developers of applications that rely on the Java browser plugin need to consider alternative options such as migrating from Java Applets (which rely on a browser plugin) to the plugin-free Java Web Start technology.

Oracle plans to deprecate the Java browser plugin in JDK 9. This technology will be removed from the Oracle JDK and JRE in a future Java SE release.

Source: Moving to a Plugin-Free Web (Java Platform Group, Product Management blog)

I wonder how you get to access all the applets that currently need the java plugin? Many switches, routers and NAS appliances need the plugin and you don’t want to throw away your routing infrastructure just because they’re not forward compatible to Java Web Start…