Adobe’s Strategic Move: Supporting Flash on Windows 8

Flash In Windows 8 Metro Internet Explorer

Leaked memo says Adobe didn’t license Flash to Microsoft, but it was a strategic move to support it in Windows 8

Rumors that Microsoft obtained the source code of Flash for Windows 8 appear to have been debunked

One of the new features in the Windows 8 Release Preview, which released yesterday, is the inclusion of Flash in the Metro version of Internet Explorer 10. Microsoft did say in the past the service wasn’t going to be used, replaced by HTML5, but the company later backtracked and claimed it was a crucial part of the web.

The reasons why Microsoft changed its mind has been revealed, or least the process. Adobe’s Danny Winoku sent an internal memo to employees, which has now been revealed (though we don’t know from who). The memo revealed Adobe didn’t license the software to Microsoft; the tech giant was rumored to have used the source code to build Flash into IE 10. Microsoft invited Adobe to support Windows 8, Winokur said.

Winoku said Adobe worked closely with Microsoft to create a great Flash experience in Windows 8, which probably caters to Microsoft as it’s focused on great user experiences. He also said the majority of the work has been on bringing Flash to Metro’s version of IE 10, allowing it to run despite other plugins being disabled. Updates for the Flash Player will arrive through Windows Update, an atypical move as Microsoft usually limits the service to first-party products.

Flash-Supported Sites Hand Picked

The Flash integration, in the Metro side, isn’t full: Microsoft chooses the websites supporting the software, such as YouTube, and the company is keeping a list of supported sites. I imagine as users commonly request certain websites the list will update, but I can’t see every website being reported. That could mean popular websites such as Flash-based Newgrounds just won’t work.

This could also be a push by Microsoft to encourage developers to bring Metro apps for website to the platform, like Apple encouraging the development of mobile or full apps of websites as it doesn’t support Flash.

The Verge said this, and it’s true: Flash is dying out, so supporting it in Windows 8 is a coup for Adobe as it tries to fend off the rise of HTML5. Whether that’s delaying the inevitable remains to be seen, but Flash does hog performance.

Published: Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 Last Modified: June 2, 2012

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