Rumors of Flash player being part of Windows 8 metro version have started appearing on more than one blog sites. Apparently Microsoft is in talks with Adobe to include Flash player into IE browser. The reason being given is that ‘there’s still plenty of content on the internet that uses Flash and not having Flash would have been looked at negatively on Windows!!’.  There were reports earlier that Windows 8 metro will not provide plug-in architecture and therefore will not support Flash the way it does on desktop today. But according to the reports, Flash will be integrated with the browser and distributed by Microsoft.

Sounds familiar? Remember Adobe’s announcement for Linux desktop support?  Google is essentially doing the same. Google is planning on integrating Flash with the browser and will take over distribution of Flash player. So updates to Flash will be provided via Chrome rather than via Adobe web site.

So with that, we’ve covered Windows, Mac (both do not change their plug-in model) and Linux on desktop (via Google/Pepper APIs). What about devices? Well- we now have Windows 8 Metro supporting Flash. So if its available on Windows, then it is likely that Google will try to provide it on Android to stay competitive. (Chrome is already available on Android and it’s been rumored that Chrome may become default browser on Jelly Bean). So in this scenario, we’ve got Flash running on all desktops and two out of three major OSes in mobile world.

It doesn’t come as a surprise to me. Given the investment of millions of web sites have made into Flash today, it is unlikely that they all will migrate to HTML5 overnight. HTML5 is few years behind Flash and has limitations such as lack of DRM support. All the cutting edge content on the web today relies on Flash and will continue to rely on Flash knowing that it is going to be supported on desktop. Market is noticing that and it seems that there’s renewed movement to support Flash. The model this time is different though- rather than Adobe owning distribution, it is being owned by OS companies. This is more logical given the fact that Flash is very tightly integrated with the OS and OS folks understand their technology best!

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