So, still no official (or even unofficial) explanation from Mozilla as to why they suddenly (as in July 9th) banished Silverlight NPAPI from the upcoming Win64 Firefox releases. Mozilla’s silence on this dramatic change with the Win64 Fx is a bad thing for things to come. Why are they being so secretive? Why choose the worse of two evils (Flash)? Why continue to support a plugin that everyone (including Facebook) is trying to move away from (Flash > HTML5)?
So yesterday the discussion in Bug 1165981 (this was the bug that was suppose to Whitelist BOTH Flash and Silverlight NPAPI in Win64 Fx) turns to how this should be communicated to the users. It was suggested that it should be disclosed in the release notes the ‘side effects’ of this change. laszlo commented:
Yeah, write in the release notes that Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Magine TV, Maxdome and an unknown number of other streaming and VOD sites worldwide will stop working with this change. That will certainly make lots of Firefox fans burst with joy.
Well, that is a truthful and painful way of putting it. However, as someone else commented later they would try to get more info from another party “as it’s already causing some issues and probably needs to be stated carefully.” By ‘stated carefully’ they mean Mozilla will simply state “Silverlight is no longer supported in Win64 version of Firefox”. No explanation as to why or what the means for the users. I wouldn’t be surprised that most users really have no idea what Silverlight is and why the need it. Until they try to go to a site that requires it with their freshly installed shiny and sparkly Win64 Firefox and told their browsers does not support Silverlight and to use IE 8.0 or newer.
Now in theory according to engadget with Mozilla including the new DRM plugin (Primetime Content Decryption Module) with Firefox 38 user should be able to watch Netflix without the need of Silverlight. Also, Amazon Instant Video is suppose to have a Flash version, but I have heard the quality and reliability is not as good as with Silverlight.