Flash has long been the enemy of web browsers and users alike thanks to security and stability issues, but the plug-in should be less of an issue now for Chrome users on Windows, according to Google. Chrome already includes a built-in, automatically updated version of Flash, but the Chrome and Adobe teams have now ported the plug-in to use the browser's sandboxing platform after two years of work. The plug-in is now thoroughly modernized, and can take advantage of current technologies like GPU acceleration. What this all means is that Flash in Chrome for Windows is more secure now that it's in a stronger sandbox, and it's more stable: Google says it's decreased crashes by 20 percent.
Additionally, the new version of Flash in Chrome allows the plug-in to be sandboxed even on Windows XP machines —something that was previously unavailable — and it also enables Flash support in Windows 8 Metro mode. If that weren't enough, with the GPU now able to help Flash, rendering should be faster and scrolling smoother. If you've got a Windows machine it's likely you're already experiencing the benefits — they were included in the latest stable Chrome release from last week — and hopefully you won't need to disable plug-ins to get a usable browsing experience any more. For those not using Microsoft's OS, a similar update is in the works for Macs, while Linux and Chrome OS users are already using the new system.