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Farewell, NPAPI! Google Chrome's internal Flash plugin now on by default

About two weeks ago, Google and Adobe officially debuted the results of their cooperative efforts, releasing an internal Flash Player plug-in for Google Chrome. Today, the Chromium Nightly build flipped internal Flash support on by default --meaning we'll probably see this pushed to the dev channel in short order.

With Google and Adobe as two of the key players in the Open Screen project, it made perfect sense to team up and deliver a more hassle-free Internet experience for users of Google Chrome. No, this won't make a difference to people like you and me who both know how to and enjoy customizing our browsers. But it's one less potentially confusing step for average users -- who may not understand what that pop-up bar means about needing a plug-in to play content on the page they're viewing. No blue Legos here, people.

One other place internal Flash is a big win is on Linux. I play with a number of different distros, and Flash support isn't always included out-of-the-box. With Chrome's internal player, I've now got a Linux browser that automatically supports the Flash upload elements in our CMS -- without having to seek out an additional download.

When I originally posted, concerns were voiced that internal Flash was going to somehow turn Chrome into a "bloated mess." If anything, the internal player is more efficient with system resources than the standard NPAPI plug-in (which actually originated at Adobe), and it's made no impact on the size of the installer. Chromium's mini_installer.exe for Windows today still weighs in at 14MB, the same as it did prior to the addition of internal Flash.

Google and Adobe are hoping that the change will bolster security -- since Flash will update via Chrome's intelligent built-in updater -- and possibly pave the way for a more modern plug-in architecture.

Tags: adobe, chrome, flash, google, internal, npapi, plugin

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