Google Chrome Frame: Clever Way to Fix and Kill Internet Explorer

From the web developer’s point of view, Internet Explorer is pure agony. Majority of web users are still stuck up with IE6, which eludes them from experiencing JavaScript performance improvements and HTML5. Google has a clever fix to this problem – Google Chrome Frame.

Essentially, Google Chrome Frame is an open source plug-in that brings HTML5 and other open web technologies to Internet Explorer. Google describes Chrome Frame as:

"We’re building Google Chrome Frame to help web developers deliver faster, richer applications like Google Wave. Recent JavaScript performance improvements and the emergence of HTML5 have enabled web applications to do things that could previously only be done by desktop software. One challenge developers face in using these new technologies is that they are not yet supported by Internet Explorer. Developers can’t afford to ignore IE — most people use some version of IE — so they end up spending lots of time implementing work-arounds or limiting the functionality of their apps."

"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."

This, however, won’t solve the problem because most IE users won’t install Chrome Frame. Google has a plot for that as well – Google Wave, the very much awaited real-time communication platform which is all set to be previewed next week. Internet Explorer users who intend to try Google Wave will be asked to download and install Google Chrome Frame.

cf-in-ie

Google justifies this strategy as:

"Google Wave depends on strong JS and DOM rendering performance to provide a desktop-like experience in the browser. HTML5′s offline storage and web workers will enable us to add great features without having to compromise on performance. Unfortunately, Internet Explorer, still used by the majority of the Web’s users, has not kept up with such fairly recent developments in Web technology. Compared with other browsers, the JavaScript performance is many times slower and HTML5 support is still far behind. Likewise, the many different versions of IE still in use — each with its own set of CSS quirks and layout limitations — further complicates building rich Web applications."

"In the past, the Google Wave team has spent countless hours solely on improving the experience of running Google Wave in Internet Explorer. We could continue in this fashion, but using Google Chrome Frame instead lets us invest all that engineering time in more features for all our users, without leaving Internet Explorer users behind."

Great move by Google for both users and developers. Internet Explorer users will be enticed to try Google Chrome (or Firefox, maybe). Even if they don’t switch over, Chrome’s rendering engine working within IE means lesser pain for the developers. On the other hand, Microsoft is trapped. If they somehow try to cripple this plugin from running, it’ll greatly damage Microsoft’s reputation.

This post was published by on September 23, 2009

About the Author: Thilak Rao works as a Social Media Expert. He is one of the first professional bloggers from India, and he loves to write, travel and click photos. Follow him on Twitter @thilak

  • http://www.gadgets4nowt.co.uk PS3

    I wonder why people on stuck on IE6 when IE8 is in the wings. I am more likely to be enticed by Firefox than Chrome, although wonder if Chrome uses less memory.

  • http://www.mrkk.de Martin R. Krause

    “it’ll greatly damage Microsoft’s reputation.” ??? What is left to damage?
    Everything that moves people to switch to a decent browser (Opera, Firefox, Safari, Chrome) is a good thing on its own.

  • http://tech-buzz.net Thilak Rao

    Chrome is all sweet, but Firefox extensions are addictive. Can't give up on them!

  • http://tech-buzz.net Thilak Rao

    Well said!

  • http://tech-buzz.net Thilak Rao

    Chrome is all sweet, but Firefox extensions are addictive. Can't give up on them!

  • http://tech-buzz.net Thilak Rao

    Well said!