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Why Chrome Is Dropping Java

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 by | Filed Under: Security Help, Using The Internet
 
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Google Chrome’s decision to drop support for Java and other plug-ins running the Netscape Plug-in API (NAPI) has a lot of people upset, including this reader:

“Whats the deal with Chrome not supporting Java any longer? I can no longer play a lot of the games I like. Won’t this encourage a lot of people not to use Chrome any longer as there is a myriad of things that use Java.”

If you’re a fan of some game sites like Pogo.com, you’re used to seeing this when you log on.

pogoonfirefox

But now when you open the site in the Google Chrome browser, you’ll see this:

 

pogochrome

That’s because Chrome no longer supports the Java plug-in. What’s going on? Chrome isn’t only dropping support for Java.  Silverlight and Unity plug-ins are also affected. Java has been blocked by default in Chrome for security purposes already for some time now.

According to the developers of Chrome, the web has evolved while NAPI, which was developed in the 90s, “has become a leading cause of hangs, crashes, security incidents, and code complexity.”

javalogocropped

Java is know for being insecure. In fact, half of all known malware exploits target Java.  In fact, one security expert at Trusteer described it as “a high risk application that exposes organizations to advanced attacks. It has numerous vulnerabilities that can be exploited to deliver malware and compromise users’ machines. Once on the endpoint, it is extremely difficult to prevent its malicious execution.”

In 2013, Java security exploits were responsible for 91% of all computer compromises.  That’s a pretty dangerous plug-in.

Chrome also says that fewer than 4% of Chrome users actually launch Java on a monthly basis.  For now, advanced users can use a temporary override to launch Java, but even that will be removed in September of 2015.

javanotsupported

Chrome is probably also hoping to force developers into coming up with a safer alternative to Java. Chrome suggests HTML5 as an alternative for video and audio and NaCL for games.

Java suggests that users switch to Firefox, Internet Explorer, or the Safari Browser. Microsoft’s new Edge browser will not support Java.

Among the sites affected by the end of Java support are Pogo.com, a very popular gaming site and a lot of internal business sites that use Java applets for things like time clocks and other forms.

Below is an example of what Pogo.com looks like on Firefox.

pogoonfirefox

Here’s the same page in Chrome.

pogochrome

To sum it up, I’d say Chrome is dropping Java because they don’t feel it’s safe, Java isn’t very popular among Chrome users and because they’d like to see the development of newer and safer technologies.

~ Cynthia

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18 Responses to “Why Chrome Is Dropping Java”

  1. Janice Baney says:

    I like Chrome for the pogo games. I am using the workaround right now till they disable it. I don’t like Firefox,, can’t use it,, when I try it tells me to download java even when It’s already there. I have downloaded Firefox numerous times and always remove it because it does the same thing.I guess when Chrome won’t let me use the workaround,,I will have to go back to IE, but I don’t like that browser,, too slow.

  2. GK says:

    the real reason that Google and Microsoft are dropping Java is because Oracle owns it and they are competing heavily against Oracle in the marketplace…not to mention ongoing legal battles between them…

  3. Judy C says:

    I am very angry about Chrome’s dropping Java as it also impacts g-mail. If I am sent a file (including medical results) that rely on java, I can no longer view them from a link in my e-mail. This is very inconvenient to say the least. I have had my g-mail account for many years and to change it would be pretty difficult. The logistics of notifying all the people who have it and need it to reach me but yet are not in my contacts are staggering. Thanks Chrome. :(

  4. Dodie says:

    My husband and I are retired and we use Pogo a lot. If the other browsers stop using Java, we will be really disappointed. Although we use our computers for other things, we really enjoy the games. If the new Microsoft doesn’t support Java, I guess we will have to try something else. You would think Microsoft would come up with something to take its place.

    • cynthia says:

      Dodie: Java is not designed by Microsoft. The makers of games choose what platforms they create the games with. For quite some time, developers have been encouraged to use other programs, such as HTML 5 as the basis for game designs. They’ve just stuck with Java because it met their needs and truthfully, the problems caused by Java being insecure don’t fall on the makers of the games, it usually gets blamed on the browsers or the computers that are running them.

      • Barbara Pickett says:

        I believe she meant Microsoft should design a substitute for Java. I personally hate Java…have always had problems with it.

        • cynthia says:

          There are substitutes for Java, but many game developers just aren’t going for them and older games would need to be completely re-designed to work with the new platform, which is something developers like Pogo hesitate to do.

  5. John A. says:

    I am more concerned with the way Google Chrome is “taking care of us” whether we want it or not. So far, I have not missed Java. But I am NOT AT ALL happy with the changes they made to their bookmarks system. Without any announcement that feature was changed dramatically, and I have found it rather unpleasant to deal with — to the extent that I am considering switching back to FireFox, or perhaps to edge when it is released. Have you considered an article about Chrome bookmarks and how best to use them?

    • Barbara Pickett says:

      Agree 100%.

      • Teresa B. says:

        Agreed! I simply despise the new bookmark system. I had all my folders arranged to suit my needs and then all of the sudden they are in a different, unchangeable order. They are no fun to navigate, hard on my eyes, and just downright – bleech! I have sent in ‘feedback’, for all the good it will do. Ugh.

  6. Bob says:

    It’s a shame that the Chrome developers don’t worry about the crappy “enhancements” they are making to an application that used to be easy to use, instead of handling any conflicts Java might cause.

  7. Herman Miller says:

    I uninstalled Java at least 10-15 years ago and have NEVER had a problem with its absence.

  8. Barbara Borges says:

    How do I uninstall Java and install something to take its place? Java will look for and uninstall older versions. I t says nothing about total uninstall. I do worry about safety and respect your opinions. Thanks, Barbara

  9. Papa Franku says:

    A really really good alternative and imo upgrade to browser games is the Steam clientele by Valve. While there are a lot of games you have to pay for on there, there’s also a ton of free games.

  10. Sandy says:

    I’m all for it! Rather be safe than not. Maybe Java should update itself.

  11. […] reading our article about the end of Java support in Chrome, Barbara had a […]

  12. […] Google Chrome’s recent decision to end Java support means that some sites just won’t wor…Linda’s having even more problems: On some of my sites, Chrome does not work properly, so then I go to Internet Explorer and not it keeps coming up saying my browser is old and I should update. Because I have Vista Home, I cannot update to higher than Internet Explorer 9. I am in a vicious circle. Do you have ideas other than downloading another browser like Firefox? […]

  13. Chris says:

    You don’t really need Java. The only thing I ever used it for was to run Open Office. But Google has Google Docs if you want a free Office application.

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