Google brings Chrome to IE

September 25, 2009 // 1:58 p.m.

Tags: #canvas-tag #chrome #chrome-frame #google-chrome #html-5 #html-5-canvas #internet-explorer-8 #javascript #sunspider #v8

Google has launched a project to bring the benefits of its Chrome rendering and JavaScript engines to the benighted masses forced to use Internet Explorer - and Microsoft isn't happy.

The Internet Explorer plugin - dubbed Chrome Frame - allows IE to use Chrome's rendering engine, bringing HTML 5 support and the ultra-fast V8 JavaScript engine to Microsoft's web browser.

Microsoft, of course, isn't exactly thrilled at the idea of Google subverting its browser technology - and has made its opinions more than clear. According to an article over on CNet, the software giant has warned users about the "security issues with plugins in general and Google Chrome in particular," claiming that using the plugin "doubles the attach area for malware and malicious scripts" and renders the browser vulnerable to attack.

The company's statement even goes so far as to say that "this [installing Google Chrome Frame] is not a risk we would recommend our friends and families take."

For anyone willing to take the risk and fly in the face of Microsoft's advice, there are benefits to be had: InfoWorld reports that Chrome running within IE via Chrome Frame performance runs through the popular SunSpider JavaScript benchmark suite ten times faster than in plain old Internet Explorer 8.

Interestingly, the Chrome Frame plugin does offer slightly more flexibility than just installing the standard Chrome browser: sites are rendered using Internet Explorer's own engine unless an HTML tag on the site requests Chrome or the URL is prefixed with the characters "CF:"

Do you think that Chrome Frame is a neat idea, or does Microsoft have a point when it talks about doubling the browser's attack surface? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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