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Apple no longer pre-installing Flash on Macs

by Pete Mason on 25 October 2010, 11:15

Tags: MacBook Air, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qa2oy

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When the new MacBook Air launched last week, there was something conspicuously absent - and we're not just talking about a hard-drive. The newest members of the Mac family were released without the latest version of Adobe Flash and it seems that from now on that's how all new Apple systems will ship.

According to Engadget - who questioned representatives of the manufacturer directly about the absence - the decision was made on security grounds, and had nothing to do with intercompany politics. Spokesman Bill Evans commented that "we're happy to continue to support Flash on the Mac, and the best way for users to always have the most up to date and secure version is to download it directly from Adobe".

He went on to explain that, going forward, all new Macs would ship without the software preinstalled.

At face value the move seems to make perfect sense, since a system that's been sat in a warehouse for 6 months obviously won't have the benefit of the latest security updates. At the same time, it is a bit suspicious given the ongoing row between the two companies. With Steve Jobs remaining adamant that Flash reduces the integrity and security of Macs, it's easy to see this as a backhanded poke at the quality of Adobe's software.

It could also be another step in discouraging the Apple-faithful from using the plug-in. Devices running iOS are already prevented from using Flash and while anyone running OS X can go and download the plug in, Safari - unlike most other browsers - won't direct users to download Flash should it come across a site that requires it.



HEXUS Forums :: 4 Comments

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In fairness to Safari, its probably a good idea to remove flash.

In fact, its probably a good idea for them to drop all internetworked traffic, if its not from the local zone, drop it. Much safer, and if Apple applied this to their press stuff, much less noiesy!
As much as i hate apple I do think that they should not be pre-installing third party applications as default but allowing people to get these applications when they are needed. As far as I am aware MS don't provide flash player as default with Windows 7.

As stated in the story if the machine sits in a warehouse for 6 months then the shipped version of flash could be a old version and apple could be shipping computers with a security hole that they can not control through auto-update ect.
stewis
As stated in the story if the machine sits in a warehouse for 6 months then the shipped version of flash could be a old version and apple could be shipping computers with a security hole that they can not control through auto-update ect.

This is something that bugs me.

Software as widespread as Flash ought to be able to update itself automatically, or along the lines of Windows Update (so you get a means to choose how you want it to update). As it is, Adobe give you the choice to turn off Flash updates (where you still get notifications periodically, or you do on the image I've made at work) or you can keep notifications on, where they pop up for each individual user constantly.

Just allow an option for silent updates for your platforms, please Adobe… and I don't mean a 5mb program sitting resident in memory permanently - a scheduled task running silently once a month would be adequate.


stewis
As much as i hate apple I do think that they should not be pre-installing third party applications as default but allowing people to get these applications when they are needed. As far as I am aware MS don't provide flash player as default with Windows 7.

No, but those selling the system do, and a lot more besides. MS don't sell the laptop, only the license for Windows. Obviously the same doesn't apply to Apple.
I would love it if in response, Adobe said “That's fine, if you don't want our products on your systems, we'll stop spending our time and resources on supporting your OS”. Cue mass exodus of ‘arty’ people using Apple computers who can no longer use photoshop.

Not going to happen though.