updated 09:35 am EDT, Thu October 21, 2010
Apple extending anti-Flash stance?
The 2010 MacBook Air is shipping without a preloaded copy of Flash Player, early buyers note. Although the plugin can still be downloaded and will work properly, its absence is unusual, as all other Macs come with Flash pre-installed. The technology remains standard on the web, used for video, advertising and many site interfaces.
Apple has however adopted an outspoken anti-Flash stance in recent months, prompted mostly by the plugin's performance on mobile devices. No iOS device supports Flash; Apple has instead thrown its weight behind HTML5, as well as dedicated apps that bypass web interfaces entirely. Apple has also attacked Flash as being the largest cause of crashes on Macs. This and other charges have forced developer Adobe to publicly defend itself, even if the companies have come to terms over Flash-based development tools.
The absence of Flash on the Air may represent an attempt by Apple to eliminate some hassle on its end and nudge people towards websites with HTML5. Sites with Flash content will often prompt people to download the plugin, however, limiting any impact such an effort might have.