Adobe Flash Player on Microsoft Surface RT

Microsoft have announced that there is an update for Internet Explorer 10 in Windows 8 and Windows RT that will enable Flash content to run by default. This means that where Flash in the metro version of IE would only work with Microsoft approved sites it will now work with any web site. Microsoft are going to keep a blacklist of sites that it will block but other sites should work ok.

Microsoft say that there have seen via their testing that more Flash enabled sites are compatible with Windows touch and they have took the decision to enable Flash to make more sites compatible with Windows 8. Microsoft have worked with Adobe to have a version of Flash that is optimized for touch, performance, security and battery life and that Adobe have made “substantial changes to the Flash player”.

These changes mean that in Windows RT Flash sites will work in the desktop version of IE and the metro version (which Microsoft call Immersive IE) with only sites on the block list not working. In Windows 8 all sites will work in the desktop version of IE and the Immersive IE will work this all sites except ones on the block list.

This should mean that a lot more sites will work with Windows 8 and Windows RT. It’s more significant for Windows RT as you can’t install Flash player at all so it should enable a lot more sites. The down side is that many are hoping for Flash to die and with Windows 8/RT reducing its usage and as iOS and Android not supporting it developers would move to HTML5.

It does now mean that Windows RT tablets will be able to access sites that Android and iOS can’t. Is this a sign that developers are not creating Windows Store apps as fast as Microsoft hoped and it’s been hitting sales? I would like to see Microsoft enable Silverlight as well, there are a few streaming sites like Lovefilm that will not work on Windows RT.

The update should be out later today

Leave a Reply