back to article Good news Flash lovers! Microsoft won't be disabling it by default (so long as you use IE or old Edge)

Hey Flash fans! Microsoft has fiddled with its plans to join the platoon of vendors aiming to make Adobe's Swiss-Cheese-alike plug-in just a horrid memory by 2020. Adobe has already announced the end of support in 2020 for the multimedia component, beloved by Internet cartoon makers years ago and hackers for, well, pretty much …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Flash lives on because catch up / streaming tv sources appear to code for it ( for instance)

    Speaking of browsers I've not seen mention of this here and it reported elsewhere about a week ago, Chrome is losing four handy tab options that Google says 'you're not using'

    The options to create a new tab, close every tab except the current one, bookmark all open tabs and reopen a closed tab are all destined for the chop, after developers concluded they weren't used often enough to justify their existence.

    Seems like I'm one of the minority as I use new tab and reopen a closed tab multiple times a day. Chrome becomes less and less relevant by the day.

    1. israel_hands

      Not being able to open a tab in Chrome is probably the best feature that shitty browser is ever likely to see.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm not 100%, but i think it is just from the context menu. Therefore you open a new tab just by clicking the + next to the last tab. The other options may well live on in the overflow menu, just not be available in the context menu.

      I've only ever opened a closed tab from the history menu and only ever cliked the + for a new tab so hadn't even tried the context menu for it.

      I guess the context menu is for quick, regular actions so it would make sense not to have actions in there that are used infrequently as long as they keep the option itself elsewhere.

      Agree with the streaming services comment - Channel 4 is another one.

      1. mark l 2 Silver badge

        Channel 4 streaming site is a complete mess as some videos require flash and others don't. As I managed to stream some episodes of 30 Rock the other day on Linux Mint using Chrome and Widevine DRM not flash.

        Why they can't get rid of flash from the web version i don’t know, As they clearly have none flash version of the videos available for iOS or Android apps.

    3. Ken Y-N

      ...from the right-click tab context menu

      I nearly choked on my cornflakes at the prospect of create tab and reopen closed tab going away, but they mean from the context menu; I always use CTRL-N and CTRL+SHIFT+T, so it makes no different to me.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ...from the right-click tab context menu

        So because you don't need any assistive technology it's fine?

        Thanks. Lots of love back.

        1. jtaylor

          Re: ...from the right-click tab context menu

          So because you don't need any assistive technology it's fine?

          Visually impaired users can learn the direct keystrokes to open a new tab and such. The blind people that I know generally prefer keyboard shortcuts over incrementing through menus, especially when those commands are constant across sites and, to a certain extent, across browsers and operating systems.

          There are many many things that make it difficult to use the web with low vision. I could rant about unstructured web pages, unlabelled interactive image maps, sites that put navigation links at the bottom of the web page instead of the top, and so on. "Have to learn control-n, shift-control-t, control-p, control-w" isn't high on the list.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: ...from the right-click tab context menu

            If you don't have the keyboard shortcuts in the menu, how are you supposed to discover them in the first place, blind or otherwise? The days of a 100-page printed manual are over.

            See also Firefox's Bookmark All Tabs. Hint: use the Bookmarks menu shortcut Alt + B, not the clicking on the Bookmarks menu heading. Compare. Isn't that absurd?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Destroyer of useful features.


      Only "8,9%" of users? Wow. So if only ~10% of users use a feature, kill it? Should do that with some of Googles own staffing then, less than 10% of staff are CEOs, so just sack all of those!!!!!!!!

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Google.

        Judging from all the stupid decisions Google makes these days probably only 10% of their employees are engineers, and most are middle managers and marketers.

        So maybe the engineers are destined for the chop next, and the middle managers and marketers will sit in endless meetings with project managers and wonder why all forward progress has ceased.

        1. anoncow

          Re: Google.

          Much less than 10%.

      2. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: Google.

        That appears to be the same kind of "thinking" used by Mozilla. If only 9% of people use a given feature, go ahead and delete it. If you break down the statistics to a granular enough level, nearly every feature can probably be reduced to <10%, so get rid of them all! And since Firefox copies Google, this "feature" is probably coming to Firefox too.

        I've only ever used tab context menus to close other tabs and unclose tabs, fwiw.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Flash lives on because catch up / streaming tv sources appear to code for it ( for instance)

      And so, therefore, does piracy. Two wrongs don't make a right, but a definite proportion of people accessing content "unofficially" is simply it's guaranteed to play anywhere.

      Or at least that's why I do it.

    6. Dinanziame

      It's more convenient to open a new tab by clicking on the "+", closing other tabs can be done in a different way, and nobody uses bookmarks anymore... But reopening a closed tab could be a hassle for people who don't know Shift-Ctrl-T. They should at least keep that one.

      1. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Wow, I am really a nobody in so many ways. I use bookmarks, I use context menus for the tab options, I used the unread tab state that Mozilla said no one uses...

    7. Claverhouse Silver badge

      One of the vital extension reasons I use a troublesome old Firefox is the reopen icon. I must hit that little St. George's Flag sucker ten times a day.

      Also the window's recent history arrow alongside.

  2. anthonyhegedus Silver badge


    What really gets my goat is that banks, who are supposedly at the forefront of security, just don't give a shit about security, and are more concerned with 'looking good'. Take Lloyds bank business - every time I load their page, it says there's a plugin blocked because it's trying to run some daft flash animation. They should know better, but as with everything related to banks, they're slow, because they're not interested so much in security as looking good.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Banks

      Currently working in a bank- there’s beer a huge Flash migration project here, but mostly for all the old internal systems that were using Flex. I’m sure all the other banks are doing the same.

      Devils advocate time: programming Flash and AS3 was much, much nicer than doing everything with HTML5 and JavaScript, even today. It had a stable and consistent API rather than the grab-bag of ES4/5/6/7/Next standards that are floating around, and it wasn’t so beholden to the whims of whatever is flavour of the month on GitHub and NPM this week.

      Sure it might crash your browser, but at least it would compile reliably...

      1. chr0m4t1c

        Re: Banks

        Yes, because it's always better to do what's most convenient for the devs rather than best for security or the users...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Banks

        Really? There is no reason that you couldn't program everything customer facing on a bank's website in HTML5 (go easy on the javascript though!). It's been stable for a long time, it's pretty much what every other website manages to use, many of which are far more complex than a bank's. You don't have to use every cutting edge feature.

        As for libraries, if you're looking to use those then rethink your security practices again - however coming from someone who complains they want to use flash because it's easier, I think Bank website programming isn't for you.

      3. caffeine addict Silver badge

        Re: Banks

        The only reason for Flash to be a better option for compatibility in the last ten years is Microsoft and its stupid habit of tying IE versions to OS releases. If IE6, IE7, IE8 and even IE9 had been upgradable to the latest versions the whole world of compatibility would have been massively easier.

        That and all the activex bllcks that meant some companies (looking at you big banks) hung on to old OSes for waaaay too long and insisted web developers support them.

        1. Trixr Bronze badge

          Re: Banks

          To a point, they are upgradeable. IE 7 on release with Vista and Server 2008, can be upgraded to 9. 9 was released with Win 7 and 2008 R2 and can be upgraded to 11.

          I agree that it sucks they're tied to the OS version, but it's well-known that IE has lot of integration tied into the OS layer

  3. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

    Oh lord

    I still have family members playing Farmville (Takes 5 minutes to loads because of all the kak on it)

    Quick Hide HIDE!

    1. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

      Re: Oh lord

      Oh yes, farmville. I knew an old lady who would play that the whole time. She even got her friend to come in and look after her farm once a day while she was in hospital for a week FFS!

      Her computer was always in a state, with plug-ins, pop-ups, toolbars etc.

      I haven't heard from her for a few years now.

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        Re: Oh lord

        Probably collecting her harvest followed by exchanging baskets with other Farmville users.

  4. Gio Ciampa

    "As with Chrome, Flash will need to be enabled on a site by site basis"

    Is that a once-only setting, or (as Chrome seems to insist) once the first time you visit a site in any given session?

    1. defiler Silver badge

      Re: "As with Chrome, Flash will need to be enabled on a site by site basis"

      FYI, if you need Flash in Chrome in a corporate environment, you can whitelist sites via GPO.

  5. IGnatius T Foobar !

    "old" Edge?

    After all, hardly anyone uses Old Edge

    Hardly anyone uses new Edge either.

  6. Wokstation

    Annoyingly I have a 2tb Goflex Home network drive that it seems can only be administered through a flash interface.

  7. macjules Silver badge

    Shh, don't mention Comcast ..

    Once you have logged in to ThePlatform you are greeted by their state-of-the-art video upload and management portal - all loving created in Flash.

    1. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: Shh, don't mention Comcast ..

      To see the radar map animations in the United States National Weather Service web site, you have to use flash also, at least for the default "enhanced" edition. The basic thing still works in browsers that are in common use.

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: Shh, don't mention Comcast ..

        You also have to use Flash to defeat Ming the Merciless and liberate Mongo.

        1. israel_hands

          Re: Shh, don't mention Comcast ..

          Flash! I love you, but we've only got 14 hours to save the Earth!

  8. Claverhouse Silver badge

    As BleepingComputer reports, some developers at Google have wanted to strip back the tab context menu for years, believing it to be unnecessarily cluttered.

    [ article ]

    Of course they fucking do. If fucking Google has it's way every single page will be as ordered and undownloadable and unalterable, with no bars or extensions, just a page filled with unstoppable adverts and whatever information is presented.

    Even Google Search now defaults to results --- I'm not talking about either adverts or Google adverts --- that are of things for sale rather than interest.

    Who would have thought that of all the Tech Giants it was Google that would render pure, monomaniacal, capitalism ?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft needs Flash to be around ..

    .. to be able to point at something that is even less secure than Windows (the combination of the two is just plain lethal).

    It should be banned from ever coming near anything electronic again and the source code deleted, purged and then the storage device demagnetised, crushed and melted down to prevent it from ever re-appearing.

    What, Windows or Flash? Why choose?


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