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Microsoft follows Apple; Drops Flash support in IE 10

In the last few months, the web design industry has been rocked by developments in Flash and other similar technologies. Adobe’s popular animation app, which became a de facto standard for creating animation and dynamic websites over the past decade, is now facing touch challenges..

Apple has always been adamant about not enabling Flash support in its OS and devices, beside which, Flash has also drawn flak from a section of the industry for not being compliant with SEO measures and its resource-hungry nature, etc. Adobe has tried to address these issues with each release of Flash, but recent developments indicate the days ahead are not exactly sunny for Flash design.

Flash support so far is available in major Windows-based browsers, including Chrome and Firefox. However, the future of Flash web design may change in an unprecedented manner. Microsoft, whose Windows OS rules the roost in computer OS and IE browser and still holds the top slot in browser segment, has ditched Flash in the upcoming version 10 Metro release of IE. Now, IE10 will be shipped with the much anticipated Windows 8, which will be released sometime in 2012. The new OS, according to Microsoft, will be launched with two editions of IE10.

  1. The legacy version of IE10 will offer support for Flash.
  2. The Metro version, namely the variant with Windows 8 native interface, will not.

Needless to say, this will boost detractors of Flash web design.  According to IE10 developers, users using the Metro version of IE10 can expect better battery life in their net books and laptops. This is an area where Flash bashers have always been vocal. They also think that the web itself has evolved a lot and now browsers need not depend on legacy plug-ins for interactivity and animation.

Adobe has taken note of the emergence of the anti-Flash wave in the industry and surprisingly, it has come out with solutions that can be dubbed as Flash alternatives for the near future.Its new web design apps duo, Muse and Edge, lets designers create Flash style animation and websites without requiring Flash at all. However, this is not to say that Flash is going to hit a dead end soon. With new Flash Player 11, features like accelerated 3D graphics come to the forefront. There are a number of areas where HTML5 or CSS3 cannot match up to Flash. Both the standards will need time to evolve into mainstream web design platforms.

Interestingly, it is not only Flash that will become a victim of Microsoft’s attempt at axing legacy plug-ins. By banning support for legacy plug-ins in Metro variant of IE10, the software behemoth has put prospects of Silverlight, its own Flash rival, at stake. However, company spokespersons say that Silverlight apps can be adapted to Metro protocols.

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