One of the big issues with Flash is that it introduces all sorts of security vulnerabilities, especially if you don’t have the latest security patches and updates. Google has chosen to embrace Flash both in its Chrome browser and Android OS (as opposed to that other company which won’t let Flash anywhere near its iPhones and iPads). But it wants to minimize the security risks posed by Flash. Today, it is releasing a new version of the Chrome browser for Windows in its beta channel which sandboxes Flash and other extensions. (New versions of chrome are released simultaneously in three channels: developer, beta, and stable). Sandboxing will come to the Mac and Linux versions soon.
Sandboxing isolates websites and applications so that malware doesn’t spread beyond that tab to other parts of your computer. Plug-ins are a huge security hole, which Chrome is attempting to contain. Chrome will also now automatically update Flash for all security patches. With 120 million Chrome users worldwide, this will go far towards making Flash safer. Now if only they could keep Flash from crashing Chrome altogether, that would be something.
In addition to the sandboxing feature, the beta version for Windows will also start loading frequently visited websites when you start tying the URL into the address bar. The page will load before you even finish typing the URL or hit enter. It is like Google Instant for browsing.