I thought the answer to the question would be obvious – not so as the people at Slate point out.

This would help explain why Internet Explorer 8  has managed to maintain market share despite being the worst browser for features, standards compliance and performance. So what does Google do – create Chrome Frame – which as an IE plugin guts the the IE renderer and JavaScript engine by acting as a super-plugin. Developers love this because JavaScript  speed and Web Standards compliance [especially DOM and CSS where IE badly lags and Chrome does very well] is of the essence for a top notch Web 2.0  experiences.

Predictably, Microsoft is not amused – and have said so: “‘Given the security issues with plugins in general and Google Chrome in particular, Google Chrome Frame running as a plugin has doubled the attack area for malware and malicious scripts. This is not a risk we would recommend our friends and families take.”” This sounds like the Politics of Fear response from Redmond. So Google has responded to the attacks by refuting the Microsoft claims as baseless because a)Chrome sandbox is better and b)only 1/4  IE browser users are at IE8 and many  of the security features of IE7 and IE8  require  Vista or Windows 7 and don’t work in Windows XP.

What makes this more compelling is the fact that on Windows, Chrome is the fastest browser according to Computerworld tests and Chrome Frame delivers this performance and standards compliance to IE. This may be enticing for shops  which still have IE6 and IE7 [ 72% of all IE users] and want to improve security, speed , web standards compliance and go to a  full feature set  by just adding a plugin.


Google Chrome Frame  must be a very galling comeuppance for  years of Web neglect by Microsoft. Google Chrome Frame  is the ultimate insult to Redmond because it shows Google out-engineering Microsoft. And the solution is simple – by installing Google Chrome Frame as an IE plugin users of IE6, 7, and 8 on Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 can get 4 times the JavaScript speed, and much better Web standard’s compliance. Web Developers really like this because for shops that use IE they now can recommend ” a solution” to poor performance and/or feature limitations due to IE. Meanwhile, Redmond is reduced to dialing down their ‘security hazard’ complaints to lack of privacy.  In a World swinging to the Web and Cloud Computing, Microsoft finds itself exposed to be at a major technical and competitive disadvantage.