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updated 9/11/2012 11:45:26 AM ET 2012-09-11T15:45:26

Although there aren't many of them out there yet, Windows 8 users will be happy to hear that Microsoft is making security fixes for Adobe Flash Player available well before the new operating system's General Availability (GA) day.

Previously, Windows 8 users were told that a new security patch for Internet Explorer 10's Flash Player wouldn't be available until Oct. 26, the day Windows 8 goes on sale to the general public.

That left current users of the yet-to-be-officially-released OS with few alternatives; in a move borrowed from Google Chrome, Microsoft fully integrated Flash into IE10, and the browser can now only be updated by Microsoft, not Adobe.

Thousands of people are already using Windows 8 Release Preview, the fully functional "beta" version of Windows 8, which Microsoft offers free of charge. The beta version will work until January 2013.

Last week, an Adobe representative confirmed that Flash on Windows 8 was vulnerable to hackers, but added, "We will update Flash in Windows 8 via Windows Update as needed."

This week, minds seemed to change at the Washington-based computer firm and at the California-based software company.

In an email to ZDNet's Ed Bott, Yunsun Wee, the director of Microsoft Trustworthy Computing, said they were working with Adobe on an update for IE10 "to protect our mutual customers."

For those using older browsers, things weren't so tough. In Safari, Firefox and every other version of Internet Explorer, Adobe is able to push the update directly to the browser. But on IE10, the default browser in Windows 8, Microsoft has taken sole update authority.

Before two crucial security updates that came late last month, hackers were using several Flash zero-day exploits, previously unknown security flaws for which there is no fix, in the player to drop malware on unsuspecting computers whose users click on malicious links.

Bogus versions of a mobile version of Adobe Flash player were also used to infect Android mobile devices.

Last month's updates patched eight security flaws, including flaws ranked "1," the highest threat level Adobe attributes to security vulnerabilities.

Windows 8 users should see a Flash Player update become available before the end of next week.

© 2012 SecurityNewsDaily. All rights reserved

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