Blog Post

Google Chrome starts pulling the plug on browser 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(s goog) 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.


15 Responses to “Google Chrome starts pulling the plug on browser plug-ins”

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

    • 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).