Google sharpens ax for Chrome Frame

The end is nigh for Chrome Frame, Google's tool for getting legacy versions of Internet Explorer to run modern HTML5 code.

Seth Rosenblatt Former Senior Writer / News
Senior writer Seth Rosenblatt covered Google and security for CNET News, with occasional forays into tech and pop culture. Formerly a CNET Reviews senior editor for software, he has written about nearly every category of software and app available.
Seth Rosenblatt
2 min read

Google's controversial Chrome Frame, a secure Internet Explorer plug-in that fought to bring the modern Web to legacy versions of Internet Explorer, will soon be going the way of Reader, Wave, and other Google projects not deemed worthy of a future.

Chrome Frame running Google Wave in Internet Explorer shows off a lot of legacy technology. Google

Chrome engineer Robert Shield wrote in a blog post on Thursday that Chrome Frame had outlived its usefulness. Basically, it wasn't being used. Google said that its lack of appeal was because the use of browsers that support modern Web site technology has advanced far enough beyond where it was in 2009, when Chrome Frame launched.

Gary Schare, who worked on Internet Explorer while at Microsoft and now is the CEO of Browsium, a company focused on providing better browsing tools in the enterprise, said that from an enterprise perspective, Chrome Frame was unusable.

A business' IT department, Schare said, "had no control over when it was invoked. If there was a security bug, any rogue site could invoke it and wreak havoc. That doesn't play well in enterprise."

Chrome Frame's impending demise doesn't mean that Google is giving up on Chrome for businesses. The company has recently upgraded the features available in its Chrome for Business management console, which lets companies install and manage Chrome for their employees.

The move indicates that Google is seeing enough growth in IE 9 and IE 10 usage to justify not competing with them on their own turf.

CNET contacted Microsoft for comment, but the company wouldn't comment directly about Chrome Frame.

Google did not give a final date for Chrome Frame, saying only that it would stop support in January 2014. The company also has provided an FAQ to help developers migrate away from Chrome Frame.

Update 4:13 p.m. PT: Added comment from Microsoft.