Microsoft has had a change of heart over Flash content in its Internet Explorer 10 browser, and will be enabling this by default in an update to its Window 8 and Windows RT platforms from Tuesday.
The move was detailed in a posting on Microsoft's IEBlog, in which the firm said it was now satisfied that "the vast majority of sites with Flash content are now compatible with the Windows experience for touch, performance, and battery life".
When Windows 8 and the ARM-based Windows RT version launched last year, IE10 was designed with an integrated version of Adobe's Flash technology, but would support this for select websites only, a decision that caused controversy at the time.
Microsoft's change of heart means that the Compatibility View (CV) list which IE10 consults before displaying Flash content switches from operating as a whitelist only allowing approved sites, to a blacklist blocking content from a relatively small number of sites that Microsoft claims are still not compatible with the touch experience for Windows.
"Of the thousands of domains tested for Flash compatibility to date, we have found fewer than four percent are still incompatible, in the most part because the core site experience requires other ActiveX controls in addition to Flash," said Rob Mauceri, Microsoft's Group Programme Manager for Internet Explorer.
Microsoft manages and distributes the CV list and determines which sites go on the list. Decisions are based on security and reliability concerns, according to the firm.
For Windows 8, Flash content is now enabled in IE10 in the Immersice or "Metro-style" environment unless a site is on the CV list, but is enabled across all sites in the Desktop environment.
Things are different for Windows RT, where Flash content is now enabled unless it is on the CV list in both Metro and on the Desktop.
This policy does not apply to the recently released version of IE10 on Windows 7, which supports Flash content across all sites.
The update to IE10 will be made available to customers using Windows 8 and Windows RT devices via the Windows Update service.
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