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12 March 2013, 12:33

Microsoft enables Flash by default in Internet Explorer

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Microsoft is shipping an update for Internet Explorer (IE) 10 for Windows 8 and RT today that will change the browser's behaviour to display more Flash content by default. The Windows 8 desktop version of IE will show all Flash content whereas the desktop and "Metro" versions on Windows RT will show a large percentage of it; only approximately four per cent of web sites with Flash content will be blocked by Microsoft on these versions.

With the decision, Microsoft is further softening its position on Flash support in Internet Explorer. Originally, the company had planned to release the browser completely without Flash support but moved away from this stance prior to the launch of Windows 8 and enabled Flash content in the browser based on a whitelist of "Metro" compatible sites. The company says that a large amount of sites using Flash are now compatible with Windows 8 and are usable with touch interaction.

According to Microsoft, less than four per cent "of the thousands of domains" it has tested for Flash compatibility are incompatible with what the company terms the "Windows experience". This is mostly due to the fact that the sites in question are using other plugins aside from Flash, says Microsoft. Developers who find their sites blocked on Windows RT after the patch to Internet Explorer may want to read Microsoft's developer guidance document on the topic.


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