Google retiring Chrome Frame plugin for old IE

Summary:Frame plugin for Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8, and 9 is obsolete, says Google.

Google is retiring Frame, a browser plugin for Internet Explorer (IE) that run Chrome's rendering engine on sites or web apps that Microsoft's browser didn't support.

Read this

Internet Explorer, Windows XP rank highly at work, but BYOD threatens mutiny

Bring your own device to work? According to Forrester research, that's mixing up the browser market space, despite Internet Explorer keeping its top-dog status. Meanwhile, Windows XP still ranks highly at work despite one year left until support gets cut off.

Google released Frame in 2009 as a way to help developers who used modern web technologies to reach IE users without having to rewrite their web apps for Microsoft's browser. One example is the now retired Google Wave, which could be viewed in IE with the help of Frame. 

Frame also helped developers reach those who were "unable" to move to Chrome — presumably in the enterprise, which sometimes retain older IE or standardise on one browser to support in-house web applications.

"We created Chrome Frame — a secure plug-in that brings a modern engine to old versions of Internet Explorer — to allow developers to bring better experiences to more users, even those who were unable to move to a more capable browser," Robert Shield, Google Chrome engineer, noted in a post yesterday.

Frame supports IE, 6, 7, 8, and 9 on XP, Vista and Windows and there was both a standard version and one for administrators in the enterprise. Updates and support for Frame will end in January 2014.

Developers that used Frame in their sites have been told to prompt visitors to view Google's whatbrowser.org/ site, which points to "modern browsers", including Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari and IE.

Enterprise admins that installed Frame are being encouraged either to run Chrome for business or Google's Legacy Browser Support, an add-on for IE 6 to 10 it launched in April. Instead of Chrome running inside IE like it would with Frame, Legacy Browser Support will automatically launch IE or Chrome depending on which website or app is being accessed.

Frame was no longer needed, according to Shield, because most people are now using modern web browsers.

"It's unusual to build something and hope it eventually makes itself obsolete, but in this case we see the retirement of Chrome Frame as evidence of just how far the web has come," Shield wrote.

Topics: Google, Microsoft

About

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, s... Full Bio

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.