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Retiring Chrome Frame

Posted by Robert Shield, Google Chrome Engineer

(Cross-posted on the Chromium Blog)

The main goal of the Chromium project has always been to help unlock the potential of the open web.  We work closely with the industry to standardize, implement and evangelize web technologies that help enable completely new types of experiences, and push the leading edge of the web platform forward.

But in 2009, many people were using browsers that lagged behind the leading edge. In order to reach the broadest base of users, developers often had to either build multiple versions of their applications or not use the new capabilities at all. 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.

Today, most people are using modern browsers that support the majority of the latest web technologies. Better yet, the usage of legacy browsers is declining significantly and newer browsers stay up to date automatically, which means the leading edge has become mainstream.

Given these factors we’ve decided to retire Chrome Frame, and will cease support and updates for the product in January 2014. If you are a developer with an app that points users to Chrome Frame, please prompt visitors to upgrade to a modern browser. You can learn more about these changes in our FAQ.

If you’re an IT administrator you can give your employees the full capabilities of a modern browser today, even if you depend on older technology to run certain web apps. Check out Chrome for Business coupled with Legacy Browser Support, which allows employees to switch seamlessly between Chrome and another browser. Chrome is secure, stable and speedy, and runs on all major desktop and mobile OSs. IT admins can also configure 100+ policies to make Chrome fit their needs.

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.