I dislike Flash websites, but I prefer being able to open them when I decide so. Therefore, I really like Android’s approach, hate Apple’s ignorance, and – hey, what the hell is Microsoft doing?
The Windows 8 Release Preview is out since yesterday, and one new feature is the Flash support in Internet Explorer. Because this operating system is already the one that will be installed on both tablets and desktop computers, it’s a good opportunity to see Microsoft’s strategy on the topic. The desktop version is less interesting (the browser has the full plug-in), but on portable devices Microsoft seems to share Apple’s performance concerns, and tries to solve the problem.
More than a simple integration, they worked together with Adobe to create a power-optimized, touch-friendly Flash player based on Flash 11.3. This stripped-down version will also have a video player and some more added features, but will miss out those which typically cause battery life problems. The interesting part is that it won’t work on every website: Microsoft will maintain a list of sites that are authorized to use Flash on Windows 8.
This is indeed an interesting concept, but it seems like the question is only about the attitude: weather Apple’s arrogance or Microsoft’s compromises, it’s just the matter of time for those old Flash websites to disappear completely. And although I would be surprised if anyone would dare to create a new Flash-only website now, I want to access them somehow in the meantime – therefore, I’m glad to see Microsoft’s efforts.