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Google Chrome to bundle Flash, include PDF support? [Updated]


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Rumors are afloat that Google's Chrome browser and upcoming operating system, Chrome OS, will soon bundle Adobe's Flash plugin. Larry Dignan of CNET reports that an announcement is expected to be made today about the new partnership between Google and Adobe.

An unofficial Google blog is also reporting that PDF support is also rumored to be included through a plugin. Google currently provides a free Google Docs extension for Chrome that allows users to view PDF documents, powerpoint presentations, and other documents.

After stories of Steve Jobs deep disdain of Adobe and their Flash plugin, some see this as an ever increasingrift between Apple and Google. Apple does not allow Flash on any of their iPhone OS devices and there is little doubt that it will ever be allowed on the OS. There is reason to speculate though that Google is just bundling the plugin for the sake of user convenience and experience, since Apple themselves bundle Flash Player with their own desktop operating system, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.

Update: Google has just announced the new partnership and will be bundling Flash Player with Chrome for developer channel releases today. Updates to Flash Player will become automated through Chrome's autoupdate system and http://seclab.stanford.edu/websec/chromium/will be extended to Flash Player in the future.

Mozilla is also playing a part in this announcement by joining Adobe and Google to develop a new browser plugin API based off of Mozilla's NPAPI. The new API will be "operating system and browser neutral" and will "allow plugins to more tightly integrate with host browsers, which in turn will benefit users in terms of performance and security", as described by TechCrunch.

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