Windows 8 Internet Explorer (Default) Won't Use Flash

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft has revealed that the default settings for Windows 8 won't support web plug-ins such as Adobe Flash. However, unlike Apple's portable devices, such systems won't be completely blocked.

iPhone, iPad Don't Use Adobe Flash

Devices such as the iPhone and iPad currently do not include support for Flash, which is used for a wide variety of website animations and online video.

The reason why these devices don't support Flash is simply because Flash is too prone to bugs and uses too much memory to be suitable for Apple devices, particularly given the company's obsession with providing a smooth experience without freezing or crashes. (Source:

Other sources have suggested that the real problem is that Flash and touchscreens don't always play well together. And there have even been allegations that Apple wants to stop people using Flash-based websites that could deter them from downloading similar content from its App Store.

Twin Internet Explorer Set-Up

It's something of a surprise to see a similar move in Windows 8, though the way the new system works means that Flash will only be partially block. That's because there will actually be two versions of Internet Explorer on board.

The first is part of the "Metro" interface that is the default option when Windows starts, and has been specially designed to be suited for both traditional computers and touch-screen based portable devices, complete with large "tiles" rather than the traditional Windows set-up of small clickable icons.

The second version of Internet Explorer will be accessible from the alternative desktop option in Windows, which is the standard set-up of Windows 7 and previous editions.

Windows 8 Default Browser: HTML5 Only

While the "desktop" copy of Internet Explorer will support plug-ins such as Flash, the default copy that people will access from the Metro interface has no plug-in support at all. Instead, it will only run web content produced with HTML5, the latest version of the standard website language, which allows for multimedia content without the need for additional software or plug-ins. (Source:

In Microsoft's case, the specific reasons for blocking plug-ins such as Flash include security and reliability issues, plus a need to avoid excessive power demands given that the company anticipates many Windows 8 users will be running battery-operated devices.

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