Microsoft announced on Wednesday that the Edge browser will start blocking Adobe Flash content automatically in the coming Windows 10 Creators Update. Users will need to manually enable Adobe Flash content to load on web pages, and Edge will ask users to activate the Flash plug-in every time before loading a certain web page.
The company explained in a blog post that, “in our next release, we will extend this functionality and encourage the transition to HTML5 alternatives by providing additional user control over when Flash content loads”. That means, Microsoft Edge in Windows 10 Creators Update due to be released next year will default to HTML content if available, while Flash will be blocked by default. It is said to help improve performance, battery life, and security. Edge team further asserted that, “for sites that still depend on Flash, users will have the opportunity to decide whether they want Flash to load and run, and this preference can be remembered for subsequent visits”.
It is reported that Microsoft will allow the most popular sites that use Flash to be excepted from the automatic blocking, for the purpose of making things easier for users, but right now it has not revealed which sites will be included in the exception list. And even so, presumably that list will be shrunk gradually as time goes by.
Windows Insiders will be able to try this feature soon in upcoming preview builds, as Microsoft plan to have the feature in a stable form when Creator Update is released in early 2017, and it encourages developers to move to HTML5 technologies that are more secure and less battery-consuming. Earlier in April, Microsoft said it would disable Flash video and animations in advertisements and other non-essential content.
Flash has been criticized for its high security risk and battery consumption. Microsoft is not the first company to block Flash in its browser. Earlier this month, Google announced to block Flash content on Chrome by default, and previously Apple and Mozilla as well as Facebook have took the same approach to deal with Flash content.
More and more sites are moving toward HTML 5 content as a replacement to Flash, and it turns out that user experience become better off with the HTML 5-based video. Now all four popular browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge) plan to move away from Flash, which may push forward a faster and more secure browsing experience.
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