Adobe's Danny Winokur has revealed the close work between Microsoft and Adobe to enable Flash support in the Windows 8 Release Preview. Winokur sent an internal memo to company employees today to clear up Adobe's role in the Windows 8 Flash support. In it, Winokur mentions rumors that Adobe licensed Flash code to Microsoft. "That is not the case," he says, "Microsoft received strong customer feedback that Flash is an important part of the Metro style browsing experience and invited us to consider doing this work with their support." Winokur goes on to reveal the finer details of how Flash will be supported in Windows 8:
We have been working closely with Microsoft to ensure a great Flash experience in Windows 8 and recently finalized an agreement that is the basis for today’s release. Our work together has to a large degree focused on integrating Flash Player into Metro style IE10 with special privileges that enable it to run while other plugins still cannot (consistent with Microsoft’s earlier announcements about plugin-free browsing). We did this work with their support and cooperation on integrating with IE and Windows. We will deliver future updates to the Flash Player (both security and feature upgrades) through Windows Update in much the same way that Microsoft updates IE itself.
Windows 8 Flash support is a key win for Adobe in its battle to keep Flash content alive and Microsoft's choice to integrate the technology into Windows 8 is a clear u-turn from its previous stance. The fact updates will be distributed by Windows Update is also a rarity for non-Microsoft software. Although some features in the Metro implementation have been dropped to better support touch devices, it will be interesting to see whether Microsoft plans to use its Flash support as a marketing weapon when Windows 8 is available later this year.