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Microsoft outlines how it will phase out Adobe Flash support on Edge and Internet Explorer

Today, Adobe announced that it will end support for Flash in 2020. The company will continue to support Flash until then - with security updates, and by maintaining OS and browser compatibility - before discontinuing all support just under three and a half years from now.

Like its leading rivals in the browser market, Microsoft has already started phasing out its support for Flash. With the Windows 10 Creators Update, its Edge browser introduced Click-to-Run functionality, blocking Flash content by default. Newer web standards now offer similar capabilities to Flash, without the security concerns, weakened performance, and poor battery life with which the Adobe product has become synonymous.

Coinciding with Adobe's announcement today, Microsoft announced its plans to completely phase out Flash support from Edge, and from the older Internet Explorer browser, by 2020:

  • Through the end of 2017 and into 2018, Microsoft Edge will continue to ask users for permission to run Flash on most sites the first time the site is visited, and will remember the user’s preference on subsequent visits. Internet Explorer will continue to allow Flash with no special permissions required during this time.
  • In mid to late 2018, we will update Microsoft Edge to require permission for Flash to be run each session. Internet Explorer will continue to allow Flash for all sites in 2018.
  • In mid to late 2019, we will disable Flash by default in both Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer. Users will be able to re-enable Flash in both browsers. When re-enabled, Microsoft Edge will continue to require approval for Flash on a site-by-site basis.
  • By the end of 2020, we will remove the ability to run Adobe Flash in Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer across all supported versions of Microsoft Windows. Users will no longer have any ability to enable or run Flash.

Microsoft pointed out that its timeline for phasing out Flash support is consistent with plans outlined by its rivals' browsers - including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari.

Microsoft's John Hazen, Principal Program Manager Lead for the Edge browser, acknowledged that Flash "led the way on the web for rich content, gaming, animations, and media of all kinds, and inspired many of the current web standards powering HTML5."

Source: Windows Blogs

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