Google Burrows into Internet Explorer

By  |  Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 11:30 pm

Google ExplorerToday, Google announced a plug-in for Internet Explorer that usurps the IE browsing engine’s role, rendering pages with Google Chrome instead. The plug-in, called Google Chrome Frame, targets Web developers who must program around IE 6’s proprietary quirks.

Internet Explorer remains the world’s dominant Web browser, but many of its users are running archaic versions of the software –to the frustration of Microsoft and its critics alike. Older versions of the browser do not support the latest standards, hindering what users can do on the Web.

Google argues that Chrome’s Webkit and JavaScript engines will seamlessly bring IE up to par, awhile preserving the interface that people are accustomed to in IE 6 and IE 7. Microsoft has largely solved its issues with standards support with IE 8, but Google Frame targets it as well.

Of course people will have to install the plug-in, which requires a 10MB download. Web developers will also have to modify their HTML code to invoke the plug-in. Nonetheless, it’s a new approach to getting people to upgrade their browsers.

Google is using an attrition strategy to bring IE users on board with Chrome. I could not imagine why any corporate IT folks would install this plug-in; they keep IE installed for compatibility reasons. Microsoft has also enabled legacy support in IE 8.

Google Chrome Frame is a neat technology, but I don’t expect that your mother will end up using it unless it is bundled with software that people widely use. Google might attempt to leverage its Web properties, but many people are a creature of habit. My father is still using AOL, and my attempt to move him to Gmail failed.

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  1. Anna Langella Says:

    very nice idea. would be interested to hear how many downloads it gets. slightly strange to think someone would want to keep ie6, but be willing to install a plugin to avoid having to use ie6!