Google Chrome 21 comes with one great security improvement, the PPAPI version of the Flash Player is now bundled with the browser. This version benefits from the full Chrome sandbox, is less crash-prone and may even be a bit faster.
But having this version as opposed to the traditional NPAPI one bundled with Chrome has one major advantage for anyone wanting to use Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8, it will be the only browser to offer full Flash support in Metro mode
Microsoft has made plenty of controversial moves with Windows 8. One of them, though this one is actually for the best, was to drop support for any kind of browser plugin when in Metro mode.
This means Internet Explorer won't be running any plugins while in Metro. Flash Player, of course, is a plugin, banning it would leave users with no way to use plenty of sites. In a compromise, Microsoft worked with Adobe to integrate Flash into IE10.
IE10 still won't be running any plugins, rather, Flash will be built straight into the browser
. This has the added advantage of users getting the latest Flash version via Windows Update.
But there is a catch, Flash still won't be enabled for the vast majority of websites. Instead, Microsoft is using the Compatibility View list, a whitelist for sites that need legacy support, to indicate what sites can use Flash. If a site is not on that list, Flash won't work.
Still, that was more than either Firefox and Chrome could have done as both browsers are unable to use plugins in Metro mode.
Google though has a very nice workaround; you guessed it, the built-in Chrome. Since the Pepper API acts as an abstraction layer, an emulator of sorts, for the plugins, Flash will act as a fully-fledged part of Chrome, not an external library. Windows 8 will be none the wiser that a plugin is being used. This wouldn't have been possible with NPAPI.
What this means is that, not only will Chrome users get Flash support, they'll get it for any website out there. Chrome will be the only browser to offer full Flash support in Metro mode.
Granted, with the world moving on to a plugin-free web, Flash support becomes increasingly less crucial. In fact, Microsoft banning Flash in most cases will push more websites to drop Flash and move to HTML5 and other standard technology. Chrome having Flash built in is certainly not helping with this.