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Chrome 69 is coming: Not just a new look but Flash's life is about to get even harder

Google will expose its Material Design refresh with Chrome 69, due September 4.

Redcore used code from Google Chrome to build web browser

Video: Redcore used code from Google Chrome to build web browser.

Google's curvy tab Material Design update for Chrome will arrive in version 69 of the browser due out in September.

Google flags the upcoming changes in its Enterprise release notes for Chrome 69, which gives a brief mention under browser interface changes to a "new design across all operating systems".

Chrome 69, penciled in for stable release on September 4, will also get native Windows 10 notifications, which have been rolling out to users over the past month.

Chrome 69 will also progress the long-running project to deprecate Flash Player, which Adobe has announced will reach end of life in 2020. Microsoft, Mozilla, and Apple have similar deprecation timelines for Flash on their desktop browsers.

Once ubiquitous, Flash content is now hardly used at all by Chrome users, though Google won't fully remove support until Chrome 87 in 2020.

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At present, if a user enables Flash for a particular site, they don't need to approve it if they visit the site again. However, in Chrome 69, every time users restart Chrome, they'll need to give permission for sites to use Flash.

While this process will make using Flash frustrating, Google recently revealed that Chrome users who load at least one page with Flash content every day are now below eight percent, down from 80 percent when measured in 2014.

The purpose of Chrome 69's change is to require an affirmative decision by the user to run Flash content without that choice remaining over multiple sessions. The next phase will come around Chrome 76, according to Google's timeline.

Google also notes improvements for managing Chrome with Microsoft Intune.

"Policies that are only available on Microsoft Windows instances that are joined to a Microsoft Active Directory domain can now be configured with Intune," Google notes.

"These policies can even be managed on Windows instances not joined to a domain. Managing Chrome policies with Intune is supported on the Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise editions."

In the new design, Chrome's active tabs get more curves, while inactive tabs are understated.

Image: Stephen Shankland/CNET

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