Google has decided to pull the plug on Chrome Frame for Microsoft's Internet Explorer, a plug-in that brings open web technologies and modern engine to legacy browsers, by January 2014.

The company will cease support and updates for the product. Chrome Frame allows developers to automatically prompt Internet Explorer to switch to Chrome Frame, if the user doesn't have Chrome Frame installed.

Google reasoned that Chrome Frame was released (initially in September 2009 and then as a stable build in September 2010) to cater old versions of Internet Explorer, which do not support the latest web technologies, and was still in high use back then.

According to reports, IE 6 and IE 7 netted 6.43-percent and 27.56 percent in popularity, respectively, in 2011 by corporate companies globally. Now in 2013, as most of the firms have moved on to new web browsers, Google has decided to retire the Chrome plug-in from older IE browsers.

"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 to allow developers to bring better experiences to more users, even those who were unable to move to a more capable browser," Chrome Engineer Robert Shield said in his blog on Thursday.

"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," Shield reasoned.

Gary Schare, who heads a team of browser experts at Browsium, has worked on Internet Explorer while at Microsoft. His company provides software solutions for legacy browsers. In last year's blog post, his company discussed how Chrome Frame encouraged organisations to continue running on old versions of IE.

"The core issues we identified were lack of enterprise management and support," Browsium said in another blog post on 13 June.

Given these factors, Google will take down Chrome Frame next year. Its actual date of termination is still under wraps.