Microsoft Announces Its Own Schedule for Killing Flash

Posted on July 26, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Windows 10 with 13 Comments

Microsoft Announces Its Own Schedule for Killing Flash

In the wake of Adobe’s announcement about the end of life of Flash, Microsoft this week announced its own schedule for removing Flash from its own products.

“Adobe announced that Flash will no longer be supported after 2020,” the Microsoft Edge teamexplains. “Microsoft will phase out support for Flash in Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer ahead of this date.”

After some unnecessarily kind words about Flash, which is the most reviled technology available on the Internet (and, yes, I do remember ActiveX), Microsoft provided the following schedule.

End of 2017 through early 2018. Microsoft Edge will ask users for permission to run Flash on most sites the first time the site is visited, as it does today. And it will remember the user’s preference on future visits. Internet Explorer will continue to allow Flash normally.

Mid-to-late 2018. Microsoft Edge will require explicit permission for Flash to run every time it’s encountered. IE will continue to allow Flash normally.

Mid-to-late 2019. Flash will be disabled by default in both Microsoft Edge and IE, but users will be able to re-enable it in both. If re-enabled, Edge will continue to require approval for Flash on a site-by-site basis.

By the end of 2020. Microsoft Edge and IE will no longer support Flash. Users will not be able enable or run Flash in either browser.

Microsoft says that it is phasing out Flash support ahead of Adobe’s end-of-life date, which is also at the end of 2020. But these schedules appear to match almost perfectly, and Microsoft’s schedule is basically the same as that of Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.


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Comments (13)

13 responses to “Microsoft Announces Its Own Schedule for Killing Flash”

  1. madthinus

    Only problem is that the way this work right now not all sites trigger the request for approval, leaving the site broken.

  2. NarcoSleepy

    Happily disabled this in Edge advanced options. Flash is a menace to society.

  3. Narg

    To bad Flash is still so used. And too bad it wasn't killed like this years ago.

  4. skane2600

    If we put aside the "All the cool kids hate Flash so we will too" attitude, the fact is that when you need to go a site that uses Flash and you can't use it, you are going to be pissed. There's really no reason for companies to kill a capability that doesn't really require any work on their part to allow. Let nature take it's course - Flash can die a natural death.

    • Ugur

      In reply to skane2600: yeah, basically all pseudo cool kids hate flash who have no clue that it basically accelerated web progress over 10 years and then just jumped on the hate train when Steve told the world that was what to do =)
      It's true that Flash didn't get developed further nicely once Adobe bought it, hence why i then jumped over to other options like Unity for cross platform development and distribution, but that doesn't change anything about the point that without flash the web would be over 10 years behind in progression compared to where it is now and basically most if not all big web apps and services used flash in one form or the other until browser only solutions stepwise came close enough to replacing flash on more and more ends many years later.

      I don't care much about it all anymore nowadays, i've made my peace with it and long switched to other technologies, but yeah, it still riles me up a little when someone like Paul who should at least look into knowing better jumps on such misinformed hatred bandwagons, too.
      Paul, i expect better of you =)

  5. Ugur

    Flash's time in the spotlight has passed long ago, sure. And thanks to years of mis management and failed further development by Adobe and constant propaganda by others, yeah, it's good it's put to rest.

    But anyone who just spews vitriol against flash like as if it was always the worst just comes off as massively uninformed wannaba hipster troll sheep.

    Just as info: Flash allowed fullscreen smooth animations in tiny filesize, text shown in any font at any dimensions in tiny filesize, web video in much nicer form etc than any other technology, over 10 years earlier than any other technology.

    So yes, in it's prime there were many very valid reasons why it was used so much and it accelerated the development of the web over 10 years.

    It just went massively downhill after Adobe bought it.

    And note: Flash was not killed off for the arguments brought up and now repeated for many years by uninformed people.

    It was killed because platform holders and browser makers wanted that control in their own hands instead of by a third party which allowed in depth and freely accessible interactive content on the web.

    Flash's performance on macs and mobile was weak, yes.

    But on other ends, flash still has some features which have not been matched by any other web option yet which is available for all browsers.

    Just as one example: Flash allowed to have smooth fullscreen tweened vector graphics animations in tiny filesize. Or also raster graphic image sequence animations, where one could use jpgs and full color with transparency pngsand have them be jpeg compressed for way smaller filesize.

    The only alternatives we have to that which works cross browser is 256 colors max bloated filesize gifs and video (which comes in at even much bigger filesize).

    So there was no good replacement for it in such aspects and still is none, it's just the point that we meanwhile have way faster internet connections and as such it's no biggy anymore when someone posts a several MB big gif or video.

    I hope Adobe open sources it all, because it would be awesome if some aspects where flash is still unmatched are integrated in browsers and game engines.

    For example most highend game engines to this day, while they are awesome in 3d rendering and all sorts of other aspects where flash was weak, yes, they still have issues with displaying text nicely and sharply in any font without bloated filesize and ram usage.

    So to this day it would still be extremely beneficial if even just that embedding font data in vector format and then rendering it in sharp vector graphics in any dimensions aspect would be brought to other platforms.

    And yeah, the vector graphics and tween engine/renderer in general.

    Also the filters, which allowed to do filter effects on elements in photoshop level quality, many such aspects would be very cool to have in hardware accelerated way in other engines and browsers.

    Open source it, Adobe =)

    • cuppettcj

      In reply to Ugur:

      The Flash hate from Paul and others is needlessly over the top. I agree with you, Flash accelerated Web development and accomplished a lot while dealing with slow internet connections and computer processors. I loathe to think that we are giving up on it without an alternative that is just as efficient with regard to bandwidth and processing cycles.

  6. Win74ever

    If a website requires flash nowadays I just close the tab and find something else.

  7. TallGuySE

    It's weird the way some sites require Flash or not, depending on the device. For example, some news sites will play video fine on iOS, but require Flash on a Mac. Another example - I use Ticketmaster often. On iOS devices, the "use map" option works fine. On a Mac, it requires Flash. This shows that they can do Flash-free, but chose not to. I don't understand the reasoning.

  8. John Scott

    I pretty much avoid Flash content right now. National Weather Service still defaults radar loops to Flash so I use it for that. I figure in a year or less Google's Chrome will completely stop support for Flash. Firefox already doesn't include it by default on install. Probably the best solution to protect yourself. I do not use Edge much but have disabled Flash in it.

  9. Kareko

    Love the info and I really amazed to have this wonderful post