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Wednesday, 23 September 2009 09:30

Google Chrome Frame to take over Internet Explorer

Interested in Chrome but still just find Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser to be your first instinct? With Google's latest product you can still surf merrily in IE but use the Chrome rendering and JavaScript engine instead.

While Google’s Chrome browser has made some inroads it’s not likely to soon become the de-facto browser choice in many enterprises and homes.

Google is looking at new ways to change this, and has just today launched Chrome Frame – an open-source plugin for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser, versions 6 through 8.

The plugin will permit users to switch to the Chrome rendering and JavaScript engine instead of Internet Explorer’s own in-built engines. There will be no changes to the Internet Explorer user interface and users need not even be aware. The plugin simply, well, plugs in, behind the scenes.

Google note that while Microsoft did not help with the development of the plugin the Internet Explorer architecture legitimately lends itself to this type of application and that Microsoft has given developers a lot of power to extend the browser.

At this stage the plugin can be embedded within web pages and will give the user the option to continue using the regular Internet Explorer engines or switch to Chrome – but only for that web application.

Google has not made a facility which will cause the plugin to become a persistent change, although once it is installed users can invoke it for any site by prefixing URLs with ‘cf:’.

Google explain the driver behind Google Chrome is because they want their web applications to get into businesses, but these work best in a modern browser with fast JavaScript support. Internet Explorer, Google says, is not known for either of these traits.

Google hope this plugin will enable corporate developers, constrained by a standard operating environment that mandates Internet Explorer, will be able to write code for “a modern browser that isn’t held back by some of the old paradigms.”

Google also explain they plan to use Chrome Frame to make Google Wave run smoothly within Internet Explorer.

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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

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