Across the internet, Google Chrome is often touted as being the safest and fastest browser available — it’s even survived a hacking contest with big money prizes for anyone who is able to break in and cause trouble. The sandboxed way that Chrome operates, combined with the speed and fluidity of its updates, means that it just makes sense to give it a try. In fact, at last month’s State Department Town Hall meeting, that’s exactly what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced they were going to do.
On January 26th, when Secretary Clinton was asked what could be done about the painfully slow update process for Internet Explorer, she announced that the State Department would be deploying Google Chrome to their offices worldwide. The conversation, which can be found at CSpan (skip to 35:00 or watch below), includes a deployment plan for Internet Explorer 8 as well. The official go-live date for Chrome was February 14th and for IE8 it will be March 20th.
Secretary Clinton warned that some internal software may not be initially compatible with Chrome, so it may be necessary to use Internet Explorer as well. So IE8 was fully tested and approved, while Chrome will be an optional browser. The State Department will skip IE9 and move to IE10 on or before February 2013.
Google is expected to release a blog post later today outlining the details of their arrangement with the State Department, but the excitement from the people in the video make the reception of this news pretty clear. Obviously the news that Chrome will be available on State Department computers is something worth cheering about.
For the moment, there’s no information as to whether or not any other groups inside the government will have access to Google Chrome. For example, it is unlikely that government buildings that deploy air-gap networks will be seeing Chrome deployed anytime soon. The “Department of Defense Information Assurance Certification and Accreditation Process” that software has to go through to be formally used, even though many facilities are already able to deploy Mozilla Firefox. Any way you look at it, the acceptance of the browser by the State Department is a great first step towards Chrome being adopted across all of the US Government.
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