Flash is not as integral to the web as it once was, but it’s still required for some content, despite being a huge security nightmare.
Microsoft, like Google and Mozilla, wants to hasten the transition away from Flash to a more modern, standards based web, and so plans to make a big change to Edge in the forthcoming Anniversary Update to Windows 10.
According to John Hazen, Principal Program Manager Lead, Microsoft Edge, the future build of Microsoft’s new browser will “intelligently auto-pause content that is not central to the web page”.
Essentially, what this means is any vital Flash content — like video and games — will play as normal, but “peripheral content”, like Flash animations and ads, will be automatically paused. If you want to activate them you can, but it will be your choice.
Taking this action will, Hazen observes, significantly reduce power consumption and improve performance, while preserving the fidelity of the page.
Pausing non-essential Flash content is just the start for Microsoft. The software giant intends to roll out additional controls in the future, offering users complete control over all Flash content.
“We are planning for and look forward to a future where Flash is no longer necessary as a default experience in Microsoft Edge”, says Hazen. And, for most web users, that day couldn’t come soon enough.