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Windows 8 Metro Browser on Mobile Devices Will Be Plug-In Free

by News Editor

September 15, 2011


by News Editor

September 15, 2011

“This will require some adjustment in thinking, by developers and users alike … and especially those who develop for mobile.”

Life for mLearning developers got a bit more interesting last night. Dean Hachamovitch, head of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer team, revealed that the tablet-optimized Metro browser in Windows 8 is plug-in free. In other words, Metro on mobile devices will not support Flash, PDF, Silverlight, or QuickTime.

There are two versions of Internet Explorer 10 (IE 10) in Windows 8: a Metro-style app and a “Classic” desktop/laptop app. Like Apple’s iOS, Metro is mainly for the world of touch interfaces and low-power devices. It will be primarily HTML5-based.

The Classic desktop/laptop IE 10 browser will continue to support plug-ins and extensions. The Metro-style app, intended for mobile use on tablets and smartphones, will also run on desktop and laptop PCs; in those situations, for Websites and applications that require ActiveX, the user can select “Use Desktop View.”

This will require some adjustment in thinking, by developers and users alike. Developers, especially those who develop for mobile, must now think in terms of users on a larger number of platforms:

  • Windows 7 and IE 9 and earlier
  • OS X
  • iOS
  • Windows 8 and IE 10 “Classic”
  • Metro IE 10
  • Android (multiple versions and manufacturer implementations)

At this point, there hasn’t been any reaction forthcoming from authoring tool vendors. Learning Solutions Magazine will update this story as additional information becomes available.

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