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Microsoft assimilates Flash in Metro's IE10

June 4, 2012 03:58 PM ET

But the integration of Flash with IE10 won't give an edge over only Apple. Rival browsers may also be out in the cold.

Adobe has not said whether it will work with other browser makers -- Google and Mozilla in particular -- in the same fashion to integrate Flash Player with their applications on Metro. Google may have a leg up: It's bundled Flash Player with Chrome for two years.

Adobe did not respond to questions today about how it will work with Google and Mozilla, or whether it will.

And neither Google or Mozilla immediately replied to questions about how they plan to compete with the Flash-equipped IE10. Both firms have pledged to come up with Metro versions of their Chrome and Firefox browsers, and last month each had dunned their rival's decision to bar all but IE10 access to Win32 APIs (application programming interfaces) from within Metro.

Because Microsoft has baked Flash Player into IE10, it will also use its own Windows Update service to provide security and feature updates to Adobe's software. Previously, Chrome was the only browser that included Flash Player updates with its browser.

"By updating Flash through Windows Update, like IE, we make security more convenient for customers," said Hachamovitch.

But not all websites with Flash will be viewable using IE10 on Metro, Hachamovitch warned: Only those sites that Microsoft adds to IE's Compatibility View (CV) list -- a whitelist that debuted in 2011 with IE8, designed to allow URLs to render as if they were viewed by an older version of the browser -- will show Flash in Metro's IE10.

"We place sites with Flash content on the CV list if doing so delivers the best user experience in Metro style IE with those sites," said Hachamovitch, who promised that information on how site developers could petition for inclusion on the list would be released at some later date.

IE10 with Flash is available only in Windows 8 Release Preview, which Microsoft launched last Thursday.

covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at Twitter @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed Keizer RSS. His email address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

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