Most of the browser makers are chipping away their dependency at the web’s Flash and Microsoft is also following the footsteps of others browser makers and announced that upcoming Edge browser versions will favor HTML5 by default over Flash.
Microsoft said on 14th December 2016 that sites that support HTML5 will default to a clean HTML5 experience and in this case users will have better performance, more security, and improved battery life as Flash will not even be loaded.
On sites where Flash is required, users computer screen will show a pop up like one attached below and it will remember the user’s choice for subsequent visits.
Edge users will see the prompt shown above when accessing a website with Flash content
On Windows Insiders builds, Microsoft has already implemented these changes to Edge users. For regular Windows users, this update may be available in the coming weeks. Although, Microsoft has not announce the exact day when it will integrate the new default multimedia playback technology HTML5 in Edge, but it is certain that Flash will be demised.
Microsoft also announced that in the beginning, major websites that have millions of monthly visitors and still rely on Flash will be exempt for the click-to-run Flash popup. The spokes person of Microsoft said that in the coming weeks and months, we will actively monitor Flash consumption in Microsoft Edge and will then take a decision of shortening the list of automatic exceptions gradually. Microsoft explains the reason of doing this and said that by doing so, users will remain in control at the end of this process and we will be able to select Flash for any site user visit. Microsoft is expecting that major websites will have a clear clue that Flash’s death is coming at a fast pace so they will try to migrate their user experience to more modern technologies.
Google and Mozilla have done the same in the past and now Microsoft is advising web developers to focus on deploying new technologies such Encrypted Media Extensions, Media Source Extensions, Canvas, Web Audio, and WebRTC instead of Flash. In fact, it is advising to ditch Flash altogether. It is not only the Google, Mozilla, or Microsoft; Apple also has announced that its Safari browser will automatically disable old Adobe Flash versions because of increased security risks.
Mozilla made an announcement in July that Firefox would block certain Flash content that is not important to the user experience. For those websites where Flash is the only media playback solution, Google Chrome 55 already using HTML5 as the default multimedia content handler rather than Flash with a similar click-to-run popup.
Microsoft has clearly said that Windows 10 next release will default to HTML5 content if possible and it even won’t load Flash content in the background. If this happens, users will have better performance, battery life and security. If you access a website that relies on Flash, you need to actively choose if you want Flash to load via a prompt. To make user experience better while browsing something in the Edge browser, Edge will stop certain Flash content and ads which will not be central to sites and it may speed up the loading process of the site.
Microsoft isn’t clear about how long this transition may take, but it is good that Microsoft is putting its foot down against the scourge of the internet by making its browser more secure.