Google Chrome Frame

Google has thrown their hat into the ring when it comes to dealing with the Internet Explorer 6 issue, creating an IE plugin that replaces the IE rendering engine with Chrome. I think it’s a pretty brilliant idea, but I’ll be curious to monitor the adoption rate. My guess is that people who are stuck using IE6 for whatever reason won’t install the plugin, given that they haven’t installed any of the other excellent, free options that currently exist. It does let Google take another step away from supporting Internet Explorer, though, since now they can demand that users install the plugin.

5 thoughts on “Google Chrome Frame

  1. My guess is that people who are stuck using IE6 for whatever reason won’t install the plugin, given that they haven’t installed any of the other excellent, free options that currently exist.

    Google have the advantage that they can advertise the plug-in from high traffic web apps (Gmail, Wave,etc.) where the option might be presented as “spend 5 seconds installing this plug-in or have a shitty experience with our kick-ass app”.

  2. I’d imagine that a lot of people who are stuck using IE6 are at work and their employer’s IT department doesn’t allow them to install browser plugins, any more than they’re allowed to install an alternative web browser. (That’s certainly the case at my place of work.)

  3. I think Google’s strategy though, is, to tell companies that want to use their apps (and who have standardized on IE6 or IE7) that if they want full support they need to install the plugin. I think it will serve them quite well in that regard.

  4. If I was working in corporate IT I’d want more of a long-term commitment to supporting the IE Chrome plugin than I think is in evidence. It seems like a very real possibility that you’d install the Chrome plugin only to have Google pull support for it a year or two later, leaving an orphaned install base with security holes and usability bugs that will never be fixed.

    Firefox is a much safer bet in that regard since it doesn’t rely on a single entity for ongoing support.

    Not really an attack on Google, every software company releases and then orphans products sometimes. Microsoft certainly has done it many times. But that’s the point: corporate IT doesn’t want to spend time debugging browser compatibility problems and they certainly don’t want to get stuck supporting an orphaned product. IE may be kinda lame, but it’s pretty well-supported.

  5. @rafe: I think Google’s strategy though, is, to tell companies that want to use their apps (and who have standardized on IE6 or IE7) that if they want full support they need to install the plugin. I think it will serve them quite well in that regard.

    A fair point. I forgot that for the most part this isn’t about what individual users want/do. I do wonder how ready companies still using IE6 (and often using a – possibly somewhat outdated – version of MS Office, I’d guess) would be to make the leap to Google’s apps suite, but I suppose it’s all about Google making that transition a little bit less daunting.

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