Who Needs HTML5? Chrome 5 Integrates Flash Plug-In

In somewhat of a surprise move, Google this week announced it has begun collaborating with Adobe to improve the Flash Player experience in Google Chrome, and as such, has bundled the plug-in with the latest version of Chrome in the developer channel.

The implications here are potentially huge. Let's not forget that Google owns YouTube, so the move to integrate Flash into Chrome makes complete sense. But it also puts Google somewhat at odds with the HTML5 team hoping to move away from proprietary plug-ins in favor of an open video format.

"The traditional browser plug-in model has enabled tremendous innovation on the Web, but it also presents challenges for both plug-ins and browsers," Google stated in its Chromium blog. "The browser plug-in interface is loosely specified, limited in capability, and varies across browsers and operating systems. This can lead to incompatibilities, reduction in performance, and some security headaches."

Google's comments echo those made by Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen almost a year ago, who claimed that the "fragmentation of browsers makes Flash even more important rather than less important."

Image and Data Credit: Net Applications

And before anyone dismisses this as no big deal based on market share, let's not forget that Chrome has been steadily rising while Internet Explorer continues to decline. In just 18 months since release, Chrome has positioned itself as the No. 3 browser on the planet with a 5.61 percent share, according to online research firm Net Applications.

For those of you wanting to give Chrome 5 a whirl, you can snag it here.