SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Microsoft will enable Adobe Flash by default in its Internet Explorer 10 (IE10) web browser.
Microsoft's IE10 web browser ships with its Windows 8 and Windows RT operating systems, and while the firm has been losing web browser market share for years, it still remains popular.
Now the firm has taken the surprising move of turning on Adobe Flash support by default in IE10 in both Windows 8 and Windows RT.
According to Microsoft the "vast majority of sites" that use Adobe Flash are now compatible with IE10 on touchscreen devices. Apparently the firm believes that having more websites "just work" in IE10 will improve the user experience.
Rob Mauceri, group program manager for Internet Explorer at Microsoft said, "Our approach to Flash in Windows is practical for Windows customers and developers. For Windows 8, we worked with Adobe to include a version of Flash that is optimized for touch, performance, security, reliability, and battery life.
"Adobe made substantial changes to the Flash player to align with the Windows 8 experience goals."
Microsoft's actions go against what most major web browser developers are doing and the firm made no mention of security, instead talking about "more compatible web experiences". It also marks a policy reversal for the company, which previously had effectively banned third-party web browser plugins in IE10.
While Microsoft might have enabled Adobe Flash support to please users, the firm claimed it had worked with Adobe to improve security and reliability. How well Microsoft's and Adobe's software optimisations overcome Flash Player's well established reputation for being a security black hole will be seen in the coming months. µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ