HBO.com among sites on IE10 Windows RT Flash "Blacklist"

Earlier this week, Microsoft updated Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 8 and Windows RT that allowed its built in Flash support to be turned on by default for the first time. That means nearly every Flash-based website should be able to run on IE10 on both operating systems.

However, Microsoft is still supporting an IE Compatibility View list of websites that it feels do not support IE10 with Flash. At the time Microsoft said those sites amounted to less than four percent of all Flash sites they have examined. The sites were put on this new "blacklist"  due to "the core site experience requires other ActiveX controls in addition to Flash."

ZDNet.com managed to check out the newly updated IE10 "blacklist" and found that just three websites are currently banned from being run on IE10 on both Windows 8 and Windows RT (Briggs-riley.com, webassign.net and webinato.com). Nine other websites are also on the IE10 Flash blacklist but they are only for Windows RT-based devices, such as Microsoft's own Surface RT.

The report states that HBO.com is one of the sites that won't run at all on IE10 on Windows RT. Another site that technically won't run on Flash is Twit.tv, the popular tech-based video news site, although it will run on Twit.tv's HTML5-based site.

Source: ZDNet.com | Image via ZDNet.com

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I've been hating HBO.com for a couple of years now. Site looks great in a lot of ways, but using it sucks.

It's not just video that is in Flash on HBO.com, the entire site is a Flash app. How many of those do you see anymore, (that weren't built in 2006)?

I've had to disable Flash as a lot of sites are using flash based advertising. Even this site, neowin.net is not immune. I'm not sure releasing flash was the best of ideas.

The site works fine for me. I've been watching hbo.go on my Surface RT for months. Tuesday's update hasn't changed anything at all. I just finished an episode of The Wire last night.

hbo.com may return an error but that's not the site you watch HBO content from anyway. Besides, just becauses hbo.com return a message saying your flash version is out of date doesn't imply that it the site is on a blacklist.

Edited by Leopard Seal, Mar 15 2013, 6:30pm :

Since the RT version has a different list I have to wonder if it could be something with the ARM version of flash and performance or something else?

well, Microsoft might initially planned to extort money from HBO (or its customer),
so they need to pay Microsoft to be removed from the black list.

That's kind of my whole point...even if the whole site is flash based, that's just one more reason to convert. Sites presented entirely in flash should be deleted with impunity.

spacer said,
That's kind of my whole point...even if the whole site is flash based, that's just one more reason to convert. Sites presented entirely in flash should be deleted with impunity.

But if IE10 claims to support Flash, why should HBO convert their site when it is IE that is actively blacklisting?

RangerLG said,

But if IE10 claims to support Flash, why should HBO convert their site when it is IE that is actively blacklisting?

Maybe HBO asked Microsoft to blacklist the website? HBO may want to release an app for their hbogo customers to go through.

It's just like the hulu website, you can watch hulu on your windows 8/rt device without paying for hulu+, on an ipad you cannot do the same without downloading the hulu+ app and paying monthly for hulu+.

pgn said,
It's just like the hulu website, you can watch hulu on your windows 8/rt device without paying for hulu+, on an ipad you cannot do the same without downloading the hulu+ app and paying monthly for hulu+.
There is a bit of a difference here. Hulu can use the excuse that Flash does not exist on iOS, because it does not, but HBO cannot make that statement about Windows 8/RT.

I suspect this is an accidental blacklisting. I'm with FalseAgent: the user should be presented with a statement somewhere that they need remove the site from their blacklist before Flash can be displayed. I'm also with spacer, because Flash needs to die as a technology. It destroys batteries, frequently contains numerous exploited vulnerabilities, does not add much beyond DRM support, and it does not work well on mobile devices that do support it.

It has little to do with an excuse. Hulu would love to allow you to connect your devices to your tv or be mobile, hulu licenses its content from the tv studios. The tv studios come back and have agreements in place where they can distribute that content to. The studios then resell these agreements/licenses to other companies like Netflix, cable companies either as a shared license or exclusives. In the case of an exclusive license they cant just say ohh well hulu is bypassing it but yeah we will sell you (Netflix) this exclusive license to broadcast this show but you have to pay X dollars more because its exclusive - when it certainly isn't. Also its a clear violation of their license if it was sold as an exclusive and another licensee is actually broadcasting the show. A good way to get sued. Its very likely that the RT version of IE will eventually get blocked on hulu without a hulu+ subscription. They may not have a way to detect if the devices is a tablet running Windows 8.

HBO is in a similar situation with HBOGO they upsell a license to cable companies. HBOGO is an incentive that cable companies offer to customers for 'free'. HBO may want to limit this access to an APP and for certain devices that they are currently upselling to cable companies, later adding apps to other devices and adding costs to the cable companies to offer hbogo to subscribers on newer mobile platform. Theres no reason for HBO to just give away free access to platforms to the cable companies.


HTML5 isn't going anywhere, it lacks the ability to DRM a video stream, without DRM sites like hbo, hulu wont be leaving flash. That is the major stumbling block for HTML 5 currently. Once they can implement a standard for html drm then flash is dead.

Edited by , Mar 15 2013, 6:02pm :

spacer said,
That's kind of my whole point...even if the whole site is flash based, that's just one more reason to convert. Sites presented entirely in flash should be deleted with impunity.

HTML5 video does not replace the functionality of the flash websites though. The sites don't even need to contain video. Video has nothing to do with it.

Yea what about all the animation capabilities of Flash. All the internet cartoon series' on the net made with flash.

Whoa, users are going to be stumped. IE should have a notification bar saying that the website has been blacklisted or something so that at least the user knows what's going on.