Following the beta release of Internet Explorer 9 last week, Google has joined in drive to rid the Internet of inferior Microsoft web browsers by announcing that Chrome Frame has been deemed stable and ready for general use.
Chrome Frame is a Google initiative to overhaul older versions of Internet Explorer, equipping them with more modern browser features and improved speed. IE6 in particular is unanimously derided by web developers due to its outdated standards support, slow script rendering, and incompatibility with HTML5.
The newly released IE9 represents Microsoft’s long overdue acknowledgement that it can no longer afford to remain complacent about its web browsers. IE users have been dwindling rapidly in recent years, as more people turn to slicker and user-friendlier options such as Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.
However, IE remains firmly entrenched in many office environments. Some years-old office computer systems are essentially ‘hard-wired’ into the IE browser, because internally developed web software was created to work only in IE. This was way back when IE was the only mainstream browser available. There are other and better choices now, but some companies still have no choice but to stick with IE, because their web applications don’t function properly in other browsers.
It is this problem that the Chrome Frame project is aiming to solve. Essentially, web developers and administrators can add a line of code to their web pages. Then people using IE6 and other outdated browsers can view those web pages as though they were using a more modern browser.
Whether many webmasters will bother adding the code remains to be seen, but it does seem likely that IE9, which according to Microsoft loads even faster and renders even clearer than the Chrome browser, will have more of a long term impact than Google’s latest offering.
Time will tell.
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