Update: The End of Flash? Microsoft says no Flash in IE9

by: Bradley Wint on May 3rd, 2010 at 1:01 am

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If you thought Apple was the only one screwing over Adobe, you should hear what Microsoft has to say. The Internet Explorer team has recently announced that version 9 of IE will only support H.264 format video via HTML5 video. So do all computers support H.264. Very new operating systems currently have support for it, but older systems like XP or Vista need additional codecs. Not a big problem really. However, it’s still a dick move on Microsoft’s part to push the Windows 7 idea with IE9. They mentioned that users can record video and “play in a web browser on any operating system or device with H.264 support (e.g. a PC with Windows 7).” Nice marketing move MS.

However the big issue is that Flash gets screwed over. Do I disagree with their move though? Not really. Even on a super fast system, Flash can sometimes become unstable and may even crash or freeze up under strange circumstances. Microsoft also mentioned that “Flash does have some issues, particularly around reliability, security, and performance.” However, Flash has become an integrated part of many website’s basic functions, not just for watching videos, but for tons of other functionalities. The image uploader used on this site is flash based, and that’s just one example. However change is inevitable, so I am pretty sure a new type of system will be developed to replace those older functioning flash scripts, and it’s not like we have to switch the IE9 in a hurry anyway.

As much as you may want to think that the IE team may have screwed themselves over, I don’t think it was a bad move. IE9 (from the developer’s build), felt very solid and fast. Trying out the HTML5 player in both IE9 and Google Chrome proved to be less resource demanding and less unstable.

Another competitor is the open-sourced VP8 codec soon to be offered by Google, which is said to dish up serious competition to H.264 because it doesn’t have to deal with the licensing issues related to the H.264/MPEG LA family.

*Update* – Finally got around to doing this. Yes IE9 will still support Flash luckily. With Flash being one of the most used tools on the net, it would be crazy for them to not include it in the next release, even with their falling market share. Here is what they had to say:

Of course, IE9 will continue to support Flash and other plug-ins. Developers who want to use the same markup today across different browsers rely on plug-ins. Plug-ins are also important for delivering innovation and functionality ahead of the standards process; mainstream video on the web today works primarily because of plug-ins.  We’re committed to plug-in support because developer choice and opportunity in authoring web pages are very important; ISVs on a platform are what make it great. We fully expect to support plug-ins (of all types, including video) along with HTML5.

Have Something To Say? 8 Others Did!

  • LOLLOL – May 6th, 2010 – 11:38 AM

    IE6 WILL support flash you troll.

  • That GuyThat Guy – May 6th, 2010 – 2:18 PM

    I dunno if the guy above me is high? or just an idiot, proly a bit of both.

    As for the article, it’s about god damn time! the adobe flash player is the biggest piece of shit on the internet & people have been screeming for a successor for years. I for one (and I know millions others as well) am super happy to hear this news, Suck it adobe… you’ve had decades to work out this bs & well ya didn’t…. so now your out, dont let the door hit you on the way out

  • brandonthedeveloper – May 6th, 2010 – 2:19 PM

    The title of this article is misleading. The Flash Player will be supported and Flash content will still work. What the IE team said about this is that the HTML5 video codec they will support is H.264.

    How about posting your sources?

  • brandonthedeveloper – May 6th, 2010 – 2:20 PM
    • Bradley Wint – May 6th, 2010 – 2:32 PM

      They made an earlier statement which we originally based this article on. They gave a clear statement that Flash would be a thing of the past, saying H.264 would be the supported format. I’m not the only one who got the wrong impression. They posted the one you mentioned there later to clear up things. This article was posted on before the update was released.

  • brandonthedeveloper – May 6th, 2010 – 2:38 PM

    So why not update it to be factual?

  • John DowdellJohn Dowdell – May 6th, 2010 – 2:59 PM

    Bradley, there were indeed early _headlines_ saying “IE9 drops Flash”, but those headlines arrived on Saturday, and were clearly incorrect readings of Dean’s Friday post.

    No blame, just that we can’t trust Internet headlines alone. They increasingly get the story wrong. Each of us has a responibility to confirm information before repeating it, agreed…?

    tx, jd/adobe

    • Bradley Wint – May 6th, 2010 – 3:21 PM

      @John and Brandon – Yes I will update it tonight… I have been rather busy with my real job, so I want unavailable for a few days…