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11 June 2010, 12:41

Adobe releases final version of Flash Player 10.1

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Flash Player version 10.1, which was announced last October, is now available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. It includes the Open Screen Project's runtime environment and is, therefore, said to run on PCs as well as modern smartphones. However, apart from a few demos of the mobile Flash Player 10.1 on various mobile phones (Palm Pre, various Android devices), only beta versions for Android 2.2 "FroYo" have so far been released.

While Flash Player 10.1 under Windows does support hardware-accelerated H.264 video decoding, the video acceleration for Mac OS X did not make it into the relevant final release. Those who want to benefit from Apple's recently released "Video Decode Acceleration Framework" currently have to use the "Gala" preview release of Flash Player for Mac OS X.

Flash Player 10.1 supports multi-touch and gesture controls as well as multi-casting and Adobe's HTTP Dynamic Streaming, which basically allows any web server to be transformed into a streaming server with adaptive bit rate control (similar to "Microsoft Smooth Streaming" and "Apple HTTP Live Streaming").

In modern browsers, Flash Player also takes into account whether a user has enabled private browsing. In this mode, normal cookies as well as Flash cookies are only held in memory temporarily and are discarded once the private session has ended. This mode also prevents web pages from accessing web or Flash cookies that were stored in normal mode.

According to Adobe's security advisory, Flash Player version 10.1 also closes 32 security holes, 30 of which can be exploited to inject and execute malicious code via specially crafted web pages. Among them is the hole disclosed last weekend for which an exploit is already in circulation. Adobe recommends that users who are unable to update to version 10.1 install the patched version of Flash Player. At the same time, the vendor has released Adobe AIR, in which the holes have also been closed.

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