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My company is considering rolling out a desktop windows application with a dependency on Flash (swf.) The product manager is concerned that IT/IS/ops shops might have a policy of not allowing flash players to be installed on their networks.

Could this be? Are there IT/IS/ops shops that actively disallow Flash from being installed? Is there a source that can enumerate and corroborate some metrics? E.g. 3.4% of all corporate IT managers have a policy of disallowing Flash on their corporate networks.

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Oh how I would love to ban Flash on all my computers! Unfortunately our internet guys use Flash, so I'd get a kicking if I banned it and bits of our website stopped working! However much I do hate Flash myself though, you'd be surprised how crappy the web can be without it and I would hesitate to say a lot of others are in the same boat as me. – Ben Pilbrow Jun 24 '10 at 21:40
A desktop application with a dependency on Flash? Time to get some real programmers. – John Gardeniers Jun 25 '10 at 0:18
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Even if you get a general answer it won't help much, in my experience this is highly industry dependent (i.e. banking is much much more restrictive than University IT). Also even within an industry, the role of the worker/user matters, the teller's computers are more locked down than the manager's etc. Your best bet is to ask any current clients you have.

Also some places don't update flash, because it is a bit of a pain, so it may come down to versioning.

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I work for a media company, so we have a very lax ban standard when it comes to online content, and even given that we have an IPS system which aggressively kills any Flash content that meets it's obscure "Fishy" criteria.

I hate it personally. Every time there is a zero-day, we have to rush out the patches, and we're not browser standardized so that's a huge pain.

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I can't give a percentage, but due to other traffic on our network at work, we're locked down pretty tightly.

Unfortunately, as I work for a government contractor, they make us do things like take ethics training. And the government agency makes us re-certify on security / diversity awareness / etc each year. ... but we can't do it from work, because that would require us to allow java/flash/etc, which we're not supposed to run on our network.


That being said, if you're using Google Analytics, flash detection is enabled by default, so you should be able to generate a report of how many people have it disabled who connect to your company website, if you wanted to use that as a proxy for people interested in your product who might have it disabled. If not, see Adobe's website for how to detect Flash using JavaScript

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