The other day, we reported on the fact that those tiny new MacBook Airs are shipping without a pre-installed version of Flash. Based on Apple's recent, vocal anti-Flash opinions, we took it as a sign that the company was putting even more distance between itself and Adobe, but according to a statement we've just received, that might not be the case. Apple spokesman Bill Evans just pinged us with the official word on the situation, claiming that it has more to do with making sure users have the most recent version of the software and less to do with politics. Here's the word from Apple:
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.
Interestingly, he also notes that this will be happening across all Macs in the future, though there may be some models still in the channel with Flash pre-installed. Obviously this makes some sense, but it's hard not to see it as a dig against Adobe -- there must be other solutions for ensuring users are up to date (like, oh, putting the plugin into your auto-updater). Also, it would be nice if those "missing plug-in" messages actually worked as links to the Adobe install page (because they don't, at least in Safari). Hey -- at least we know it wasn't a fluke!

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Apple responds on missing Flash in new MacBook Airs, says get used to it