A lot of Windows 8 news has been circulating as Microsoft finally unveiled the next version of their operating system. I will note that Windows 8 is looking pretty impressive and I need to set aside some time to play with the freely available developer preview. One piece of news that I found rather interesting through was the fact that the Metro browser won’t support plugins:
One of the first things a lot of folks will try after installing the developer preview of Windows 8 will be the IE10 browser—the most used tool in Windows. IE 10 in the preview is Platform Preview 3 of IE 10. You can read on the IE blog about the HTML 5 engine work we’re doing. This post is about a big change in Metro style IE, which is the plug-in free experience. In Windows 8, IE 10 is available as a Metro style app and as a desktop app. The desktop app continues to fully support all plug-ins and extensions.
Although this isn’t the end of plugins like Flash it is a death knell. Users who wish to use Flash will still be able to open a legacy Internet Explorer window but if you wish to use the new Metro interface you’ll be living the plugin-free lifestyle (it’s like the pants-free lifestyle but with browsers).
Honestly I want to congratulate Microsoft on this move because I can’t describe my hatred of Flash in words. As it sits right now I’ve been running Chrome as my primary browser for the last month (Firefox’s OS X 10.7 support is lacking to say the least) and Flash has been disabled for the last two of weeks. There are a few instances where I find myself opening Firefox to load something requiring Flash but overall you can get by on the web very easily without needing the Flash plugin. We can probably thank Apple for that as there was a strong move by many sites to eliminate their dependency on Flash when it was announced iOS wouldn’t be supporting it.
The less support browser developers give to Flash the faster web developers will completely dump it. I can’t wait until the entire web is completely Flash-free.