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Google bundles Flash into Chrome browser

In spite of the progress HTML5 has made in trying to wean the internet off proprietary standards, it seems that Flash is not going to disappear anytime soon. At least, not when Google has started integrating the Adobe Flash plugin with its Chrome browser.

Read on for more information.

HTML5 may be the next big thing in web standards, but if you’re hoping that it will be successful in pushing out proprietary web standards out of the internet world, then perhaps you may wind up being disappointed, because Google has announced in a blog post yesterday that it will start integrating the Adobe Flash Player plugin into Chrome OS and all versions of its Google Chrome Browser.

This comes after Google’s announcement some months back that H.264 will be integrated into all Chrome browser releases and will thus be able to access the HTML5 version of Youtube without any issues.

The rationale given for the decision to implement the proprietary browser plugin was that Flash is the most widely used plugin, and by integrating it with the browser, the team hopes to be able to provide a more out-of-the-box experience with Goggle Chrome while protecting users from security risks by auto-updating the plugin (so that users are never on outdtated versions) and extending the browser’s sandboxing protection to pages with Flash content.

Currently, only the most recent unstable builds of Google Chrome ( 5.0.360.4 for Windows and Mac and 5.0.360.5 for Linux) will come with the integrated Flash player, but Google aims to bring this functionality to all Chrome users as quickly as possible.

However, getting the built-in Flash player to work involves adding an extra –enable-internal-flash command to the shortcut used to start the browser, so it’s not as simple as just installing the double-clicking the application right off the bat. Also, users of non-Debian based 64-bit Linux distros will have to sit this one out, as the 64-bit builds do not come with Flash preinstalled and are only available in the .deb format, although installing the 32-bit builds into a 64-bit distro might work, depending on how each distro is configured to support 32-bit software.

As even Google has classified it as an unstable build: the usually caution about pre-release software applies, so if you’re keen to test out the new Flash-integrated builds of Google Chrome, be prepared for various bugs or usability issues.

Source: Google Chrome Blog, Chromium Developer Blog via Gizmodo

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