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Jul212012

NPAPI Plug-ins Are Not compatible in Chrome for Windows 8 Metro

Chrome Metro Desktop Browser for Windows 8 Released Preview

Google recently announced “Chrome in Windows 8 Metro,” currently available in developers channel only. If your testing the browser you may have noticed that some existing plug-ins don’t work.

In a Chromium blog post today, Google said that these plug-ins are built using a technology called “NPAPI,” which, like ActiveX, is not compatible with Windows 8 Metro mode.

Google says, that NPAPI plug-in usage will be declining over time, “especially since plug-ins can’t run on most phones and tablets.” And, that they look forward to “the day when NPAPI can retire.”

However, both the Adobe Flash Player and Chrome’s PDF viewer continue to work in Windows 8 Metro mode on all websites. It is because “Adobe Flash Player and Chrome’s PDF viewer have both been bundled as Pepper plug-ins running in a sandboxed environment in Chrome,” explains Google.

Google shared the following table that shows some well-known plug-ins along with the percentage of active Chrome users who instantiated that plug-in during a 28-day window.

“This data came from more than 20 million Chrome users who have opted in to share non-identifying usage statistics with Google, which are aggregated to understand how Chrome features are used,” Google stated.

Plug-in namePercentage
Flash Player99.9%
Chrome PDF Viewer58%
Silverlight26%
Java12%
QuickTime4%
Windows Media Player2%

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