Google Chrome to pack internal Flash, Adobe Reader plugins? Of course it is.
CNet's Larry Dignan calls this a rumor, but there's every reason to believe this is going to happen. For starters, Google and Adobe are important members of the Open Screen Project. Who else is involved in Open Screen? ARM and NVidia -- who will likely provide processors and GPUs for Chrome OS tablets and netbooks -- and HTC, who built the Nexus One and have been rumored to be building a Google Tablet. Apple, of course, declined the invitation to join OSP.
And let's not forget that both YouTube and VEVO are still largely Flash-powered. Yes, an HTML5 video player is available on some videos, but the quality is not nearly as good as their Flash counterparts. If Google wants smooth, full HD video from their sites on Chrome OS devices later this year, Flash will need to come along for the ride.
So Flash makes sense, but why Reader?
Internal support for PDF means, of course, that your Chrome OS device will be able to view PDF documents out-of-the-box, like the loads of freebies you can view via Google Books -- no app store required. It could also help mitigate one of the biggest attack vectors on Windows systems. By using an internal PDF plug-in and filtering content through its mighty sandbox, Chrome can offer protection from drive-by PDF exploits that other browsers currently can't.
It's also thought that using internal plug-ins instead of the NPAPI versions we use right now could bring added stability to Google Chrome. The command line switches to enable the internal plug-ins are already present in the Chromium source code, so it's really just a matter of time before this happens.
So what do you think? Is this welcome news, or does it make you cringe?