Motorola Xoom to Get Flash Support in March

Adobe promised that Flash Player 10.2 will come to the Motorola Xoom within a few weeks of its Feb. 24 launch, striking down the notion that the software would be delayed to spring.

Motorola's Xoom and other tablet computers based on Google's Android 3.0 "Honeycomb" will receive Adobe Flash Player 10.2, a key selling point for Website browsing on tablets and smartphones.

Adobe spokesman Matt Rozen said Flash 10.2 would be pre-installed on some tablets and as an over-the-air download on other machines within a few weeks of Honeycomb devices becoming available.

The Xoom, the first Honeycomb tablet, will launch Feb. 24 from Verizon Wireless and Best Buy, which means it should get an OTA Flash upgrade in late March.

Adobe's update comes hours after a Verizon Wireless ad ran noting that Flash wouldn't appear on Android tablets until this spring.

"We are excited about the progress we've made optimizing Flash for tablets, alongside partners including Motorola, and expect our momentum to continue," wrote Rozen in a blog post Feb. 21. "Consumers are clearly asking for Flash support on tablet devices, and the good news is that they won't have to wait long."

The Xoom, a 10.1-inch tablet running the Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core 1GHz processor, will cost $799 unsubsidized for a 3G/WiFi version from Verizon Wireless and Best Buy, or $599.99 with a two-year contract from Verizon. 3G data will cost $20 per month for 1GB.

Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha confirmed a WiFi version would appear later for around $600.

Flash on a computing device typically wouldn't be such a big deal because it's an accepted industry standard.

But the fact that Apple has sworn off the technology for its iPhone and iPad tablet provides a marketing opportunity for Adobe and makers of Android, Windows 7 and webOS tablets to tout the differentiation.

True to form, Adobe is milking the PR opportunity, noting that more than 50 tablets will ship with Flash in 2011. It also expects to see Flash installed on over 132 million devices this year.