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Microsoft confirms Metro-style IE 10 will not support plug-ins

Microsoft provided a brief overview on Tuesday of its Internet Explorer 10 web browser that will be a part of Windows 8. The details shared confirm that there will be two versions of it; a normal Windows application not unlike existing versions of IE, and a second “Metro-style” touch-friendly browser that fits in perfectly with the whole Metro world.

What’s particularly interesting to note about this is that the Metro-style browser will not support any plugins whatsoever. We heard whispers of Microsoft’s intent to do away with IE plugins in Metro as far back as October last year and now Microsoft’s lead program manager for the Internet Explorer team,  John Hrvatin confirms it.

The desktop browsing experience and most plug-ins were not designed for smaller screens, battery constraints, and no mouse. Providing an easy way to the Windows desktop is the last resort when no comparable plug-in free fallback content exists. Any site that uses plug-ins needs to understand what their customers experience when browsing plug-in free. Lots of Web browsing today happens on devices that simply don’t support plug-ins. Even browsers that do support plug-ins offer many ways to run plug-in free”.

Should a site require any add-ons, an alert will pop up like the one shown in the image above which will provide a means to re-launch the site in the desktop version of the browser; although Microsoft wants to stress the point to web developers that they should be actively working on ways to eliminate plug-in requirements from their sites altogether.

Thankfully the company did eventually take to open standards including HTML5 and CSS3 while getting rid of Silverlight, but this gives another visible indication that Adobe’s Flash days are certainly numbered.

KitGuru says: I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Google jump in with a Metro-based Chrome browser that will support plugins.

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