Who would’ve thunk it?
So you don’t like Internet Explorer. You’d rather play hand grenade volleyball than use IE to browse the web, but the computer isn’t yours. It may be one of those work-issued laptops and you’re stuck with what you have.
Google came out with a plug-in that basically turns IE into Google Chrome. I find the whole concept a real hoot, as there is no love lost between Google and Microsoft. According to TechCrunch:
… Google seems to dislike IE so much that it has spent its own time improving it. Google claims its goals are noble. Talking to Group Product Manager Mike Smith and Software Engineer Alex Russell, they tell us that they simply want to make a more seamless web experience for both web users and developers. That said, they are only targeting one browser, IE, right now … and that seems fair. IE, which is of course made by Google nemesis Microsoft, is both the largest web browser and the one with a poor history when it comes to web standards. Things have gotten better since IE6, but that’s really not saying much …
The way I understand it, ChromeFrame builds a whole new frame inside of IE that is really the Google browser. You’ll lose some resources because you’re running two browsers, but Chrome is plenty fast. Even with the extra load on your system, using the “fake” Chrome on top of IE is still a sight faster than running IE straight.
Years ago, before I discovered Mozilla, I came across what was then called Crazy Browser. It also ran on top of IE, but it offered a popup blocker and tabbed browsing. At the time, popup blocking was in its infancy (you needed a third-party application to do it), and tabbed browsing — the greatest invention for ADHD Web surfers — was still several years in coming for IE though Mozilla was playing with a kludgy rough draft of it. And even on my dial-up connection, Crazy Browser was blistering fast. I found this especially amazing because IE (I was then using the abortion called IE 6) was, to put it kindly, glacial. Call it fuzzy math — extra memory used to run Crazy Browser atop the IE framework should not equal faster, but it really did.
Crazy Browser more or less disappeared off the face of the Web, but I see it’s back. Just for grins, I downloaded it to check it out.
I’ve tested out the real Chrome, and I like it so far. It’s a little goofy in handling bookmarks, but I think most of that is because I’m not used to it. It’s a fast browser — to my nonscientific touch-annd-feel tests, it’s right up there with Opera in the speed department, and of course it handles my Google applications easily. For the most part, though, I use it for posting blogs and little else. I’ll admit I haven’t really scratched the surface as far as Chrome’s capabilities; I don’t know if it has all the extensions and plug-ins you’ll find in, say, Firefox, but it’s a whole lot better than using IE.
In case you’re interested, you can get ChromeFrame here.