It has been noted today that there have been some issues related to the use of Flash in the pilot Cr-48 laptop Google is giving out to a select few early adopters. Specifically, users have reported problems with video playback on large sites like YouTube, one of the primary places where Flash technology is used in order to stream video.
Because of this, Adobe’s senior director for engineering Paul Betlam took to their corporate blog and declared Flash 10.1 support on Chrome OS notebooks “a work in progress“.
It was back in March that the Chrome team announced that they would integrate Flash into the Chrome browser. Chrome 5 was the first stable build with it baked-in, taking a much different tact than that of Apple, which has made clear it wants little to do with Adobe’s technology in favor of standards like HTML5.
Because of this decision, the Cr-48 Chrome OS hardware device comes standard with Flash built-in. However, just like in Chrome, it can be disabled.
The question becomes whether or not the Intel Atom processor included in this device has some problems processing Flash. TechCrunch’s MG Siegler says that Atom chips cannot fully run Flash, but I’ve seen many a netbook run it before. Perhaps, however, it is the combination of Chrome OS hardware and software that need some glitches worked out.
Look, this device is supposed to be a test machine. I assumed there would be problems. The good thing is that with Chrome’s auto-update feature, users can expect that the device itself will improve over time. Flash is an issue that has been central to Chrome for some time, and the folks at Google made the decision to support it even though they also openly advocate HTML5.
It doesn’t make sense for Google to shy away from Flash if they think it’s a good technology. They must, because it is a part of Chrome. I have, in fact, notice some Flash issues with videos in some Chrome builds so this doesn’t come as a total shock to me. We’ll see where that takes the platform, and I’ll be interested in hearing your thoughts on this.
UPDATE: The Intel Atom N455 in the Cr-48 has integrated GMA 3150 video. Here are some technical reviews of the performance, which is less than stellar.