Google Rolls Flash into Chrome

While Steve Jobs’ disdain for Adobe Flash led him to bar it completely from the iPad in a highly controversial move, Google has been lining up a marriage between Adobe’s bad boy and its daughter Chrome. On Tuesday, the company announced the two would unite in digital matrimony with a new version of Google Chrome that features Flash built right in.

Rather than installing Chrome, downloading the latest Flash plug-in, and updating it regularly, users will be able to install upcoming versions of Chrome and forget about the rest. The all-in-one download will always carry the latest version of Flash, and Chrome will automatically update it as Adobe trickles out new releases.

Google also plans to directly address Jobs’ criticisms of Flash – and other plug-ins – by working with Adobe and rival Mozilla to improve the existing browser plug-in API.

“Improving the traditional browser plug-in model will make it possible for plug-ins to be just as fast, stable, and secure as the browser’s HTML and JavaScript engines,” engineer Linus Upson posted on Google’s Chromium blog. “Over time this will enable HTML, Flash, and other plug-ins to be used together more seamlessly in rendering and scripting.”

Google offers the first version of Chrome with Flash through its developer channel, but it remains an experimental release with known issues.

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