The end of last week has verified a piece of news that has been circulating for the past few days already. Apple will be shipping its new Mac OS X computers without Adobe Flash Player pre-installed in them. The computer company has had a head start already, shipping new models of its MacBook Air without the Flash Player pre-installed as well. With this, yet another announcement surfaced that Java runtime, which is produced by Apple, will also not be maintained and will be taken off the succeeding versions of the Mac OS X.
The reason for taking out pre-installed Java and Flash Player
The decision to take out the Java and Flash Player software from the Mac operating system may be attributed to security concerns. Apple had been entangled with problems in the past years in keeping tabs with the latest security patches for both Java and Flash Player. But these exclusions may be for show only, as users of Macs would still be able to install the applications by themselves. Apple, with its new machines, has not installed anything to block the applications from being installed.
Bill Evans, spokesperson for Apple, said that their machines will still support Flash. He adds that, “The best way for users to always have the most up to date and secure version is to download it directly from Adobe.”
The good and the bad
Some analysts thought this move is not really for the interest of Apple. The director of security operations at nCircle Security, Andrew Storms, commented that with this move by Apple, it is distancing itself from the security community. He adds that, “Users, who are likely running an outdated version, typically don’t even know when Adobe issues patches.” This scenario may require users to be more vigilant for updates by themselves.
As for the Java application to be taken out, users of Apple machines have been advised that this scenario will actually be to their benefit. As Java will be a third-party install application, it will not really be a problem for Apple users, since Java is not really something that is urgent in the modern web. Moreover, the absence of Java will not subject them to any vulnerability before Apple is able to come up with their security updates for Java.