Mozilla to pull the plug on Firefox plugins by end of 2016

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Mozilla has announced its decision of culling support for NPAPI plugins from Firefox browser – a move that follows similar decisions by Google and Microsoft.

Mozilla said that it has been working in this direction since quite a few years with one of the notable action being manual plugin activation. The non-profit also announced that since new Firefox platforms do not have to support an existing ecosystem of users and plugins, new platforms such as 64-bit Firefox for Windows will launch without plugin support.

One of the main reasons, according to Mozilla, is that plugins have become a source of performance problems, crashes, and security incidents for Web users.

However, there is an exception that Mozilla has made room for – Adobe Flash. Mozilla notes that Flash is still one of the most common part of the Web experience for many users and for this reason Firefox will continue to support Flash as an exception to the general plugin policy. To ensure that Flash plugin doesn’t cause stability and performance issues, Mozilla will continue collaborating with Adobe for foreseeable future.

On its path of providing a plugin free web browser, Mozilla has announced a close collaboration and an aligned roadmap so as to bring Unity-based content to be experienced directly in the browser without plugins.

Mozilla urged website owners and publishers using plugins such as Silverlight or Java to accelerate their transition to Web technologies. The Firefox maker said that it is working closely with Oracle to ensure a smooth transition for those web sites that use Java and also promised to work closely with affected publishers to make this transition as painless as possible.

“The Web provides an increasingly rich environment which should eliminate the need for plugins, and we are eager to continue improving the Web platform for any use cases where plugins may still be required”, Mozilla notes.