24 May 2012
The upcoming version of the Windows operating system will reportedly come pre-installed with Internet Explorer 10 and the Adobe Flash Player plugin. While browsers hardly ever come with pre-installed plugins, the Redmond-based software vendor has decided to integrate the Flash technology in the Metro version of Internet Explorer 10 to let its users enjoy multimedia content out-of-the-box.
According to WithinWindows, the Windows 8 operating system will come with two flavors of Internet Explorer 10. While the desktop version of the browser will support plugins and extensions, the Metro-style browser will be plugin-free. The inclusion of the Flash plugin in the Metro version of IE will make it possible for the browser to render Flash contents that would otherwise be impossible to display.
The security implications of this merger are yet to be seen. Most antivirus software vendors state that the Flash plugin is at the moment one of the most exploited technologies in the world with zero-day proof-of-concept code available for next to nothing on underground forums. To stop malicious exploitation, Microsoft will allegedly limit the functionality of the Flash Player in the Metro browser to a white list of trustworthy websites such as Hulu, YouTube, Vimeo, BBC, CNN or Facebook and Zynga. Other websites will still be available via the desktop-based browser, after the user has voluntarily installed the Flash Player plugin.