metro style browser in Windows 8 is based on HTML5 as much as possible and does not require the installation of extension modules,” Khachamovich explained. “The nature of the work of the extension modules in their current form is poorly combined with Metro-style navigation and modern HTML5-based web content.”

Both versions of IE10 use the same rendering engine.

Since Metro IE10 does not support expansion modules, it does not support Flash technology. Khachamovich emphasized that this is not just a “visualization tool,” but an independent application.

“Using the IE browser in the Metro style allows more efficient use of battery life, increases security, reliability and guarantees greater privacy,” said Khachamovich.

These are the reasons — safety, reliability, performance, and power-saving issues — Jobs called in the voluminous Thoughts on Flash letter, published in April 2010, explaining the reasons for the ban on Flash in iOS.

“We know first-hand that Flash is the most common cause of crashes for our Mac computers,” Jobs wrote then. “We don’t want to risk the reliability and security of the iPhone, iPod and iPad by supporting Flash.”

In the Metro IE10 browser, expansion modules, including Flash, will not be supported, therefore, on some sites that have elements based on this technology in their design, users will have to see white rectangles.

Khachamovich noted that Microsoft, after analyzing 97 thousand of the most popular sites in the world, found that 62% of them in the absence of Flash give way to HTML5. Jobs said the same thing in 2010 when he commented on his decision “against” Adobe.

Expansion modules, including Flash, will be supported in the traditional desktop version of IE10. Switching between them will not amount to labor users. For example, when you see white spots in Metro on a particular site, you can familiarize yourself with their contents after switching to "desktop" mode.

Any kind of browser can be made the default browser on a PC running Windows 8.

In touchscreen devices such as tablet computers, the Metro IE10 is likely to become the preferred version of the browser. Their hardware platform - processors with an ARM core or other integrated processors of the System on Chip (SoC) category - supports only Metro applications in Windows 8 for alternative Intel architectures.

Khachamovich made a statement anticipating criticism of such a dual browser solution.

“You can, of course, criticize the decision with two browsers,” Khachamovich emphasized. - But they are based on a single mechanism, they just have two different 'skins'. Over time, the principle implemented by Metro will gain a place in an increasing number of browser scenarios. ”

According to Al Hilva, an IDC analyst, the presence of two browsers should not be a cause for concern for users of Windows 8.

“I don’t see a problem, because there is only one basic technology,” said Hilva. “The two 'faces' of the browser only show that the developer took into account both styles of working with Windows 8. Touch control obviously requires a new programming model and new approaches, which Microsoft provided.”

Metro IE10 is only available as part of the evaluation version of Windows 8 for developers. You can get a preliminary idea of ​​the new OS on the Microsoft website.

The desktop version of IE10 with support for expansion modules shows sites correctly.

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