Google retiring Chrome Frame plugin for old IE

Google retiring Chrome Frame plugin for old IE

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

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TOPICS: Google, Microsoft
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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.

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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

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

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, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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11 comments
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  • Main use of IE has been MS's own sites

    Especially the Windows and Office Update sites. Replaced in W7 by the desktop updater, which works much better than the dodgy XP one. The termination of XP support (still almost 40% of PCs out there) next year makes the IE plug ins redundant.
    I2k4
    • Google developers thrown under bus again

      Another day, another google product gets axed, and another group of fools using google products are left holding their bags.

      When will the fools learn?
      LBiege
      • Yeah!

        Then again, the target was IE 6-8.

        They're likely going to stop being supported soon.

        So... yeah.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • Re: Google developers thrown under bus again

        It wasn't Google developers depending on this.
        ldo17
      • Re: Google developers thrown under bus again

        Did you not get the memo sent to all Microsofties? "Google Chrome Frame BAD, BAD, BAD!"
        ldo17
  • What??? No... we're still using Chrome Frame

    ...as the only way to use a modern browser to bypass IT restrictions in an IE6 environment.

    Believe me, there are still some companies who use IE6 and are still unwilling to upgrade even if it's already on its end of life as some applications will only run on IE6 and not on modern browsers.
    triadwarfare
    • Because they're too cheap and stupid to modernize

      They would have to be a fantastic company otherwise, if they'd want me to continue to use that outdated, security hole junk
      CaviarRed
    • Re: Believe me, there are still some companies

      Are we supposed to feel sympathy for them?
      ldo17
    • "Are we supposed to feel sympathy for them?"

      Let's hope not.
      CaviarRed
  • Too bad

    it was a great way to deal with orgs that refused to move off IE6. Hopefully this gives them the nudge.
    Mac_PC_FenceSitter
  • Erm...

    I just went to http://whatbrowser.org/, and it most definitely does list IE. Perhaps it depends on your platform?
    ChickenLiver