Microsoft on Tuesday provided a short overview to its transition to what it calls the plug-in free web. It all starts with Internet Explorer 10, which in Windows 8 will ship in two versions: One, a normal Windows application similar to previous versions and the second a Metro-style app that does not support any plug-in extensions at all.

It's going to require some adjustments by web developers, the company notes.

"Any site that uses plug-ins needs to understand what their customers experience when browsing plug-in free," Microsoft program manager John Hrvatin writes in a post to the official IEBlog. "Lots of Web browsing today happens on devices that simply don’t support plug-ins. Even browsers that do support plug-ins offer many ways to run plug-in free. "

According to Hrvatin, the Metro-style IE 10 version dispenses with plug-ins to improve battery life, as well as security, reliability, and privacy. And while a post from last September--timed to the BUILD Conference and the release of the Windows 8 Developer Preview--explained how changes to the IE 10 Compatibility View List will help, this week's post focuses on how developers can explicitly support this change.

It's a very short post. And what it boils down to is that web developers with sites that need plug-ins can use a very simple line of HTML code to alert the user of that and provide a way to re-launch the site in the desktop version of IE 10.

That alert looks like this:


Ultimately, however, Microsoft feels that this is just a temporary workaround and that web developers should be actively working to eliminate plug-in requirements from their sites. "A plug-in free Web benefits consumers and developers and we all take part in the transition," Hrvatin says. "IE10 makes it easy to provide the best possible experience while you migrate your site."