NPAPI – Time to say farewell?

In April this year, Chrome issued a warning shot to its users about NPAPI and that it would not exist beyond Chrome 44.

Until Chrome 45.x was released officially users could simply re-enable NPAPI extensions in the popular browser and just receive an annoying yellow bar which reminded you it would be unsupported “soon”.

Well now its official, NPAPI is hard and fast out of chrome, and from what i read, ActiveX (Microsoft IE/Spartan) extensions have been stripped from the new versions of IE/Spartan.

Flash has already updated to the newer PPAPI scheme, and can be enabled if needed by users.

Unfortunately for the majority of people of rely on NPAPI extensions like; Java, Silverlight just to name two, will no longer work.

Oracle (java) have not released an official statement other than to say they recommend users user Firefox or Safari if they need to utilise NPAPI Plugins. This is a pretty poor stance in my opinion. Hopefully we hear something soon regarding a feasible outcome.

Personally I see a lot of people who are 100% devout chrome users will feel the pinch for a while until their plugins are updated to the new scheme or re-written for HTML5. From a security perspective i applaud the stance taken by Chrome to disable a plugin/api set that was first introduced in Netscape Navigator 2.0 back in 1995. Java has been riddled with bugs and vulnerabilities and when its on the “6 Billion Devices” it claims, its a rather large target.

Most companies who have major support utilities written in NPAPI for web-browsers will no doubt be scrambling to release a new versions of their tools. I look forward to seeing what the developers out of Dell, VMWare, EMC just to name a few release in the coming months!