The reality today is that sites are already rapidly engineering for a plug-in free experience. Google, for example, recently launched their HTML5 YouTube site for phones. A previous IE blog post discussed how plug-in free sites are becoming more mainstream, and what sites can do to run plug-in free. We examined the use of plug-ins across the top 97,000 sites world-wide, a corpus which includes local sites outside the US in significant depth. Many of the 62% of these sites that currently use Adobe Flash already fall back to HTML5 video in the absence of plug-in support. When serving ads in the absence of plug-ins, most sites already perform the equivalent of this fallback, showing that this approach is practical and scalable. There’s a steep drop-off in plug-in usage after Flash, with one control used on 2% of sites and a small collection of controls used on between 0.5% and 0.75% of sites.This announcement follows an open letter posted by Steve Jobs to the Apple website, dated April 2010, explaining why the iPad and iPhone lines would never support Flash (previously).
On Windows 8, consumer sites and “line of business” applications that require legacy ActiveX controls will continue to run in the desktop browser, and people can tap “Use Desktop View” in Metro style IE for these sites. For what these sites do, the power of HTML5 makes more sense, especially in Windows 8 apps.
Plug-in free browsers today already deliver great experiences with well-authored HTML5 content. These experiences get even better with touch in Metro style IE.
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