When I first came across Chrome Frame I knew that other browsers will not like it. First Microsoft called Chrome Frame a security risk and now Mozilla has dismissed Chrome Frame as ‘dangerous’ not for security reasons but for confusing internet users.
Mozilla’s Vice President Engineering, Mike Shaver in his blog observes that Chrome Frame will end up confusing people.
What exactly are Mozilla’s concerns?
- Mozilla fears that Chrome Frame running inside Internet Explorer can open a Pandora’s box for web users. They prefer that users were educated about using Chrome browser rather being prompted to download Chrome Frame.
- Mozilla does not really follow the Microsoft line of argument on security but makes a good point on where this might lead. Their argument is what if there is a Facebook Frame for Facebook connect? A lot of very popular websites might have their own engines run inside other browsers for that extra compatibility for their web applications in the future.
- Mozilla does not like the idea because this can some time down the line lead people to have 5-6 engines working within one browser and lead to confusion as to who is controlling the internet experience on the browser.
- Some users with IE6 may not be able to download Chrome Frame because of an old operating system or lack of authority on networks. But then it is debatable if the same users can download another browser anyway.
My take on the argument
- One key reason Google came up with Chrome Frame is so that when Google Wave is released people can use Google Wave without the need to change their browser.
- Educating customers on changing over to a new browser is not really easy. Most people agree that Internet Explorer is notoriously slow but it still does have almost 70% of the market.
- The way Google has planned the roll out of Wave, they will probably look to impact more than half of the internet users in the first year with features and web apps based on Google Wave. Google had no choice but to come up with Chrome Frame rather than ask people to move to another browser. It is highly unrealistic to expect Chrome browser’s market share to go up from 3% to 50% in a span of 12 months. Hence Chrome Frame was their best way forward.