Google Chrome does something unique with Flash. Instead of relying on Flash as a third-party plugin, Chrome has a built-in version of Flash. Google is the one that manages updates for this built-in version of Flash as opposed to Adobe. While it may sound like this would result in a delay in Flash updates for Chrome, Google is actually on the ball and typically releases Chrome Flash updates the same day as Adobe updates Flash. In fact, sometimes Google updates Flash before Adobe.
Microsoft has followed Google’s lead when it comes to Flash in Windows 8; Microsoft has integrated Flash for Internet Explorer 10 with Windows Update as opposed to letting it live as a third-party plugin. In other words, Flash for Internet Explorer 10 in Windows 8 is now updated through Windows Update as opposed to through Flash or Adobe’s website. This means Microsoft is responsible for issuing Flash updates and patches, not Adobe. One would hope that since Microsoft has taken responsibility for patching an extremely exploitable plugin, they would do so in a timely manner just like Google. Yeah, well, not so much.
Microsoft has said they will not be issuing patch updates for Windows 8 until the “general availability” of Windows 8, which is when Windows 8 goes on sale in October. That means, and Adobe has confirmed the following, that Windows 8 users as of this moment are vulnerable to existing Flash exploits. According to Symantec, a security firm, there are at least four zero-day unpatched Windows 8 Flash vulnerabilities currently.
For the most part, Windows 8 Flash vulnerabilities at this moment in time won’t affect very many people because Windows 8 is not available to the general public yet. Only people who have received Windows 8 RTM or downloaded the 90-day trial of Windows 8 will be running the operating system. However, just because everyone is not running Windows 8 is not an excuse to not update Flash. Plus, we would hope Microsoft does not do the same thing after Windows 8 is released; that is to say, let’s hope Microsoft doesn’t delay Flash updates for Windows 8 after October.