Adobe’s Flash gave web developers the freedom to add interactive content to their websites when they usually couldn’t do it – the Flash plugin could play music and videos, something the web standards didn’t support.
Today, however, modern browsers with full compatibility with HTML5 can do everything Flash could, and more – all with enhanced security and improved performance as well.
Security is important, of course, but so is performance – especially with Microsoft’s focus being on making Edge the most battery efficient browser in existence.
The great barrier
Starting with the Creators Update, Edge will start blocking Flash content on all websites except the most popular ones; how does Edge know what sites are popular? It can tell by collecting that data from its users.
Microsoft didn’t say how large this list will be – it could be the top 100 sites in the world, or top 1000 – but websites like YouTube can certainly continue using Flash, for now.
For the rest, all Flash content will be blocked by default, but users will be able to “unblock” it – once unblocked, the setting will be remembered for subsequent visits.
Not a ban
Microsoft says it will continue to monitor the usage of Flash on Edge, and adjust the list of automatic exceptions accordingly.
At the end of it all, Flash won’t be absent from Edge – users will still have the control, and will still be able to enable it if they so desire – but it will be avoided, by default.
Microsoft is not alone
Microsoft’s efforts to reduce Flash’s foothold aren’t exclusive to the company – all of the web development community is slowly moving away from Flash, including Adobe; perhaps we have Steve Jobs to thank for that.
Eliminating Flash from the equation allows the web browsers to have better control over the security of their experience; it’s about time Edge started to drift away from aging technologies like Flash.
While the general populace will only get away from Flash with the upcoming Creators Update; the Windows Insiders, of course, will get a preview of these changes sometime in the near future in the upcoming Fast Ring Preview builds.
Hopefully, the Insiders will be able to provide adequate feedback before this change affects the users on production Windows 10 in early 2017.
You can read more about the upcoming change on Microsoft’s official blog.