Adobe has pushed out the release candidate for Flash Player 10.1 for Windows, Linux, Mac, and Solaris. That means that unless any major issues are discovered, this is the full version of Flash Player 10.1 and the beta testing period is pretty much over.
The reason this matters to the low power computing community is because Flash Player 10.1 features support for hardware decoding of H.264 Flash video. That means you can offload some of the video processing to a graphics card or other hardware without taxing your CPU as much. In plain English, you can watch HD Flash video from the web on a netbook — if your netbook has supported hardware and software.
Right now Flash Player 10.1 supports hardware video acceleration on Windows XP, Vista, and 7. Linux and Mac users are still out of luck. A number of ATI and NVIDIA graphics cards are supported, as well as newer Intel =0based computers with the 3 Series chipset family and 2010 Intel Core Processor family systems with Intel HD graphics.
As far as netbook and thin and light laptops go, here’s a list of supported hardware:
- Broadcom’s BCM70012 and BCM70015 Crystal HD video accelerators
- Intel GMA 500 integrated graphics with graphics driver 126.96.36.1990 for 32-bit Windows)
- NVIDIA ION
Adobe Flash Player 10.1 will also be available for smartphones and other devices soon, with support for on-screen keyboards, multitouch input, and accelerometer input.
You can read more about the Flash Player 10.1 release candidate in the release notes (PDF Link).