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June 13, 2013

Chrome Frame Discontinued

Chrome Frame is a clever plugin for Internet Explorer that loads pages using Chrome's rendering engine if those pages include some code that requests this. It was released back in 2009, a few months after Microsoft launched Internet Explorer 8. Back then, Internet Explorer was the most popular browser, but it didn't include many HTML5 features and it was pretty slow.

"With Google Chrome Frame, developers can now take advantage of the latest open web technologies, even in Internet Explorer. From a faster Javascript engine, to support for current web technologies like HTML5's offline capabilities and <canvas>, to modern CSS/Layout handling, Google Chrome Frame enables these features within IE with no additional coding or testing for different browser versions," explained Google back then.

Now Chrome is the most popular browser, Internet Explorer 9 and 10 added a lot of HTML5 features, while the outdated IE versions have a declining market share. Chrome Frame is no longer that useful and Google decided to discontinue it and "cease support and updates for the product in January 2014".

Chrome Frame was mostly used by companies. Google suggests IT administrators to deploy Chrome for Business and use the Legacy Browser Support extension to quickly switch to Internet Explorer for the older websites and apps that require IE. Another option is to keep using Chrome Frame even after January 2014 because it will continue to work.

Here's the video that introduced Chrome Frame:

And here are some browser market share stats from StatCounter:

StatCounter - desktop stats
March 2009
May 2013

{ Thanks, Sterling. }

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