Google Chrome to Adobe Flash: Sayonara
Google is phasing out Adobe Flash in its popular Chrome web browser.
The search giant laid out its plan to nix the buggy multimedia player by the end of the year in a publicly accessible proposal on Google (GOOG) Slides, the company’s slideshow presentation program. The draft roadmap, as first reported on by VentureBeat, details the company’s plan to move beyond Adobe’s (ADBE) software, which is perennially plagued with security vulnerabilities, and transition to HTML5, a markup language that supports multimedia content, as the default.
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Google said it would automatically run HTML5 on websites that offer it, adding it would not advertise the presence of Flash. The effective ban could be overturned on a site-by-site basis wherever a visitor specifically green-lights the application.
“When a user encounters a site that needs Flash Player, a prompt will appear at the top of the page, giving the user the option of allowing it for a site,” the proposal says. “If the users allows Flash Player to run we will store that preference and refresh the page w/ Flash Player enabled.”
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“To reduce the initial user impact, and avoid over-prompting,” an accompanying proposal on Google Groups says, Flash will initially be whitelisted on the 10 most popular websites. After one year, it will be blocked on those domains too.
Google has been phasing out Adobe Flash for months now. Chrome began blocking Flash-powered ads by default in the fall, and earlier this year, it announced its plan to fully ban them by the beginning of 2017.
The Adobe software will, however, still come bundled with Chrome, the company said.
Meanwhile, people can accelerate the process of phasing out Flash on an individual basis. As the Verge notes:
If you’re interested, you can already enable the settings that Google is planning to switch over to. Buried inside of Chrome’s preferences page (under privacy and then content settings), you can find an option called “let me choose when to run plugin content.” It’ll block all Flash content until you right click on it and choose to have it enabled.
Google hopes the move will encourage more sites and developers to adopt HTML5 as the web’s standard for displaying multimedia. Adobe, too, has seen the writing on the wall for Flash.
“At Adobe we are working closely with Google, Microsoft, Facebook and others to facilitate the adoption of these standards, including HTML5,” an Adobe spokesperson wrote to Fortune in an email. “At the same time, given that Flash continues to be used in areas such as education, web gaming and premium video, the responsible thing for Adobe to do is to continue to support Flash with updates and fixes, as we help the industry transition. Looking ahead, we encourage content creators to build with new web standards.”
Update (May 16, 2016 2:50 p.m. ET): Updated with comment from Adobe.