New Apple Laptops Ship Without Adobe's Flash Player

Published by: Mike Goldman on 22nd Oct 2010 | View all blogs by Mike Goldman


New Apple Laptops Ship Without Adobe's Flash Player

Apple unveiled its revamped line of ultra sleek, lightweight MacBook Air laptops this week at a press conference in San Francisco.  Early reviewers of the computers noticed something curious when they tried to test the machines' performance on video-streaming websites like Hulu and YouTube: instead of the video they were attempting to view, they got an error message that read “missing plug-in”.

The message is common when using a browser that doesn't have Adobe's free Flash Player installed to visit sites with Flash-embedded videos.  The issue is easily remedied by simply installing the free Adobe player, which generally takes less than a minute, but the omission of the Flash player is notable as the first time in recent memory Apple has shipped a new desktop or laptop without the Flash player plug-in already installed.

So the question is whether the omission of the player was just an oversight, or a deliberate act of defiance against Adobe.  The issue is interesting in light of Apple CEO Steve Jobs' public spat with Adobe over their Flash software.  In an open letter written in April, Jobs slammed the software as the "number-one reason that Macs crash," a "closed system that uses too much power," and a "100% proprietary" technology that generally "falls short."

Adobe executives responded with their own open letter, accusing Apple of trying to "put content and applications behind walls" instead of letting users "freely access their favorite content and applications, regardless of what computer they have, what browser they like, or what device suits their needs."

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