Firefox 3.6 to feature plugin checker

Mozilla has begun testing its plugin checker for Firefox, which will automatically prompt users to refresh outdated third-party plugins.

The service scans for installed plugins from companies such as Apple, Microsoft and Adobe, and then checks them against current versions. When it detects a new version it offers a warning and a link to the updated version on the company’s website.

The feature debuted last month in the form of the Flash plugin checker, which warned people upgrading to Firefox 3.5.3 and Firefox 3.0.14 to upgrade old versions of Flash.

Firefox 3.6 will have this integrated to make sure users know when they have an outdated plugin

At the time, Mozilla claimed around 80% of Flash Player users were running an outdated version of the plugin, and the scheme prompted over 10 million people to upgrade.

According to Mozilla developer Blair McBride, the company plans to build the plugin checker into the beta of Firefox 3.6, which is slated for release next week.

“Firefox 3.6 will have this integrated to make sure users know when they have an outdated plugin, without having to manually visit the Plugin Check page,” says McBride on his blog.

“Whenever you load a page that uses a plugin that is out of date, you’ll get a warning. Additionally, the Plugins tab of the Extension Manager will indicate which of your plugins are out of date.”

Ironically, visitors to the site are currently been warned away by Firefox, which claims it has an invalid security certificate. Mozilla claims this problem will be rectified in time for the beta launch.

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