Starting tomorrow, Microsoft is updating Internet Explorer 10 in Windows 8 and Windows RT to enable Flash content to run by default. On Windows 8, all Flash content continues to be enabled for IE on the desktop.
As has been seen through testing over the past several months, the vast majority of sites with Flash content are now compatible with the Windows experience for touch, performance, and battery life. With this update, the curated Compatibility View (CV) list blocks Flash content in the small number of sites that are still incompatible with the Windows experience for touch or that depend on other plug-ins.
Microsoft believe having more sites “just work” in IE10 improves the experience for consumers, businesses, and developers. As a practical matter, the primary device you walk around with should give you access to all the Web content on the sites you rely on. Otherwise, the device is just a companion to a PC. Because some popular Web sites require Adobe Flash and do not offer HTML5 alternatives, Adobe and Microsoft continue to work together closely to deliver a Flash Player optimized for the Windows experience.
|Windows 8||Windows RT|
|Immersive IE||Enabled unless on CV list||Enabled unless on CV list|
|Desktop IE||Enabled for all sites||Enabled unless on CV list|
This updates the immersive IE experience on Windows 8, and both the immersive and desktop IE experiences on Windows RT. The update will be made available to customers with Windows Update. The curated CV list applies to IE on the desktop for Windows RT since the most common reason to block Flash is that the site relies on other plug-ins that are not available on Windows RT.
More compatible Web experiences
Microsoft’s approach to Flash in Windows is practical for Windows customers and developers. For Windows 8, Microsoft worked with Adobe to include a version of Flash that is optimized for touch, performance, security, reliability, and battery life. Adobe made substantial changes to the Flash player to align with the Windows 8 experience goals. Microsoft shipped this optimized Flash component as part of Windows 8, and we service it through Windows Update. IE10 with Flash on Windows 8 enables people to see more of the Web working with high quality, especially compared with the experience in other touch-first or tablet browsers and devices.
When Microsoft released Windows 8 and Windows RT we used the IE Compatibility View (CV) list to enable sites to run Flash content compatible with the Windows 8 experience, including touch responsiveness, performance, and battery life. In Windows 8, IE on the desktop runs all Flash content, like it does on Windows 7.
Looking at our engineering experience with Flash and Windows 8 and RT, as developers improve their Flash content, the vast majority of sites with Flash content that we have tested are now compatible with the Windows experience goals. Of the thousands of domains tested for Flash compatibility to date, we have found fewer than 4% are still incompatible, in the most part because the core site experience requires other ActiveX controls in addition to Flash. With Windows 8 in the hands of customers and developers, we listened to feedback around the experience of Web sites with Flash.
Developing compatible Flash content
For developers building sites with Flash content, this document posted on MSDN goes into more technical detail about the criteria used to place sites on the Flash CV block list, as well as steps that developers can take to test their content in immersive IE and submit their sites to be removed from the block list. The documentation also includes a best practices guide to help developers, designers, and content publishers create experiences with Flash that play well in IE for touch, responsiveness, and battery life. These best practices complement existing recommendations and tools like modern.IE for authoring touch-friendly HTML5 sites. Also, starting tomorrow, modern.IE enables testing whether or not your site is on the curated Flash CV block list.
For the development community, platform continuity and technology choice are important. Flash in IE10 on Windows 8 and Windows RT provides a bridge for existing sites to transition to HTML5 technologies where it makes sense and at a pace that is right for the experiences they want to deliver to their customers. With today’s update to Windows 8 and Windows RT, consumers can experience more of the Web by default.
Microsoft Silverlight is a powerful platform for creating and delivering rich Internet applications and media experiences on the Web. Silverlight 5 builds on the foundation of Silverlight 4 for building business applications, premium media applications and applications that reach beyond the browser. Silverlight 5 introduces more than 40 new features, including support for running Silverlight applications with desktop features in the browser, dramatic video quality and performance improvements, and features that improve developer productivity. The Silverlight 5 beta will be available sometime in 2011 H1, and more information will be available at http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight.
Premium Media Experiences
Silverlight 5 offers improved media support and rich UI capabilities:
• Hardware Decode and presentation of H.264 improve performance for lower-power devices to render high-definition video using GPU support.
• TrickPlay allows video to be played at different speeds and supports fast-forward and rewind. At up to twice the speed, audio pitch correction allows users to watch videos while preserving a normal audio pitch.
• Improved power awareness prevents the screen saver from being shown while watching video and allows the computer to sleep when video is not active.
• Remote-control support allows users to control media playback.
• Digital rights management advancements allow seamless switching between DRM media sources.
Business Application Development
Silverlight 5 is Microsoft Corp.’s solution for building next-generation business applications:
• Fluid user interface enables smoother animation within the UI. Inter-Layout Transitions allow developers to specify animations to apply when elements are added, removed or re-ordered within a layout. This provides smoother user experiences when, for example, items are inserted into a list.
• Text improvements make it possible to build rich magazine-style text layouts:
– Multicolumn text and linked text container allow text to flow around other elements.
– Tracking/leading set precisely how far apart each character is for full creative control.
– Text clarity is improved with Pixel Snapping.
– Text layout performance is significantly improved.
– OpenType support has been enhanced.
• Support for Postscript vector printing enables users to create reports and documents, including the ability to create a virtual print view different from what is shown on the screen.
• Applications can now work the way users expect with added support for double-click and Combobox type ahead.
• Model View ViewModel (MVVM) and Databinding enhancements allow more work to be done more easily via XAML:
– Debugging support now allows breakpoints to be set on a binding, so you can step through binding failures.
– Implicit DataTemplates allow templates to be created across an application to support a particular type by default.
– Ancestor RelativeSource allows, for example, a DataTemplate to bind to a property on the control that contains it.
– Binding in style setters allows bindings to be used within styles to reference other properties.
– The DataContextChanged event is being introduced. Markup extensions allow code to be run at XAML parse time for both properties and event handlers, enabling cutting-edge MVVM support.
• Networking and Windows Communication Foundation enhancements:
– Reduced network latency by using a background thread for networking.
– WS-Trust support: message security — encrypted at the Windows Communication Foundation level; Security Assertion Markup Language authentication token.
• Silverlight 5 performance improvements include these:
– Reduced network latency by using a background thread for networking.
– XAML parser improvements that speed up startup and runtime performance.
– Support for 64-bit operating systems.
• Graphics improvements
– Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) accelerated 3-D application programming interface (API) provides rich graphics on the Web for building advanced data visualizations and rich user experience (UI).
– Immediate mode graphics API allows direct rendering to the GPU.
– Hardware acceleration is enabled in windowless mode with Internet Explorer 9.
• Silverlight offers a new class of trusted applications that brings desktop capabilities to the browser for the first time. These features, when enabled via a group policy registry key and an application certificate, mean users won’t need to leave the browser to perform complex tasks:
– Host HTML content as a Web browser control within the Silverlight application. HTML pages, such as help content or e-mail, can be integrated within the application.
– Read and write files to the user’s My Documents folder, making it easier to find media files or create local copies of reports.
– Launch Microsoft Office and other desktop programs. Users can open Microsoft Outlook and create an e-mail message, or send a report to Word utilizing the power of Office.
– Access devices and other system capabilities by calling into application COM components. Users can access a USB security card reader or a bar-code scanner.
– Enjoy full keyboard support in full screen, which enables richer kiosk and media viewing applications.
– Call existing unmanaged code directly from within Silverlight with PInvoke.
• Out-of-browser trusted applications are further enhanced:
– Existing unmanaged code can be called directly from within Silverlight with PInvoke.
– Child Window support allows multiple windows to be launched from the application.
• Tools improvements include these:
– Microsoft Visual Studio profiling support including CPU, memory, thread contention.
– Visual Studio Team Test support.
These expected features to be included with the Silverlight 5 beta. As always, the final product and features included will be dependent on feedback and testing that comes from the beta process.
so…Silverlight is not dead that we can say for sure.