You won’t need to find or install browser plug-ins much longer in Google Chrome. The company is starting to eliminate support on January 1, 2014 as HTML5 and other web technologies alleviate the need for plug-ins.


As web technologies have matured, there’s less of a need for browser plug-ins to add features for video playback and hardware access to the browser. That’s what Google thinks — so too does Mozilla — and it’s the main reason that Chrome will cease to support the old Netscape Plug-In API starting on January 1, 2014.

What does that mean for the web as whole for Google’s Chrome browser going forward? Chris Albrecht and I discuss exactly that during our GigaOM Chrome Show podcast, so download the episode or listen below for our thoughts. The move fits in with the advanced features in HTML 5 so that users don’t have to download and install plug-ins for various functionality: Most of these will be built in or programmatically available to web developers.


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  1. Can you provide the link to the video of Chrome Dev 31 that you mention in the podcast?

  2. Can you please clarify? Is a plug-in different than an extension? More specifically, does this mean that after January 1 I won’t be able to use the Ad-Block extension in Chrome?

    1. No, plugins are more like native apps that access the web browser with a specific API in this case Netscape Plug-in API (NPAPI).

      Extensions are wrote in a API specific browser (some combination of javascript, CSS, XUL or any related).

  3. lol yeh right html5 eliminated the need for plugins….what a daft decision (though google are doing it for competitive advantage) which makes them suck!!

  4. does flash plugin also be removed?

    1. Perhaps when adaptation of html5 reaches critical point

    2. Chrome has native support for Flash built in

  5. I think is generally good for the end users. No plugins means less crashes I guess – thus faster and more efficient browser.

    More surprising stories here about technology and the people behind them! — http://www.londonreal.tv/silicon/

  6. Does an elimination of plugins mean no ad blocking? No tracker blocking? I quit using Google products for these kinds of issues.

    1. Extensions aren’t going away, so you can still block ads and tracking.

  7. Chrome is removing support for NPAPI. They support PPAPI instead.

  8. I’ll pass that on to the many people I know who still use Google’s products. I’m very tangled in their mail but so long as I use an unrelated client their ads and anticipatory results need not plague me. I want to look where I’m going, not where I’ve already been.

  9. I guess this makes sense, just a part of moving forward. I’m just tech savvy enough to kind of get it, but not enough to really question it so long as everything works alright with chrome (or, really, the torch browser but it’s a chromium based browser). Onward and upward.

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