Microsoft’s New Windows Design Cuts Adobe Flash From Web Browser

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), the world’s largest software maker, said its new design for the Windows 8 operating system won’t allow the use of Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE)’s Flash video program in its Internet Explorer 10 Web browser.

The browser doesn’t enable so-called plug-ins, or additional programs like Flash that can be downloaded for tasks such as viewing video and animation clips. Instead, it relies on the HTML5 language, a choice that “improves battery life as well as security, reliability and privacy,” Microsoft Internet Explorer chief Dean Hachamovitch wrote in a blog post.

The change only applies to the version of Internet Explorer with the new design. To run Flash and similar programs, users can revert to the standard Explorer, Hachamovitch wrote. Still, the decision is a blow to Adobe, whose Flash software is already excluded from Apple Inc.’s iPad tablet and iPhone. Adobe is incorporating more HTML5 tools into new versions of its Creative Suite software in response to the shift.

Microsoft unveiled Windows 8, which is designed to be used with touch-screens and can run on both desktop personal computers and tablets, at a conference on Sept. 13. The Redmond, Washington-based company said 500,000 copies of a preview for developers were downloaded in less than a day.

Microsoft has declined to comment on when Windows 8 will go on sale or when it will be more widely released for testing.

“We expect Windows desktop to continue to be extremely popular for years to come and that will support Flash just fine,” wrote Danny Winokur, a vice president at San Jose, California-based Adobe, in a blog posting today.

Adobe plans to use its Air software to let Flash applications run on Windows 8, Winokur said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Dina Bass in Seattle at dbass2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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