Home Google Chrome Injects Itself Into Internet Explorer With Chrome Frame

Google Chrome Injects Itself Into Internet Explorer With Chrome Frame

Google just announced the launch of Chrome Frame, a new open-source project that will allow Chrome’s rendering engine to run within Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 6,7, and 8. This plugin, which is available now, will give developers the option to ask users if they would prefer to switch to the Chrome rendering and JavaScript engine. Users simply continue to use Internet Explorer and the switch will be completely seamless, with no noticeable changes to the user interface.

Chrome Now Runs Inside Internet Explorer

As Google’s Mike Smith and Alex Russell told us when we talked to them about this project, a lot of companies have good reasons why they can’t just simply switch away from Internet Explorer. After all, these enterprises often have made large investments in an infrastructure that is only compatible with IE. As Google pointed out to us, though, this shouldn’t hold back developers who want to explore the possibilities that newer, faster and more modern browsers like Chrome can offer.

Google, which has lately developed a tendency to route around other vendors, developed this plugin without help from Microsoft, but Smith and Russell noted that Microsoft gives developers a lot of ways to easily extend Internet Explorer.

Focus on Developers

Thanks to this plugin, developers will now be able to give these users an option to at least switch to a faster rendering engine by just adding one single line of code to their sites ().

Indeed, this current release is mostly meant to give developers a choice for how they want to deliver their web apps to their users. At least for now, users won’t be able to make the switch to the Chrome engine persistent, though they can invoke the plugin by putting ‘cf:’ in front of any URL.

Google is obviously interested in getting its web apps into businesses. These web apps tend to work best in a modern browser with a fast JavaScript engine and that is not something Internet Explorer is known for. As Mike Smith told us, the Web shouldn’t be hobbled by this.

As for the user experience, the Google team tells us that the switch will be absolutely seamless and that the plugin will offer the same speed and reliability of Chrome inside IE.

A Trojan Horse?

Google hopes that this plugin will enable developers in enterprises to write code for a modern browser that isn’t held back by some of the old paradigms. That, of course, is a noble undertaking. At the same time, though, we can’t help but wonder if Google also plans to use this plugin to plant a Trojan horse inside these companies. After all, very few businesses are ready to make the switch from IE to Chrome right now, but Chrome Frame now offers companies the option to get the best of both worlds and – maybe – switch over to Chrome completely in the long run.

As for Google itself, the company plans to use Chrome Frame to make Google Wave run smoothly in Internet Explorer but hasn’t announced any other plans to use Chrome Frame in other products yet.

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