Analysts Weigh In on Chrome Frame

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2009-10-03 Print this article Print

IDC analyst Al Hilwa said Baker and Shaver have valid concerns about the complexity, fragmentation and security issues Chrome Frame brings.

"Technologies like Flash, Silverlight and JavaFX, for all their great features or abilities, already provide the same level of confusability about what exactly is rendering a Web page or executing an application, and what exactly are the security or privacy implications. For example, is there any contract between all these plug-ins to respect a user's privacy settings? Ultimately this is an issue that can only be resolved by better definition and adherence to standards. I am afraid the plug-in wars will get worse before they get better. ... To some extent a vision of the messy world with browsers inside browsers might be exactly what might push these vendors to the standard table with more passion."

However, Shaver has more personal concerns about what Chrome Frame means as well. Though Google has only offered the plug-in for IE, Shaver told Computer World he is concerned Google may create a Chrome Frame plug-in for Firefox.

But Forrester Research's Sheri McLeish said neither Microsoft not Mozilla may have to worry. Most enterprises are still using some version of IE, so she doubts the Chrome Frame plug-in will be widely adopted anytime soon, unless there is a specific, strong business case that can be made for it.

"There's no doubt Mozilla and Microsoft are chagrined by this move by Google," McLeish told eWEEK. "Google's rationale is that its apps require the rendering capabilities of the Chrome Frame to perform as intended. Given its inability so far to ratchet up adoption for Chrome, this seems to be a strategy to exert control and at least ensure usability of its Google Wave and Apps within alternate browsers."

Gartner's Ray Valdes said Baker and Shaver failed to address key distinctions between IE 6, an outdated browser largely incompatible with many current Web technologies, and IE 8, a modern browser with worthwhile security and privacy features.

"By glossing over this distinction, they are saying that Chrome-within-IE is not that useful," Valdes told eWEEK. "That is a valid point for the IE 8 scenario but not for the IE 6 scenario. IE 6 users can definitely benefit, both in terms of security and in terms of user experience."

Meanwhile, Shaver acknowledges that Chrome Frame is a bid by Google to gain more market share with Chrome. His advice? Just get more developers to get their Website users to use Chrome.

"The user would be educated about the benefits of an alternate browser, would understand better the choice they were making, and the kudos for Chrome's performance would accrue to Google rather than to Microsoft," he said.

Shaver, of course, writes from where the grass is greener. Mozilla whittled down IE's market share to 65 percent in five years. Chrome commands south of 3 percent of the market after one year.



Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel