Google to TERMINATE Chrome support of old style plug-ins

Google: Pulling the plug on old plug-ins.

Google Chrome

Google has decided once and for all to cease supporting all Netscape style plug-ins in its Chrome browser. Initially slated for execution by the end of 2014, Google gave the older plug-ins a brief delay-of-the-inevitable, but recently finalized its plans, sharing its timetable of destruction. Some users cry foul -- especially those in favor of Microsoft's Silverlight plugin -- a popular old-style browser extension.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers hit reload to see if everything still works.

Filling in for our humble blogwatcher Richi Jennings, is a humbler Stephen Glasskeys.

To rule the web, Gregg Keizer outlines his three-step plan:

Google on Monday gave traditional Google plug-ins a stay of execution and instead outlined a three-step plan that will finalize their demise in 10 months.

NPAPI (Netscape Plug-in Application Programming Interface) is the plug-in standard that harks back to Netscape, the 1990s browser.  MORE

Emil Protalinski prefers to drop plugins at a faster pace:

For context, Google first announced in September 2013 that it was planning to drop NPAPI ... [and] was hoping to remove support from Chrome "before the end of 2014, but the exact timing will depend on usage and user feedback."

While NPAPI usage has continued declining since then, the drop has not been as quick as Google hoped.  MORE

Straight from the horse's mouth:

Currently Chrome supports NPAPI plugins, but they are blocked by default unless the user chooses to allow them for specific sites (via the page action UI). A small number of the most popular plugins are whitelisted and allowed by default. In January 2015 we will remove the whitelist, meaning all plugins will be blocked by default.

We will provide an override for advanced users and enterprises (via Enterprise Policy) to temporarily re-enable NPAPI while they wait for mission-critical plugins to make the transition.  MORE

Stephen Shankland says good riddance to rubbish plugins:

[Good] riddance: plug-ins don't work on smartphones and tablets, they're hard to maintain, they're a bother for users to install, and are a top culprit in browser crashes, slowdowns and security vulnerabilities.

Plug-ins aren't totally disappearing from Chrome, however. Google will continue to indefinitely support plugins that use its own PPAPI (Pepper Plugin API).  MORE

Neil McAllister doesn't miss a thing:

Google's plugin retirement plan mainly applies to Windows users. Chrome users on OS X lost support for most NPAPI plugins last week when Google killed off the 32-bit version of its browser for Macs.

Truthfully, though, losing support for NPAPI plugins won't affect most Chrome users. Support for Adobe Flash is already built into the browser and doesn't need a separate plugin.  MORE

And Chris Duckett won't miss next season's House of Cards:

Over the past year, the whitelisted plugins have seen decreases in the percentage of times that they are launched...with Silverlight by far the most often launched plugin.

The large number of Silverlight users is likely due to its usage by Netflix, with the streaming service saying in a letter to investors last month that it was halfway through switching away from Silverlight in [favor] of HTML5.  MORE

Meanwhile, Amit Kumar drops plugins and browser:

Guys, Chrome on a Mac is now too slow to use. Switch to Safari. From a looong time Chrome, never Safari, user. (no h/w accel, no plugins)  MORE


You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings and Stephen Glasskeys, who curate the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites…so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

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