What Your Website Should Know About Windows 8

Windows 8
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Slowly but surely, Windows 8 is taking over the PC world. From the point of view of Internet marketing, how will Windows 8 impact how website visitors see and interact with your website? Here are four things you need to know.

1. So long, Flash.

Of the two default Internet browsers included in Windows 8, the touch-based browser will not support Flash. If your website still relies heavily on Flash animations, it will be bad news for your site when all the Microsoft users begin to adopt Windows 8. Furthermore, it's worth mentioning that Microsoft isn't the only company that's eschewing Flash. Steve Jobs hated Flash with a passion. His biographer Walter Isaacson quoted him as saying that Flash was "a spaghetti-ball piece of technology that has lousy performance and really bad security problems." Given that the new Windows 8 browser won't be supporting Flash, that mobile devices seem to be the future of the Internet and that Adobe killed off Mobile Flash in 2011 anyway, removing any remaining Flash animations from your site would probably be a wise idea.

2. Ignore the Bing hype, at least for now.

You know how sorry you feel for a friend who just can't admit that a certain relationship is really, truly over and keeps pouring his or her heart into it anyway? You should feel just as sorry for Microsoft and its marriage to Bing, the search engine that it designed to unseat rival Google. Bing has never taken off, but Microsoft hangs onto it despite all signs that it shouldn't. Microsoft is trying to revitalize Bing yet again by making it the default search engine in the default browser for Windows 8. It didn't work to move Bing into the top slot before; it's unlikely it will work now. When people tell you to start optimizing your website for Bing because it's going to be taking over the search marketplace any time now, just politely nod and smile. Then continue to optimize for Google.

3. Move away from exclusive WebKit-centric design.

Other than dumping Flash once and for all, the other major web design issue that the new IE 10 brings up is compatibility with WebKit sites. When your site's CSS includes the -webkit prefix, you might find that it doesn't display properly in IE 10. Microsoft has published a guide for developers to make sites compatible with both WebKit browsers like Chrome and IE 10. If you didn't code your website yourself but are using a WordPress-type template, test out your site on IE 10 to find out if your template has any IE 10 compatibility issues.

4. Prepare for an app-based world.

If you spend much time browsing on mobile devices, you already know that many of your favorite sites suggest that you download the app for their site instead of using your web browser. Android apps are common; iOS apps are even more common. The next App Store that will be opening on a device near you is the Windows Store. If you haven't already done so, consider investing into app versions of your site or services that will be more convenient for your users. Just as "Do you have a website?" was the question of the mid-1990s, "Do you have an app?" will be the question of the next five to 10 years. Do you have your own thoughts about how web developers and designers should be adapting to Windows 8 and IE 10? Share them in the comments section below.

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