A few months ago, Google started bundling the Flash plugin with its Chrome browser. The idea was not only a matter of simplicity of use, but also one of security. That security, it seems, has just been proven.
According to SecBrowsing, users who were running Google Chrome with the bundled Flash plugin were over 50% faster to get up to date than those who installed the application via 3rd-party means:
Percentage of users running out-of-date Flash on the last two security releases. For the latest release, within 2 days, fewer than 30% of Chrome users were running an out-of-date Flash. In comparison, it took 14 days for this to happen in the previous release.
It is worthy to note that this is only one site’s version of the story, and other sites might have different analytics. SecBrowsing claims to see a 98% direct traffic rate due to its SecBrowsing extension, but does not give actual traffic figures.
So what does this mean to the end user? Typically speaking, when you have highly-used plugins, the idea of bundling them with the browser enables faster updates and increased overall security. While some might grumble about bloated installation size and unnecessary software, it’s unlikely that they’d grumble loudly if they are never bothered by a security update again.