Microsoft Edge joins forces with Chrome and Safari against Flash

When Apple declared that their revolutionary phone wouldn't support Adobe Flash, the internet went crazy. It was outrageous, preposterous! Whether you believed it at the time or not, Steve Jobs and co were on the right track. Flash can cause serious issues, and on the mobile side of things, it can be a drain on your battery. And Microsoft's new Edge browser will soon automatically freeze some content rendered by the Flash player, on websites.

Back in 2013, Apple introduced a feature that would allow the browser to freeze any Flash-based content that was considered to be non-essential to the website you were viewing. If you wanted to watch it play out, you could then click on it, and it would resume playing like normal. Last year, Google followed suit, introducing an identical feature for their Chrome browser. Well now it's Microsoft's turn to catch up.

The company recently announced that their new Edge browser would "intelligently auto-pause content that is not central to the web page." Interestingly enough, that's nearly the same language used by Google when they made their announcement in June of last year. Here's the same quote from them: "we'll intelligently pause content (like Flash animations) that aren't central to the webpage." It's no surprise that the language is nearly identical, as Microsoft linked back to Google's announcement in their own statement.

Both companies cited power consumption and performance as central reasons behind the feature. After all, Flash is certainly a known resource hog, so it makes sense that companies are looking to it to trim the fat on power usage.

Another big reason why it's important to pause Flash Player when it isn't necessary is because Flash is very prone to being exploited. Just earlier today I wrote about a new patch for Flash Player that was issued in response to a vulnerability that could allow someone to hold your computer's data for ransom.

The new Flash-freezing feature isn't coming right away, unfortunately. While it has been announced, it won't be available until the Windows 10 Anniversary update, which is due out sometime this summer. If you're a Windows Insider, you can find the new feature in build 14316, however.