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April 7, 2016

Putting Users in Control of Flash

One of our top priorities in building Edge has been that the web should be a dependably safe, performant, and reliable place for our customers. To that end, we’re introducing a change to give users more control over the power and resources consumed by Flash. With the Anniversary Update to Windows 10, Microsoft Edge will intelligently auto-pause content that is not central to the web page. Windows Insiders can preview this feature starting with Windows 10 build 14316.

Peripheral content like animations or advertisements built with Flash will be displayed in a paused state unless the user explicitly clicks to play that content. This significantly reduces power consumption and improves performance while preserving the full fidelity of the page. Flash content that is central to the page, like video and games, will not be paused.

Flash has been an integral part of the web for decades, enabling rich content and animations in browsers since before HTML5 was introduced.  In modern browsers, web standards pioneered by Microsoft, Adobe, Google, Apple, Mozilla, and many others are now enabling sites to exceed those experiences without Flash and with improved performance and security.  This transition to modern web standards has benefited users and developers alike.  Users experience improved battery life when sites use efficient web standards, lowering both memory and CPU demands.  Developers benefit as they are able to create sites that work across all browsers and devices, including mobile devices where Flash may not be available.

We encourage the web community to continue the transition away from Flash and towards open web standards.  Standards like Encrypted Media Extensions, Media Source Extensions, Canvas, Web Audio, and RTC offer a rich way to deliver similar experiences with increased performance and security.  We will continue to work within the W3C to ensure standards unblock  all developers to fully transition away from Flash.

We’re aligned with other browsers in this transition from Flash towards a modern standards-based web. Over time, we will provide users additional control over the use of Flash (including content central to the page) and monitor the prevalence of Flash on the web.

– John Hazen, Principal Program Manager Lead, Microsoft Edge