Users are reporting that Apple's new MacBook Air models, announced yesterday at Apple's 'Back to the Mac' press conference, are shipping without Adobe's Flash player plug-in pre-installed. Traditionally, Mac computers have shipped with Flash preloaded - so users wouldn't have to worry about installing it. Now, new MacBook Air users will have to download and install the plug-in themselves, should they wish to view Flash content on the internet. It's not a biggie, but it does send a strong message.
It is well known that Apple has concerns over the performance of Adobe's Flash plug-in, that's why Flash is not supported on iOS portable devices. Although Apple has made known it's qualms with Flash on Mac OS X in the past, this is the first move Apple has made on the Mac to indicate that it is distancing itself even further from Adobe's internet plug-in.
Back in April of this year, Steve Jobs penned "Thoughts on Flash," an open letter explaining Apple's concerns over Flash and why Apple does not support it on its iOS devices. You can read the letter here, or for a fantastic summary by our own T.J Luoma, click here.
At this stage, it's not clear whether all new Macs are shipping without Flash or if it's just the new MacBook Air models. Either way, Apple is sending a pretty clear message to web developers and consumers alike: they don't like Flash.