With the introduction of Internet Explorer 10, Microsoft integrated Adobe Flash Player into it by default. In the beginning, Flash was only white listed for certain web sites as opposed to just any place on the web using it. If the site was on the white list, IE would utilize the components; if the site wasn’t on the white list, it wouldn’t load even though Flash was installed.

What changes has Microsoft made to Flash?

Microsoft has changed from a white list policy to a blacklist one. Now, by default, Internet Explorer 10 will play Flash on any web site that isn’t on the blacklist. If on Microsoft’s blacklist, Flash will not work even if you have it installed standalone in Windows 8.

This blacklist will only apply to IE 10, not any other browser you use on your computer. That means if you want to view a web site blacklisted in IE, you can open Chrome, Firefox or another browser of your choice to view it. Microsoft’s blacklist approach is meant to make web sites and services that utilize Flash available to its users. This keeps browser users in the Microsoft family as opposed to them using a competitor’s software.

What did Microsoft make the change?

Microsoft cites that upon further research, they realized that more web sites used Flash in a positive way than they thought. By using the white list approach, this made many web sites that were perfectly fine unavailable to IE10 users. These changes were also made to Windows RT users.

According to Microsoft, Flash compatibility in Windows 8 was also an issue they researched:

“Of the thousands of domains tested for Flash compatibility to date, we have found fewer than 4% are still incompatible, in the most part because the core site experience requires other ActiveX controls in addition to Flash.”

You can read more about the changes to Flash here from Microsoft.