back to article Google's Chrome to pull plug on plugins next September

Google is moving ahead with its plan to end support for Netscape plugins in its Chrome browser – and has set next September as the date for when they will stop working altogether. The Chocolate Factory announced its intention to drop the venerable Netscape Plugin API (NPAPI) tech in September 2013. At the same time, it urged …

  1. Phil E Succour

    Wow, I'm way out of touch...

    > As of October 2014, Google says the plugins most frequently launched

    > by Chrome users were Microsoft Silverlight, Google Talk, Java,

    > Facebook's video chat plugin, the Unity gaming engine, and

    > Google Earth, in that order.

    I must be living in the dark ages, I've don't use any of those plugins.

    And yet, I don't feel I'm missing very much somehow....

    1. as2003

      Re: Wow, I'm way out of touch...

      How the hell is Sliverlight even in the list, let alone #1?! I can't think of a single website that even uses Sliverlight*.

      (*Netflix was the only one that sprang to mind, but apparently they ditched it earlier this year)

      1. John Gamble

        Re: Wow, I'm way out of touch...

        "How the hell is Sliverlight even in the list, let alone #1?"

        Streaming sports, at least here in the U.S. I don't know how widespread it is -- I still use the television for such things.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wow, I'm way out of touch...

        There's still a bunch of educational websites using Silverlight to deliver DRM-locked content. Universities, K-12 education, textbook makers and the like. Companies that want to deliver content at ridiculously high prices without giving you the ability to copy and paste it into a document.

      3. Richard Cranium

        Re: Wow, I'm way out of touch...

        @as2003: (*Netflix was the only one that sprang to mind, but apparently they ditched it earlier this year)

        I signed up to Netflix free trial a couple of days ago. It promptly requested that I install Silverlight.

      4. Evan Essence

        Re: Wow, I'm way out of touch...

        The UK parliament uses Silverlight.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wow, I'm way out of touch...

        Some movie streaming sites use it.

      6. Eddy Ito

        Re: Wow, I'm way out of touch...

        I'd imagine Office 365 uses a bit of Silverlight. I know when I log in to my work email from home the browser is always looking for the Silverlight plugin. Seems to work well enough without it so I don't bother.

      7. SteveK

        Re: Wow, I'm way out of touch...

        Silverlight is also needed as a workaround for previous removal of functionality that stopped parts of Exchange 2010's web interface working in Chrome (v37 removed modal popups), specifically the ability to add attachments or view the addressbook.

        A pain if you have a big Exchange system and thousands of students who haven't gone and bought Office, so actually use OWA to access it. (Also doesn't work properly in Microsoft's own IE11, hence a lot of students were using Chrome). Having Silverlight installed lets Exchange OWA fall back to a different mode ... until Chrome removes that too!

        Apparently the solution is to upgrade to Exchange 2013, but on a big installation with many servers and multisite replication (fortunately I don't look after that, so I'm just spectating, with popcorn) that's not just an afternoon's work...

      8. FlatSpot

        Re: Wow, I'm way out of touch...

        Ordnance Survey Getamap

    2. RAMChYLD

      Re: Wow, I'm way out of touch...

      Well, as I understand it, Silverlight is needed for Netflix and Hulu. So yeah, you must be from outside the US like me. I don't have a reason for any of those plugins either, except maybe that memory hog that is Java.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wow, I'm way out of touch...

        Java ain't that bad for memory.

        Ebay uses Silverlight for their easy listings option.

  2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    "Support for Adobe Flash is already built into the browser and doesn't need a separate plugin."

    Is it? Doesn't appear to be working on Linux or FreeBSD. Flash works just fine in Firefox but Chrome tells me I need to install the Flash plug-in.

    1. thames

      "Chrome" comes in two variants. "Google Chrome" is a proprietary version with various proprietary bit such as Flash built in. "Chromium" is the open source version without the proprietary bits. Most Linux distros offer Chromium from their repos, and I assume the FreeBSD does as well.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Spot on, well done that man. I'd not considered that Chromium != Chrome.

        Well now that you mention it, I think I have vague memories of reading that somewhere. I just don't use Chrome/Chromium very often.

        1. Grifter


          The chromium I have installed (debian) has pepperflash.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Flash crashes constantly in Chrome 35+ on Linux (Debian 7 at least) i.e. ever since the switch to PPAPI. Chrome itself (and Chromium) has been almost unusable all year. Yayyyyy Google.

      1. Grifter

        It's not my main browser but I do use it for specifically the flash and quite a bit at that, and I haven't experienced any instability, it could be a matter of hardware or software compatibilities or lib versions maybe? it has worked impeccably for me.(my debian is jessie but last updated right before systemd was introduced)

  3. JeffyPoooh


    Is that a plug in?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: AdBlocker?

      Google doesn't want you running that, that's where they make all their money!

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: AdBlocker?

      No, it's a browser extension. Plugins are independent programs that just get called by the browser and just appear to run in it. Extensions run in the browser using an API.

    3. KjetilS

      Re: AdBlocker?

      It isn't.

  4. Tim 11

    What about acrobat?

    I know that Chrome has its own built-in PDF viewer but doe anyone know if using Acrobat embedded in chrome uses NPAPI?

  5. Robert Helpmann??

    Not SOP

    There is also a 64-bit version of Chrome for Windows, but so far it's optional. The Chrome download page defaults to the 32-bit version, even for users running 64-bit versions of Windows.

    You do not need admin permissions to install Chrome on Windows. It has crap memory management in Windows (Open multiple tabs and watch its footprint increase. Close all but one and watch as nothing happens.). It's almost as if it was designed for another OS entirely...

  6. Richard Parkin

    Ordnance Survey online maps require Silverlight

    As subject

  7. Medixstiff

    Java is required for our Oracle EBS suite at work.

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