After major web browsers like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox decided to push Flash further into irrelevancy, Adobe finally saw the writing on the wall and announced that Flash would be put out to pasture. The internet rejoiced at the news, but it will still be quite a while before we are completely rid of the resource hogging and battery draining scourge that has haunted us for years.
To that end, Microsoft is trying to at least make the transition a bit easier to bear with the announcement that Windows 10’s Edge browser will gain the ability to “intelligently auto-pause” Flash content that is not pivotal to the viewing experience of a website. This is basically the same functionality that has been enabled in Chrome and Firefox for months. But still, it’s better late than never.
“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,” writes John Hazen, Principal Program Manager Lead for Microsoft Edge. “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.”
Hazel goes onto suggest that developers leave Flash on the roadside and instead pickup open standards like HTML5, Web Audio and Canvas. “We are planning for and look forward to a future where Flash is no longer necessary as a default experience in Microsoft Edge,” slyly adds.
Windows Insiders already have a chance to test out this new auto-pause feature in Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14316, which was released earlier this week. The general public will be able to partake in furthering the irrelevance of Flash when the Windows 10 Anniversary Update goes live this summer.