Instead of adding an invisible capability to whatever the user’s choice of configuration, would you present a “Looks Best in Browser X!” type of barrier…?
Maybe the story isn’t accurate — I haven’t found any source link in the first few retellings I’ve read [!!], so it could be just another blogospheric falsehood. But if the story is accurate, then that translates to “We’ll be dropping support for the majority of the world — people who use Microsoft browsers or older browsers — in order to reduce our development costs for the people who buy Apple’s hardware.” Sounds strange!
Corrections welcome… I’m not sure if the story is inclusively correct, or if I understood it correctly, and I’m not really interested enough at the moment to research it more deeply. But from the above LA Times piece, doesn’t it sound like going from a plugin to requiring a browser change would make the final work pragmatically inaccessible to more people?
Afterword: After re-reading the current webpages, I’m not sold… the original LA Times story purported to be a product announcement, but then only said they had an email from some unnamed person at Google. Sources which don’t cite their data tend to be bogus.