Google has announced a timeline to drop support for the Netscape Plugin API (NPAPI). The decision has been made to erase code complexities, and to increase overall browser stability, speed, and security.
In January 2015, NPAPI plugins will be blocked by default. At this point, users will still be able to activate the plugins for sites by clicking in the "Plug-in-blocked" pop-up on the URL bar, and choosing to "always allow plugins on [URL]." Come April 2015, this will no longer be an option, as all plugins that require NPAPI support will be blocked and removed from the Chrome Web Store. Permanent removal of support for these plugins is scheduled for September 2015.
Currently, 5% of users are using just 6 NPAPI supported plugins: Silverlight, Google Talk, java, Facebook Video, Unity, and Google Earth. Silverlight is the largest plugin, with 11 percent of Chrome users still on board. However, determined by evaluating launch percentages from anonymously acquired user data, Google saw that NPAPI has been on a steady decline in usage. An example is Netflix's recent move to embrace HTML5 over Silverlight.
The announcement follows a Google press release in 2013 that stated it's intent on dropping support for the NPAPI, though no timeline had been released at the time. Enterprises will still have the ability to temporarily override the NPAPI if necessary until the permanent closure in September 2015.