In what may be a new trend for new Macs, the newly-release MacBook Air ships without Adobe’s Flash player plug-in installed.
Since Apple says that Flash is the biggest cause of crashes on the Mac, it makes sense for them to omit it from their default installation. Would you ship a machine with a piece of software that you know crashes your system often?
Users can still download the Flash plugin from Adobe’s site and install it on the machines, and this puts the responsibility in user’s hands. Users won’t be able to blame Apple for Safari’s crashes in the default install.
But, it’s not hard to jump to the conclusion that this may be the latest salvo in Apple’s war on Flash. If it omits it from all future Macs then Adobe can’t claim +95% market penetration for Flash as an incentive for people to create contents using it.
Personally, I have ‘ClickToFlash’ installed on all my macs. Since I’ve done so, Safari never crashes and my browsing experience has been greatly enhanced. Web pages load quicker, much quicker and I don’t see those obnoxious Flash based ads. My Macs’ fans kick in much less while simply browsing the web.
I believe that Apple will do the same with Lion this coming summer. I think they won’t ship it with it either. Especially after the flack they got for shipping a slightly outdated version with Snow Leopard last year.
Update October 23rd, 2010: In an official statement Apple said that they won’t ship Flash Player with any Mac from this point on. This way they’ll insure that users have the latest version of the Flash Player plugin by downloading it from Adobe and installing it themselves.