Feeds

Google to put Chrome Frame to pasture in 2014

You're all using modern browsers anyway, right?

The essential guide to IT transformation

After four years Google is retiring Chrome Frame, its browser plug-in that embeds the Chrome HTML rendering and JavaScript engines inside Internet Explorer.

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

Google first launched Chrome Frame in September 2009, around the same time it was betting that Google Wave – a complex browser-based chat app that relied heavily on web standards – would revolutionize online communications.

Wave wouldn't run on IE, which at the time led the industry in browser market share. So Google gave users a way to use IE and Chrome at the same time, by cramming Chrome into an IE tab.

At the time, Microsoft lambasted the move, claiming it would make IE inherently less secure.

"Given the security issues with plug-ins in general and Google Chrome in particular, Google Chrome Frame running as a plug-in has doubled the attack area for malware and malicious scripts," Microsoft wrote in a statement. "This is not a risk we would recommend our friends and families take."

Security experts doubted the risk, especially given how notoriously vulnerable IE was already. And Jeremiah Grossman of WhiteHat Security pooh-poohed the idea of Chrome-specific malware to The Reg, citing its "insignificant market share."

These days, of course, many metrics show Chrome as the leading web browser. And although IE's share has declined, even IE 10 performs far better with respect to web standards than did IE 8 in 2009.

"Today, most people are using modern browsers that support the majority of the latest web technologies," Shield wrote. "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."

For these reasons, Shield said, Google has decided that Chrome Frame is no longer necessary. As an alternative, he recommends you install Chrome or some other standards-compliant browser – or, if you still need to run certain web apps on an older browser, Shield recommends you use Chrome's Legacy Browser Support, which can be used to maintain a list of sites that should launch in a secondary browser, such as (shudder) IE 6.

Google says it will continue to maintain Chrome Frame throughout 2013, but it will cease all support and updates for it in January 2014. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
Microsoft refuses to nip 'Windows 9' unzip lip slip
Look at the shiny Windows 8.1, why can't you people talk about 8.1, sobs an exec somewhere
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?