I've just made a worrying discovery: it seems that in some instances my preferred method of embedding a SWF file into a web page (I normally use SWFObject) can fail in quite a bad way for some users running IE7 on Windows - that's a lot of potential users that cannot see your SWF content.
I tend to test less and less on IE these days and instead concentrate on Firefox and while that's not such good practice it's usually no problem because of the fact that SWF run consistently across platforms and browsers. However in the last few days I have had several clients email me and reporting that some pages prompt them to upgrade their Flash Player despite them running Player 9 already. Even after installing the latest Player the problem persists. All users were running IE7 on Windows. The problem is described in more detail here.
It affected my machine too and I was unable to even run the SWFObject sample page in IE7 - it worked fine in Firefox. The page would simply display a message stating that I needed to upgrade my Flash Player. This really worried me as I was under the impression that SWFObject was a 100% reliable way to display SWFs, all the way through the Expressinstall process in case users do run an older version of the Player.
The way I managed to fix the issue (I don't know what or how it was caused) was to download this Flash Player installer and run it. After installation, the same page worked fine in IE7... And apparently the 'old' (but EOLAS prone) way of embedding SWFs also works which could mean that SWFObject is in some way less reliable than the old fashioned way of embed.
Of course I cannot ask users to download and run an executable just in case they have this Flash Player problem. I'm stumped now - should I ditch SWFObject? Is there a reliable workaround?
Please could you check this page in IE7 on Windows and report what you see by posting a comment. Thanks.