Now there’s Google Chrome Frame, or at least the glimmer of it in the future. Google’s spin: since Internet Explorer is holding back the Web; we’ll make a plugin so people can use our more standards-compliant browser technology from within Internet Explorer.
It seems nice on the surface and I’m happy that someone would go and fix Internet Explorer despite Microsoft, but I have to wonder how many people will actually install the plugin. The people who are using IE now are ones who either like IE as it is or who must use IE because their IT department says so. Will the first group see value in adding a plugin to make their browser work like another browser (which they just as easily could be using already), or will IT departments allow their ‘clients’ to install such a large unknown quantity on their machines?
The thing is designed so that the WebKit code (what Chrome is based on) will only be invoked on Web pages that specifically enable it. (This might help the IT guys relax a bit.) I will enable it for this site, although the differences Chrome Frame users will see are only cosmetic. It costs me nothing. Somewhere the Google minions will make note of my Chrome enabilization and use that as part of a marketing pitch.
My hope for the plugin is not that it converts a lot of Internet Explorer users, but that it spurs Microsoft to accelerate their own adoption of the next wave of standards. That would be the biggest win from where I’m sitting. It doesn’t seem likely, though, until HTML 5 becomes a valuable tool for its business customers.
Whether it’s Bing making Google Search better or Chrome making Internet Explorer better, in the end I’m glad these two companies don’t get along.