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Karl Bunyan

Isn't it just the tablet version of IE 10 that's going to be plug-in free? It seems that the desktop version will be just the same as ever. Apple has trained users not to expect Flash games to work on a tablet and so it's easy enough for Microsoft to follow along.

It's a sign of changing times, perhaps, but not yet the fatal blow to Flash.


Specifically, it's the Metro version (tablet and desktop) that will be plugin free.

The plugin-capable IE will only be on the emulated desktop version of Windows that they're including for backwards compatibility.

In real terms this means that it will have less support and slowly deprecate over time, as Microsoft wants their developers to start working in Metro instead.

Oisin Grehan

Tadhg is dead-on. I was just signing in to comment on this, but no need anymore.


Will people want to buy a new os on which they can't play their favourite 'ville game?

To me this seems a similar ruse to apples, ie if there's no flash games available then users will buy games from the app store.

Tadhg where did you see that the desktop windows 8 will be emulated? I can't see any reference to that in the quick google search I did


I have a feeling that in the recent months Adobe has shifted its Flash platform focus more to the multi-platform aspect. One code base, multiple platforms. Adobe AIR, a tool for deploying to different platforms - from iOS, android, and three desktop OSes - is finally getting really useful, with new features added every month. Recently they introduced "AS extensions", a native code that can be executed inside an application -- for example, I think that it makes it possible to call native UI for in-app payments.

It's true that they developed some tools to convert Flash to HTML5 (CSS3) but so far it seems an IDE for HTML5 and canvas is still far far away. It can easily be a few years before that happens. And even if we had such easy to use IDE right now, with almost the same capabilities like Flash, developers would be still using Flash for the web because of relatively low browser HTML5 (canvas, etc) support.

There is also upcoming Flash player with 3D hardware support. So it seem that Adobe is focusing on Flash and not on HTML5.

So what is the situation for Flash game developers? I think it's certainly not as bad as it may seem on the first sight. First, current web games are not specifically made for multi touch (although Flash player enables that) and would likely not be used on the tablets running Windows 8. For the Windows 8 on desktop it's a different story and users would have to launch desktop IE 10 with plugins enabled (which is not user friendly).

On the other hand, Flash developers can use Adobe tools to make a native format for Windows. I think Adobe will update the tool to also include the new Microsoft app store (if it won't be trivial to do it by developers themselves).

The problem becomes that you are limited by platform rules and policies ... and you can't use open web technologies as easily right now and probably in a year from now for a broad range of games -- it's still slow and hard to develop for. It is (or will be) very convenient for Microsoft and Apple to have pluginless browsers right now, because basically for most games, you have to develop natively, meaning using their app stores for distribution and at the end also payment systems.

Personally, as a young Flash developer I see it as an opportunity. Windows has a huge user base and if Windows 8 manages to have successful app store this means a new market, although with strangely blurred line between desktop and tablet users.

PS: I usually don't write long comments, but this is an exception. I think I am a "fan" of your blog :)

Karl Bunyan

I see. I got the Metro bit but it seems like it's being pushed as default rather than the desktop mode (which will have plug-ins), and obviously most people will never change.

It's a pretty big move with all those Facebook gamers out there.


I only miss flash when I'm on youtube but there is no reason to kill something that has worked since version 4. I'm personally waiting for the flash html 5 wrapper or the flash version that exports as HTML 5. Because to me flash is just like a video or a mp3 file or a fancy dvd menu - its not as evil as facebook.


Apple had huge leverage when they did this (the ipad was the only tablet computer on the market) and a strong argument (battery life). Microsoft as neither and competing browsers with flash support are 1 click away. Not sure its smart.

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