Online video streamer Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) has now outlined its intentions to move away from Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Silverlight as the browser plugin that it uses to stream content. The change was announced on Netflix's Tech Blog, and the company will be transitioning toward HTML5 instead. Netflix cites Microsoft's decision to end Silverlight support in 2021, giving Netflix plenty of time to find a replacement.

Netflix acknowledges that some users view browser plugins as security and privacy risks, and Netflix may be the only reason some use Silverlight in the first place. Silverlight also isn't ubiquitous, as many browsers (even Microsoft's own Metro version of Internet Explorer in Windows 8) do not support plugins. That limits the reach of Silverlight, while HTML5 is an accepted open standard.

The company says it's been collaborating with Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) to implement support in its popular Chrome browser. The announcement comes just months after CEO Reed Hastings stepped down from Microsoft's board late last year.


Fool contributor Evan Niu, CFA, has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Google and Netflix and owns shares of Google, Microsoft, and Netflix. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.