Apple revamped its MacBook Air this week and it was quickly discovered that the new laptop ships without Adobe Flash pre-installed. All previous generations of Macs have shipped with Adobe Flash, but those days are officially over. This wasn't just a one-time thing: every Mac sold from here on out will no longer include Flash. "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," an Apple spokesperson told Engadget.
That seems like quite a reasonable argument, especially considering Windows does not ship with Flash either. Those who have been following Apple's war on Flash, however, know better. After all, why not just put Flash in the Software Update utility?
Apple has staunchly refused to let Flash on the iPhone, then the iPod touch, and finally the iPad. Flash is strictly not allowed on any of its iOS devices, despite the fact that the company bundles the plug-in on its Macs. This past April, things escalated to a whole new level when Cupertino banned developers from using cross-platform compilers, like the one Adobe just so happened to have announced as a key feature in Creative Suite 5, and instead required apps to be written natively for the iPhone OS. Despite complaints from developers, Apple CEO Steve Jobs did not let up and instead wrote a lengthy open letter explaining why Flash was detrimental for innovation on mobile devices, saying that it lacked openness, the "full web," reliability, security, performance, battery life, touch interfaces, and software quality.
Now, Jobs has completed his goal of ridding Flash from all of his company's devices. Mac OS X Lion will not come with anything from Adobe, though the products will still work on the platform if you go and get them yourself.