Chrome update cuts down on Windows crashes caused by Flash

Last week, Google released the newest stable version of its Chrome web browser, Chrome 21. While the company talked about some of its new features at the time of its launch, including added support for the Retina displays on the MacBook Pro, one thing they didn't talk about last week was the improvements that were made for the Windows version in terms of running Flash-based applications.

In a new post on the official Google Chromium blog, the company states that it began working with team members at Adobe, the creators of Flash, just over two years ago to port Flash "from the aging NPAPI architecture to our sandboxed PPAPI platform." The result of their effort can now be seen in Chrome 21 for Windows, which uses PPAPI Flash.

Google said that while the NPAPI architecture worked well for a number of years, it was time for it to be replaced, saying, "As browsers add compelling features like sandboxing, GPU acceleration, and a multi-process architecture, the legacy of NPAPI severely impedes or outright prevents us from extending those improvements to any pages with plug-in content."

The result of the new PPAPI Flash architecture for Windows users of Chrome 21 is faster rendering and smoother scrolling in Flash as it is transferred to a PC's GPU. It also cut down on crashes in Windows via Flash by 20 percent. Google also says, "And for the first time ever, Windows XP users (specifically, over 100 million Chrome users) have a sandboxed Flash—which is critical given the absence of OS support for security features like ASLR and integrity levels."

If you happen to be using Windows 8, the new version of Chrome will also help. Google says, " ... because PPAPI doesn’t let the OS bleed through, it’s the only way to use all Flash features on any site in Windows 8 Metro mode."

The Mac OS X version of Chrome with the PPAPI Flash architecture will be released soon. Linux users have had PPAPI Flash support since Chrome 20 and Chrome OS users have had it for over a year.

Source: Google Chromium blog

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