The SPDY protocol was introduced by Google in 2009, aiming to make web browsing much faster and more secure than sites running hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP). HTTP has been the standard networking protocol that powers the web since it came to be, though it used to be much slower and less secure. However, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has been working to update version 1.1 of HTTP to a new version of the protocol called HTTP/2. As the new version of the protocol is on its way to becoming standard, Google has announced that the company will no longer use the SPDY protocol in Chrome.
HTTP/2’s main benefit is improved performance. The new version has added multiplexing, header compression, prioritization and protocol negotiation over the years. Plus, it’s now backed as an industry standard, which is why Google is ditching support for their native protocol. Google explains:
We’re happy to have contributed to the open standards process that led to HTTP/2, and hope to see wide adoption given the broad industry engagement on standardization and implementation. We also look forward to further advancements in fundamental Internet protocols that lead to a faster and more secure Internet for everyone.
Google plans to completely remove support for SPDY from Chrome in early 2016. At the same time, Google will also remove support for NPN, a TLS extension, in favor of ALPN in Chrome. The company strongly urges server developers to move to HTTP/2 and ALPN. HTTP/2 support will gradually begin rolling out to Chrome 40 in the upcoming weeks.