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.