Is A Plug-In Free Internet Explorer For Windows 8 Metro Too Restrictive?

In order to get a better grasp on what life under Metro UI is like, I am strongly considering an experiment where I use nothing but the new start menu replacement for all my computing, except in the most dire of circumstances when I have no choice (like I really want to play a PC game).

This means directing almost all my day-to-day activities to Metro.

Considering I primarily blog and write in a word processor, listen to music, and browse the Internet I figured this wouldn’t be that difficult. For the apps like word processing that are currently non-existent in Windows 8 Consumer Preview, my plan is to turn to the net.

Between the apps that Metro does have, and a healthy does of Internet apps, I truly think there is hope for me to be primarily Metro dependent. There is one catch though, Internet Explorer is getting in the way ALREADY.

One of the biggest sources of contention for many users when it comes to Windows 8 (besides maybe Metro, itself) is whether or not it was wise of Microsoft to have two very different versions of Internet Explorer in its newest OS.

The desktop version allows plug-ins and flash, the one inside of Metro is much more ‘minimalist’ in nature and has absolute 100% dependence from add-ons including flash and even java. This is my problem.

Almost every major online word processor I’ve come across so far requires some sort of plug-in like Flash or Java. Google Docs should work, but every time I get out three or four sentences it displays ‘reconnecting to server’. This locks me out, takes a bunch of time, and makes Google Docs a deal-breaker.

What I’m not clear about is whether this is a common problem, or if again it is Metro’s IE that is at fault.

So, my own personal issue with it aside, you have to wonder if there is really a good idea on Microsoft’s part. Two different versions create confusion, but that’s not the biggest problem.

Regardless of what Microsoft says about the death of Flash and other plug-ins that are ‘insecure’, they are still a vital part of the web. Sure, a good deal of Flash programs are starting to offer HTML5 support as a substitute.

Sure, HTML5 is superior. At the end of the day though, the ‘casual’ crowd that Microsoft is trying to reach out to won’t understand why IE isn’t working in mention.

Microsoft can say, “Because HTML5 is the future, and its safer this way,” until they turn blue. The less technical crowd will just think, “That’s dumb. IE isn’t working right.” A compromise solution, which is what Windows 8 promises, should mean that if we want to run things like Flash on IE for Metro, we should be able to.

This is again just my opinion. I really like what Microsoft is doing with Windows 8 and Metro, despite some of the controversy surrounding it.

At the same time I can’t help but feel that they are adding to the confusion by creating uneven capabilities when comparing the desktop to Metro. In order for Windows 8 to truly be successful they must win users over to the new Metro UI.

In order to do that, Metro should be able to do about 75% of what you need to get done, free of the need to chain yourself down to the desktop.

I will continue to look for a decent web-based word processor that works well enough within Metro, because I really do want to give see what it is like to spend at week in Metro, at least for 75-90% of everything I do.

As it stands, I find that Metro gets about 10% of my time. Hopefully Firefox’s Metro app won’t be this restrictive in the near future.

So what do you think about the dual-nature of Internet Explorer? Additionally, is keeping out plug-ins on IE for Metro a good or bad idea in your opinion? Share your thoughts below.

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