Upcoming changes to NPAPI support in Chrome, impact on audio dialing in Google Talk

In September 2013, we announced our plan to remove NPAPI support from Chrome, a change that will improve Chrome’s security, speed and stability. We gave some more details on timing and expected changes last November. The first of those changes will take place with the launch of Chrome 40 to the stable channel, currently planned for next week.

Currently Chrome supports NPAPI plugins, but with the exception of a small number of whitelisted extensions―including Google Talk―they are blocked by default unless the user chooses to allow them. With the launch of Chrome 40 to the stable channel, we’ll no longer use the whitelist to allow certain NPAPI plugins to run without requiring user approval. As a result, people using Google Talk on Chrome 40 will see a ‘Plug-in blocked’ notification in their browser bar, requiring a one-time approval in order for the Talk service, specifically audio calls, to function. The approval will be recorded and remembered.
If this approval is not granted, users will also be prompted to run the plugin within the Talk UI when attempting to make or receive calls. 

When we launch Chrome 41 to the stable channel in March, this approval will be required every time the browser is loaded and with the launch of Chrome 42 in April, NPAPI support will be disabled by default in Chrome. At that time, audio calls in Talk will start operating through the Hangouts dialer (and will require Google Voice to be enabled for standard telephone calls. Hangouts Chat does not need to be enabled for the Hangouts dialer to work). 

In preparation for these upcoming changes, Apps admins from domains using Google Talk on Chrome 40 should inform their users to expect to see the ‘Plug-in blocked’ notifications. Longer term, this is a useful opportunity for admins to consider switching from Talk to
Hangouts Chat, which does not require a plugin on Chrome.

Release track:
Rapid release and Scheduled release

Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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