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Mozilla, MS not happy with Google Chrome Plug-in
Fracturing the web...

 6:51 am on Sep 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Mozilla has joined Microsoft in questioning the logic of a new Google plug-in that turns Internet Explorer into Google Chrome. But unlike Redmond, the open source outfit actually presents a well-reasoned argument.

Last week, Google released a plug-in that equips Internet Explorer with the rendering and JavaScript engines at the heart of its very own Chrome browser. Known as Google Chrome Frame, the plug-in significantly boosts JavaScript speeds, while introducing Microsoft's market-dominating browser to HTML5, a still-gestating update to the web's hypertext markup language.

In a Monday night blog post, Mozilla vice president of engineering Mike Shaver said that, like Google, he longs for a world where IE runs more like Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Opera. But he's adamant that Chrome Frame isn't the way to get there.

As reported at The Register



 7:35 am on Oct 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Why merely beat them, when you can join them, after you beat them!


 1:19 pm on Oct 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

I think the real question is why does Google want to remake the web. Just one of those "duh" moments.


 1:20 pm on Oct 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Mozilla shouldn't get too uppity, or someone will make a Chrome plugin for Firefox too.


 2:53 pm on Oct 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

>someone will make a Chrome plugin for Firefox too

The "reverse" already exists - an add-on called IE Tab that brings whatever IE rendering engine is installed into a Firefox tab.
I don't think FF would object to a similar "Chrome Tab" add-on at all. It involves a clear-cut choice by the user.
And I think that's the main issue. Chrome Frame is a trojan horse - presenting the user with the Chrome browser (and all the hooks to Google) dressed up like IE.


 3:14 pm on Oct 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

With Google opening up Wave to 100,000 people (and their invitees) there needed to be support for HTML5 in IE.

The question that people will argue over is, who should have provided that support and when? It is easy to argue that MS should not offer HTML5 support until the specification is settled (although there's more to that story, for example the spat about the video codecs supported natively), but it's just as easy to argue that Google is doing the right thing by advancing IE to a fairly close approximation of HTML5 support as early as possible.


 5:18 pm on Oct 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

I think google would have been better off offering an "IE" frame inside chrome and extending their support for corporate implementations (such as Group Policies, software distribution, access/rights/management controls so on and so forth) and been better off.

You know, show IT managers an efficiency that can be obtained and how it easily integrates into the corporate structure and environment (as well as policies) that are already in place. Something neither Chrome or Firefox do entirely well right now. (all though chrome does support NTLM, woot)


 5:23 pm on Oct 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

I noticed a question about privacy in the article. It is increasingly becoming an an issue but not one that Google seems to worry about so long as you only share your info with them.

I check that my sites work in Chrome, but leave it alone otherwise. Mozilla without add ons feels much more comfortable.


 5:54 pm on Oct 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

"We are Gorg. Strength is irrelevant. Resistance is futile. We wish to improve ourselves. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service ours."

I fully expect the G apologists to come on board about what a great idea this is, but for me it is yet another example of G's overreach in their efforts to control the web.

Those that continue to believe that G's mission is to organize the world's information really need to wake up and smell the coffee.


 9:57 pm on Oct 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

- MSFTs inability to make their customers swiftly upgrade from IE6 and IE7 to IE8.
- MSFTs unwillingness to play nice with standards in all version of IE (including IE8: SVG, CSS3, HTML5, even willingly breaking the ability of IE8 to allow the CSS to contain new CSS3 selectors along existing CSS2.1 selectors without breaking, ...)
- The horror of decade long unfixed, well known bugs in IE6 (and IE7 and IE8 showing all signs of following that example).

I feel it's good GOOG made this move, but the move isn't all that relevant in direct result at all. The indirect result might be important. This is after all an outright insult to MSFT and that is important. It's relevant to shake up somebody like Ballmer to get him off of his lazy chair and actually force his developers to finally clean up their act and catch up with the rest of the world.
I'm a bit afraid though he'll not touch his "precious" developers and instead will run to the marketing (the "these are not the droids you're looking for" dudes) or legal departments (the "don't you dare state there might be a problem" dudes).

If GOOG would just say no to IE on their new product these forums would be filled with claims they don't care about their users. Well they've shown they care enough to make something of a compromise, at a lot of effort I presume.

It's just like being given one more option: if you like the other options better: chose them. But why would one complain over having more options ?


 1:02 am on Oct 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

An article in Business Week [businessweek.com] fills in some of the blanks on this.

Twitter, Facebook, and related services may pose a more fundamental threat to Google: a new center of the Internet universe outside of search. Twitter, now with 55 million monthly visitors, and Facebook, with 300 million, hint at an emerging Web in which people don't merely read or watch material but communicate, collaborate with colleagues, and otherwise get things done using online services...Now Twitter and others are becoming significant drivers of people's attention to Web sites—Google's raison d'ętre. The New York Times (NYT) recently said that some 10% of NYTimes.com's traffic was sent by Twitter...

inbound's comments about Wave are most relevant here. Also, the thread about the sidebar wiki.

There is a certain arrogance bordering on outright paternalism here, one that few companies could get away with. Really quite intrusive when one thinks about it. Beyond privacy issues and data gathering, it appears G feels perfectly justified in injecting/layering their corporate interests in/onto the proprietary property of others.

We are also seeing G moving away from the "open source" thing and flexing their muscles in protecting their own propietary works as evidenced in threads about Android et. al.

All in all a rather troubling picture as what began as an out of the ordinary company joins the ranks of just another multi-national corporation. Kind of sad, really.


 4:57 am on Oct 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

- MSFTs inability to make their customers swiftly upgrade from IE6 and IE7 to IE8.

I *like* IE6.

Any site that tries to ram their choice of browser down my throat is a site that I quite happily ignore.

It's got nothing to do with MSFT or Ballmer.

As for standards, they ought to be driven by the example of the market leader, not the machinations of the losers trying to put a spoke in the cart wheels in the hopes that they might catch up in the next version. Lot's of standards read like they were designed by a committee with unlimited access to very, very good hallucinogenic drugs. The poor implementors are then left with the job of actually complying with said standard.


 9:25 am on Oct 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

microsoft should offer a plugin that makes google.com look like bing.


 3:38 am on Oct 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

microsoft should offer a plugin that makes google.com look like bing.

This is funny and gets to the heart of the matter: Once you fire a shot like this, the other guy is going to look to retaliate. Browser Wars 2.0
Is this the crossfire we now want to dodge as we go about our jobs?

And this was not so much a shot at Microsoft as it was a shot at the people who use Internet Explorer. Saying, in essence, "Hey, we're Google! Download this great, cool thing we've got and you'll be so much better off."
Do you think the average user is aware that from that point on, the website they visit is now in charge of what browser they're using and that features of IE might become mysteriously disabled?
I am incredulous at the lack of judgment Google displayed with this. G is the most dangerous animal there is: the company with good intentions.


 4:38 pm on Oct 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

For those of you who think this is NOT a good tool developed by Google, I would suggest you NOT download the plugin. You have the option NOT to download it you know.
For those of you who chose to download it and still feel like this is something bad, you are free to disable it anytime.

The fact that IE users now have a CHOICE to see the latest and greatest that HTML 5 provides, is fantastic, and allows us developers to move forward not backward when developing web applications.

The chrome plugin is meant to give those IE users who are stuck on machines where they can not upgrade browsers, the ability to visit sites like google wave. I understand the arguments from Mozilla and MSIE, and its simply unfair what Chrome is doing to the current browser market, but healthy competition like this advances the market, and will make cloud computing operating systems more competitive.

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