IE 10 enables Flash as default with new update, Microsoft miffs iPad

Microsoft and Adobe learn to play nice
Microsoft and Adobe learn to play nice

Internet Explorer 10 got an update today that finally allows Flash to run by default out of the Windows 8 start screen.

While Flash was always enabled in the desktop version of IE 10, running the browser through Windows RT or the Windows 8 start screen limited Flash to only a few whitelisted sites.

With today's update, Microsoft says that the majority of Flash content on the web "just works" with IE 10 and touch interfaces, making it feasible to enable Flash by default.

"As we have seen through testing over the past several months, the vast majority of sites with Flash content are now compatible with the Windows experience for touch, performance and battery life," Rob Mauceri, Internet Explorer group project manager, wrote on the Internet Explorer blog.

A few restrictions still apply

The majority of Flash websites working with IE 10 doesn't mean all of them work properly yet, and so the update will still include a compatibility view list to block certain Flash content.

The block list will be much smaller now though and will primarily block Flash content that relies on other plug-ins that aren't available for Windows 8 or Windows RT. Meanwhile, IE 10 through the Windows 8 desktop view will remain unrestricted.

Microsoft also took the opportunity to poke fun at the iPad for its lack of Flash support.

"As a practical matter, the primary device you walk around with should give you access to all the web content on the sites you rely on. Otherwise, the device is just a companion to a PC," Mauceri wrote.

"Because some popular Web sites require Adobe Flash and do not offer HTML5 alternatives, Adobe and Microsoft continue to work together closely to deliver a Flash Player optimized for the Windows experience."