On Tuesday Google introduced Google Chrome Frame that is an open source plug-in that bring HTML5, and other open web technologies to Internet Explorer.
When Google Chrome Frame detects this tag it switches automatically to using Google Chrome’s speedy WebKit-based rendering engine. It’s that easy. For users, installing Google Chrome Frame will allow them to seamlessly enjoy modern web apps at blazing speeds, through the familiar interface of the version of IE that they are currently using.
For WordPress users there is a plug-in that helps with Google Chrome Frame integration, which really isn’t necessary since it’s easy to simply add the tag above.
Herein lies the problem. Web site visitors are redirected from the web site homepage to a plug-in download page. Most people won’t have a clue what Google Chrome Frame is, so they’ll be unlikely to download and install something they know nothing about.
Even though the Google Chrome web browser is faster than Internet Explorer, most people continue to use the slower Internet Explorer because they are familiar with it. For most people easier is better.
If Google really wants to get people to adopt new technologies to improve the Internet, they’ll need to convince companies like Microsoft to move ahead at the speed of technology. Since Microsoft is so reluctant to do anything "open source" Google is having a tough time, so they are appealing to developers (documentation here), and Internet surfers to pressure Microsoft, or work around Microsoft by trying to get a grass roots ground swell of support from developers and Internet surfers.
Microsoft is also introducing their own header tags for developers to add to their websites to be able to continue to have Internet Explorer 8 render their web sites in Internet Explorer 7 mode.
We want to see push technology that makes web site development easier for developers, so their web sites will render properly in any web browser using web hooks in their web site.
It seems unlikely that a web site owner will risk alienating their readers by redirecting them to a plug-in install page that they must install to view the web site. While we think Google Chrome Frame is a great idea, how it is integrated into an Internet surfer’s life will decide if this project succeeds or fails.