Plug-ins are software programs that extend the capabilities of the browser in a specific way. This means that beyond reading a basic web page, plug-ins let you watch movies and animation, hear sound and music, read special Adobe documents, play online games, do 3-D interaction, and use your web browser like a type of interactive software package.
Browser Helper Objects (BHOs) are small programs that can observe and control almost everything
Many times, these plug-ins and BHOs are badly written and crash or slow down the browser.
Why does not these plugin capabilities comes out of the box ?
1. Depends on usage, all basic things comes out of the box, additional features if required can be plugin.
2. Maintaining so many capabilities in the browser and updating all of them at single place is difficult. So plugin and can maintained and upgraded separetely.
3. Of couse the facility to unplug the plugin when it is not required.
4. Putting up all the plugins out of the box will make the browser slow.
What are the important browser plugin i require ?
Although new plug-in software is released every week, there are 11 key plug-ins and add-on software that will serve you 99% of the time:
Adobe Acrobat Reader (for .pdf files)
Java Virtual Machine (JVM to run Java applets)
Microsoft Silverlight (to run rich media, databases, and interactive web pages)
Adobe Flash Player (to run .swf animation movies and YouTube videos)
Adobe Shockwave Player (to run heavy-duty .swf movies)
Real Audio Player (to listen to .ram files)
Apple Quicktime (to see 3d Virtual Reality schematics)
Windows Media Player (to run a variety of movies and music formats)
WinAmp (to play downloaded .mp3 and .wav files, and display artist information)
Antivirus software: because getting infected will ruin anyone’s day online.
Optional browser toolbars, like Google toolbar, Yahoo toolbar, or StumleUpon toolbar