Internet Explorer 10 to dump plug-in support for Metro

Windows 8 will come with Internet Explorer 10, the next version of Microsoft's web browser. As we have reported before, IE 10 will allow users to choose from either a standard web browser interface or the touch screen-based Metro interface. But another important element of IE 10 is that its Metro interface won't be using plug-in programs, such as Abobe's Flash, that run on many web sites.

In a new entry on the official Windows 8 blog site, Microsoft's Dean Hachamovitch states, "For the web to move forward and for consumers to get the most out of touch-first browsing, the Metro style browser in Windows 8 is as HTML5-only as possible, and plug-in free. The experience that plug-ins provide today is not a good match with Metro style browsing and the modern HTML5 web. Running Metro style IE plug-in free improves battery life as well as security, reliability, and privacy for consumers." He adds, "Providing compatibility with legacy plug-in technologies would detract from, rather than improve, the consumer experience of browsing in the Metro style UI."

Hachamovitch says that a larger number of web sites are now running without any need for plug-in programs such as the HTML5 version of the YouTube video site. He states, "We examined the use of plug-ins across the top 97,000 sites world-wide, a corpus which includes local sites outside the US in significant depth. Many of the 62 (percent) of these sites that currently use Adobe Flash already fall back to HTML5 video in the absence of plug-in support."

Some sites that have ActiveX plug-ins will continue to be supported in the standard user interface of IE 10. But it's clear that Microsoft wants to move on with the Metro interface. Hachamovitch  says, "Plug-in free browsers today already deliver great experiences with well-authored HTML5 content. These experiences get even better with touch in Metro style IE."

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