Mozilla announced that it will soon stop supporting all plugins for its Firefox browser, one of the best browser – except, somewhat surprisingly, Adobe’s Flash. While that plugin is one of the most troublesome for security and stability, it’s still one of the most widely used. Mozilla confirmed it will work with Adobe to boost the stability, performance and security of Flash.
In contrast, Mozilla said the features offered by other plugins – such as video, gaming support and advanced graphics – are now available via native web APIs, which means they no longer need plugins to work. For example, a website can embed videos so you can play them without needing to have a specific plugin installed. Mozilla added that plugins slow down browsers, cause crashes and pose a security risk. The upcoming 64-bit version of Firefox for Windows will launch without plugin support.
How will it affect you?
This move has been a long time coming, and Mozilla is following the lead set by Google and Microsoft with their Chrome and Edge browsers. Plugin support won’t finish until the end of 2016, so there’s still time for web publishers to Mozilla drops plugins from Firefox update their sites. However, because websites evolve at different rates, you might find that a few older, smaller sites struggle to display certain types of content, such as streaming video, if it requires a specific plugin.
Support issues aside, the change you’re most likely to notice is that your browser is working faster and crashing less frequently, leaving fewer potential holes open for hackers to gain access to your computer.
What do we think?
This is a wise move from Mozilla, and it’s especially good to give web developers a year’s notice, so they have time to update their sites to more modern ways of showing video and other interactive content. We look forward to our browsing being a bit smoother, faster and more secure. We can’t think of any plugins we’ll particularly miss.