Google to block all NPAPI plugins on Chrome in January

Google has outlined further details of its plans to completely remove plugins that make Netscape Plugin API (NPAPI) from the Chrome ecosystem by September 2015. As it currently stands, all NPAPI plugins are blocked from running by default, with the exception of five plugins that are whitelisted to be allowed to run: Silverlight, Unity, Google Earth, Google Talk, and Facebook Video. That situation will change in January next year, as Google will remove the whitelist and require user interaction to run any NPAPI plugin.

Starting in January 2015, Google’s Chrome browser will block all old-school Netscape Plug-In API (NPAPI) plugins. This doesn’t come as a huge surprise, given that Google started its efforts to remove NPAPI plugins more than a year ago. Over the last year, Google went from recommending that developers move away from this old architecture to actively blocking almost all NPAPI plugins. There was, however, always a whitelist that allowed some of the most popular NPAPI plugins like Microsoft’s Silverlight, Unity and Google’s own Google Earth plugin to continue to run in the browser. Starting in January, even that’s going away and all of these plugins will be blocked by default. Other plugins that will be affected by this move include the Google Talk and Facebook plugins. Most of the whitelisted plugins saw their usage decline since Chrome started the deprecation program, but according to Google’s own data, Silverlight still remains popular with 11% of Chrome users launching it at least once per month. Most of that usage is probably from Netflix users, but now that Netflix is slowly moving away from Silverlight, too, the impact will likely be less than those numbers suggest.

Categorized as Google

By Rocco Penn

A tech blogger, social media analyst, and general promoter of all things positive in the world. "Bring it. I'm ready." Find me on Media Caffeine, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

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