back to article Microsoft howls as Google turns IE into Chrome

Google is offering a new Internet Explorer plug-in that turns Microsoft's browser into a Google browser. And in predictable fashion, Microsoft is peeved. As it prepares to grant widespread access to the preview version of Google Wave - its new-age communications platform - Google has fashioned an IE plug-in that equips …

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  1. Morris Maynard
    FAIL

    To Cade Metz

    This almost looked like it was supposed to be a news article. Instead it's a distorted rant against Microsoft that is even more intemperate than the remarks of Google's own head of engineering. The most childish part was the assumption that Register readers most certainly use something besides IE (or in other words, "a better browser.") One wonders if El Reg's own webserver logs would bear that out?

  2. Neil Woolford
    Headmaster

    A Chatterley moment.

    "Is it a browser you would wish your wife or servant to use?” after Mervyn Griffith-Jones QC.

  3. deegee
    Pint

    IE for me, see?

    Personally I use IE8 about 80% of the time and Firefox3 the other 20%.

    I don't care for any of the other browsers for a number of reasons, so "chroming" up my IE is pretty much never going to happen.

  4. Tom 7 Silver badge

    @Cade Metz

    The browser is meant to be the gateway to the internet. IE is the kid with the knife slashing the tyres on everyone's cars in the hope they'll pay to travel on the old stagecoach.

  5. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    @Morris Maynard

    Actually I found it a thoroughly amusing read. Sounds like the playground bully has just been dragged out by the ear to go and have a good wash :)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Layering.

    Can I run Google Chrome Frame in an IETab in FF, do you suppose?

  7. Duncan Hothersall
    Megaphone

    @ Morris Maynard

    Why do think it childish to assume that most Register readers, who tend to be tech-savvy, would use a browser other than IE? It's not childish, it's perfect sense. IE is a shit browser. It's fucking dreadful. The only tech people I know who use it are those who have to for testing purposes because it's been pushed down the throats of non-tech users.

    Tell me seriously that you think IE is a better browser than Firefox.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    @Morris

    "The most childish part was the assumption that Register readers most certainly use something besides IE (or in other words, "a better browser.")"

    Nah, that was your assumption.

    Surely the point is that if you are reading all the way to the end of an article about browser quality then you are savvy enough to be using a better browser than IE?

    Which I did and which I am

  9. Cade Metz (Written by Reg staff)
  10. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    The world's turned upside down!

    For years Microsoft have been sticking their noses in other people's business and f@*king their shit up. Embrace & extend and all that...

    Now it's happening to them, they don't like it. Tough. Reap what you sow!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hate vista.

    Because there's all kinds of crap in there that is there because of agreements with movie makers.

    There's tons in there that is there because of business analysts trying to justify their existence.

    I simply hate it.

    I'm a big fan however, of some microsoft products, notably the pre-screwed ide version of visual studio.net, sql server etc.

    So what I do is use them all on XP, and tell every consumer I see to avoid microsoft like the plague, and I'm going to keep on doing it until they start thinking of developers, and include a button labelled "I'm an expert and if I run protected content, it's noone's business but mine." which removes DRM completely from the hard drive, returns Office to the interface they had for ten years, and starts copying files when I ask it to, rather than looking through them all first, to see whether it thinks I should be allowed to or not.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Silvershite eat your babies

    "Given the security issues with plug-ins in general and Google Chrome in particular, Google Chrome Frame running as a plug-in has doubled the attack area for malware and malicious scripts. This is not a risk we would recommend our friends and families take."

    Friends and families? Notice the emotional argument made there, not a rational one. If the plugin means that Google Chrome is surfing and not IE, then my cute little babies can sleep safer at night protected from the evil people in Redmond who install addons like Silvershite baby killer and pretend they are essential updates, quadrupling the attack vector of the browser and putting my babies at risk!

  13. John White
    Coat

    Chrome(d) embellishing of IE

    I read this article with some amusement - it's the software equivalent of a 17yr old sticking BMW alloys on a 1996 Ford Fiesta. Two fingers at MS it shouts (I'm not that keen on G Chrome and even less on IE - especially as my flavour of the NHS is still on IE6 + XP Pro - new this year!).

    Still even better was reading the first post and remembering the recent article (I forget where I read it ) that pro -linux/Google/anything against MS being trashed as soon as they appeared. Morris, you're a star - five gold ones from the teacher (Bill G)

  14. Jodo Kast
    WTF?

    I call foul

    "Updating these browsers could break enterprise apps."

    As a 10-year enterprise app developer, I call foul. If the apps break, hire some developers to update them or replace them. It sounds to me like they don't want to mess up the interface. It's quite simple to update the application interface (compared to the business logic that is much more important and critical to the application).

    This excuse has been trotted out time and time again. Are programmers that expensive or are companies that uncomfortable with making updates?

  15. Roger Greenwood

    I would like to try IE8

    It sounds good actually, do you think they will do a version for me, like firefox, opera etc do? (Ubuntu 9.04) Have they discovered tabs yet? Oh sorry - forgot, corporates don't like change.

    p.s., I'd like to try chrome as well . . . . .

  16. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    "security issues with plug-ins in general"

    "security issues with plug-ins in general and with ActiveX and more recently Silverlight in particular, we ... er"

    Oh hold on, ActiveX and Silverlight are ours aren't they. Can we fix that in the edit, thanks?

  17. Tam Lin

    IE8 is the new IE6

    You might not know this yet if you are 8 years old, or if you are senile, or if you live in the US, or if you come from another planet, or if your IQ can be expressed in two decimal digits, or if you suffer from Downs, Aspergers or Williams Syndrome and are therefore too trusting.

    This Has Been A Public Service Announcement

  18. Kotonoha
    WTF?

    @I hate vista.

    DRM has never noticibly intruded upon my usage of Vista, and the Office 2007 interface is a huge step up from 2003 and previous versions. Once you've designed a few user interfaces, you will learn to appreciate how incredibly versatile and compact the Ribbon is.

    Saying you prefer toolbar spam simply because you know where things are is incredibly ignorant.

  19. Blain Hamon
    Welcome

    @Jodo

    "This excuse has been trotted out time and time again. Are programmers that expensive or are companies that uncomfortable with making updates?"

    Yes and yes. There's a lot that declare, 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it," and then will never admit to it being broken.

    The next step should be for Google to post how they did the plugin so FireFox, Opera, (maybe even Safari) et al could get into the IE-inplace-replacing action.

  20. J 3
    Gates Horns

    A bit rich...

    "This is not a risk we would recommend our friends and families take"

    Ah, just like running Microsoft OSes, a risk I would not recommend my friends and families take. But anyway...

  21. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge
    Go

    I need popcorn!

    Now that ought to be an interesting fight, with lots of bitchslapping, hair pulling, biting and pinching. Go Google go!. Er, I mean, Go MS go! Oh whatever, it'll be fun anyway.

    <Sits back and watches>

    PS MS lost all right to bitch about this kind of things, especially after the "unremovable one-click-malware-install Firefox plugin incident a while back:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/06/01/ms_firefox_extension_row/

  22. Thomas Bottrill

    No title

    "Tell me seriously that you think IE is a better browser than Firefox."

    I think that IE is better than Firefox. I hate Firefox.

    Though I do like Chrome, and Safari is nice to use on my OS X partition. It's just Firefox that I don't like using.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Tech savy users

    don't feel the need to rant and rave about browsers (and are unlikely to have just one in use) - only those who have to rely on what others tell them what is good seem to need to rant.

  24. Gannon (J.) Dick
    Unhappy

    Windows as Pork Chop

    "This is not a risk we would recommend our friends and families take"

    Is this a tacit admission that paranoid wild-eyed Microsoft opposition might like their friends, if they had any, or does it mean that IE is the pork chop for the Internet Rodney Dangerfield suggested ?

    Could go either way. God, I hate ambivalent Press Releases.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Roger Greenwood

    http://dev.chromium.org/getting-involved/dev-channel - There you go. Enjoy!

  26. Mike Echo

    Ironic

    Those pesky chickens have come home to roost in the Redmond barn.

    - MS owns the desktop (for now)

    - Google owns the web

    - Google owns search

    I can envision a time in the future where users, misty eyed, will remember the "good old days" when we used to almost always use MS software. They will then be bitching about Google.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    Boots on the other foot.

    Microsoft would think nothing of secretly putting MS add-ons on other rival browsers. ie Firefox.

    What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

  28. James O'Brien
    Pint

    About this whole issue

    I use FF, IE 8, Safari (sparingly...never if I can) and Chrome.

    I like both FF and IE (not to sure how I would like Ribbon on FF though). Firefox at work because its stable (most of the time and a hell of alot faster then IE) but I use IE at home because I realy dont give a shit about browsers at home. It does the job and I can see the porn...er...websites I want to :)

    As for IE being insecure I agree but at the same time in over 2.5 years with no AV or Firewall (PC sits in DMZ) of any type I have yet to get a virus. Weeeeeee

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    privacy

    will this plug in let google turm IE8 into another mine of info it can use/sell on/or provide to our chums in the US security services?

    Do no evil fanboys

  30. Charles Manning

    Not while Ballmer's watching

    "This is not a risk we would recommend our friends and families take".

    If Ballmer sees you using ChromIE he'll kick your PC to death.

  31. Fritz
    WTF?

    Huh?

    "will this plug in let google turm IE8 into another mine of info it can use/sell on/or provide to our chums in the US security services?"

    I think that the AC is trying to communicate with us, but I have no idea what they are trying to say.

  32. Chipmunk
    Joke

    It's magic

    Should the Google plugin-in be called Alchromy?

  33. Antony Riley
    Coffee/keyboard

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    I think I've finished laughing now.

    I remember just the other month Redmond was telling us all how easy it was to write IE plugins, whilst trying to compete with Firefox.

    I guess they didn't see this plugin coming.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Hahahaha

    Microsoft is complaining that someone is doing to them what they do to everyone else. Priceless!!!

    Not that I like Chrome... I've trialed it a couple of times (last time was a few weeks ago) and couldn't stand it.

    For the record I used Firefox.

    @James O'Brien - If you have no AV, how do you know that you've not got any viruses or trojans etc?

  35. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    What a great idea

    Brilliant, take the world's second worst web browser, add a plugin that turns it into the world's worst browser, then watch as your computer implodes from all of that concentrated fail now residing on your hard disc.

  36. Martin Nicholls Silver badge
    Go

    Stats

    "One wonders if El Reg's own webserver logs would bear that out?"

    I don't work for reg but positively guarantee you that's the case if they record stats correctly (i.e. not using the user agent string).

    Maybe what google should be doing is not supporting IE where it doesn't render something properly, like for example if something is insanely slow in IE but isn't in other browsers - let it be slow, if it renders like a dog's breakfast in IE7, but is fine in other browsers - let it render like a dog's breakfast.

    It's the only way to force users to use a real browser, let them see how the sausage is made as it were. Those of us developers who don't have the traffic clout to do it but wish we did are begging for somebody to do this.

    Save us Google - and no, creating your own browser monopoly isn't going to cut it,

  37. Brett Weaver
    Gates Halo

    @Kotonoha

    It is impossible that you are a developer on windows and retain those opinions. Vista is too slow. Full stop.

    Now it may be that you can prettify your environment. That makes you, at best, a power user, not a developer.

    If you ever become a developer with a real deadline you will appreciate why people get upset when their machine just stops for no reason, takes 15 minutes to read the table of contents on a DVD or starts going at half pace because Microsoft has initiated some unnecessary process in the background which is stealing memory and machine cycles.

    All of these things happen to me on a quad core COMPAQ with 3GB of memory.

    I await a true pre-emptive multitasking desktop OS... Maybe Google?

  38. zanto

    ie8 is not bad

    i quite like ie8. it's got tabs, it's fast, looks better than ie6.

    i tried chrome once, and i never bothered to use it or update it again. i use firefox or elinks most of the time.

    google should stick with the relationship they have with firefox.

  39. Robin 2
    Pint

    ie8 is actually very good

    I've been using Firefox for years now, but recently started work on a Javascript intensive app (using lots of JQuery and so on) and for testing ran it in IE8. IE8 is about 3 times faster at rendering my pages than Firefox 3.5. As I develop the app more and more I use IE8 more and more now and I have to say I am beginning to like it - a lot.

    People slamming IE have probably not tried it since the last millenium.

  40. John70
    Grenade

    Don't Panic...

    ...Microsoft will release a fix to "patch" this "security hole".

  41. TeeCee Gold badge

    Well, that's clever.

    "....Malware that targets Chrome is essentially unheard of due to an insignificant market share...."

    So either it doesn't take off, in which case you don't need the plugin, or it does in which case you're f***ed. In exactly what way does this help?

    At the risk of being flamed to death, I'd like to counter the shrill fanbois above by saying that I, for one, reckon that IE8 is most certainly a better browser than FF3. At the end of the day they both do the job, so the only real choice is down to the UI and FF feels "clunky" to me.

  42. Chris Bradshaw
    Thumb Up

    Google will win this,

    It is a perfect situation, Google just need to implement the bog-standard "You need a plug-in to continue, click here to download and install it" link.

    The typical IE user, bless their little heart, will click on pretty much anything that asks to install itself because that is how they have been trained by M$ to interact with their computer.

    And as soon as this Google plug-in is available, other sites (which want to use HTML5 so they don't have to code for older IE versions) will link to Google's plug-in for IE users to install. The user is happy because they still will have their familiar IE, and M$ loses market share.

  43. GreyCells
    Thumb Up

    Does this mean we finally get SVG?

    By 'we', I mean us developers. Now that would be progress. I'll be able to remove all my 'deoptimizations' that are necessary to stop VML barfing under load.

  44. Azrael
    Happy

    @Martin Nicholls

    "Maybe what google should be doing is not supporting IE where it doesn't render something properly, like for example if something is insanely slow in IE but isn't in other browsers - let it be slow, if it renders like a dog's breakfast in IE7, but is fine in other browsers - let it render like a dog's breakfast.

    It's the only way to force users to use a real browser, let them see how the sausage is made as it were."

    Problem is, most users won't realize. They will just think "Oh, this Google site thing is really slow and looks ugly." and not give it a second thought. So it'll hurt google, not MS.

    What they'd need to do is, instead, give the user some sort of message like "You're on IE, which has problems running webpages like this. Install this plugin to fix the problem or better yet, install a better browser. But if you want to stay on IE like it is, you can. Continue at your own peril."

    If they did that, then people would be more likely to put blame where it belongs, and make their own choice about what browser to use.

    But... uh... isn't that exactly what they're doing? So you get your wish :)

  45. Herby Silver badge

    Google Vs. Microsoft

    Kinda like being the Swiss in WW2. Make money from both sides and pick up the pieces after the bad guys expire. Wonderful concept.

    Sit back and watch from the sidelines.

  46. Fred Flintstone Gold badge
    Flame

    @ Kotonoha: alternate reality?

    "DRM has never noticibly intruded upon my usage of Vista, and the Office 2007 interface is a huge step up from 2003 and previous versions. Once you've designed a few user interfaces, you will learn to appreciate how incredibly versatile and compact the Ribbon is."

    One by one:

    Overall: Vista sucks. It sucked when it was introduced and it has gone downhill from there. You may have failed to notice that in terms of sales it only had market coverage because either people HAD to change or it came pre-installed. In general, Vista has done more for the sales of XP and the installation of Linux than any other MS ever - maybe with the exception of Windows ME.

    DRM: sure, I love it when my co . . . . . . . . .mputer goes elsew. . . . . . . here for sometimes full minutes at a time during normal wordproc. . . . . . . . essing. I have several times more computing power than was used to send a man to the moon, yet I have to wait for a computer? What for? Animated cursors? WGA calling home to report the competitive landscape on my system? (WGA, btw, is IMHO still an unwarranted intrusion on my system).

    Office 2007: I take it personal when someone tries to ram down their idea of how I should work down my throat, especially the ribbon. If you're a casual "I need to type some letters for school" user it's OK; but for anyone who is a mite more sophisticated the eternal "WTF did they stick so-and-so feature this time" search is a serious productivity loss, made worse by the MS "online" help which turns a search for answers into a list of 100 irrelevant hits on the Net. I guess that's the basis on which Bling was developed. I know some offices that switched to OOo exactly because it did NOT have the ribbon.

    I really hope FF coders retain legacy interfaces, I really don't know why they need to follow MS in the interface.

    "Saying you prefer toolbar spam simply because you know where things are is incredibly ignorant."

    Sure. The next time you leave your cave, you could think about the gazillion people for whom computers are just tools. They are not experts, and you will find gazillions who use every program fullscreen because they were never told about what a desktop metaphor actually can do for them. Every single time you change their onscreen experience you cause these people hassle, but they deserve that because they're ignorant sheep, yes? I don't think that's a terribly bright statement to make, really.

  47. The Other Steve
    Badgers

    @ AC Friday 25th September 2009 00:53

    "@James O'Brien - If you have no AV, how do you know that you've not got any viruses or trojans etc?"

    No, you've got that the wrong way around, if you _have_ AV, how do you know (... etc ... ).

    Answer : you don't, you only know what your AV software tells you. If you rely solely on your AV package to protect and alert you about malware, etc, your threat model is broken.

  48. Sentient
    Big Brother

    Google is the new Microsoft

    Note: I use firefox and I like, before I used IE and liked it. I even used Chrome and liked it. Reason I now stick to firefox is firebug.

    That having said. I am growing tired of Google pushing chrome through others throat. Ever visited youtube with firefox lately or google with IE? Download chrome everywhere. Everyone is entitled to some publicity but does it really need a yellow background?

    I thought Google was a cool company.

    Now I think Google is a big company as 'evil' as MS.

    Having said that I think it's time for some new reg icons.

  49. Duncan Hothersall
    Gates Horns

    @ TeeCee

    "At the end of the day they both do the job, so the only real choice is down to the UI"

    Really, truly, that's not the case. The only important differences are in the rendering engine and the javascript interpreter. In both cases IE is fucking shit. IE8 is slightly less fucking shit than previous incarnations, but it is still fucking shit.

    Some of these standards have been around for more than a decade and MS still can't or won't implement them. That's the problem. It makes web development much harder than it needs to be.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    God send

    I'm in the end stages of building a huge application for a financial institution, despite fighting tooth and nail for *anything* other than ie6 they refuse because they don't want to support multiple browsers and don't want to update their existing apps to work outside of IE6. This plug-in *could* be a godsend in terms of a performance boost.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Is this the same Microsoft

    which added a (difficult to uninstall) plugin to Firefox to make it behave more like IE, without telling me or asking my permission?

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/06/01/ms_firefox_extension_row/

    My heart fucking bleeds. Wankers.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Not a standard

    HTML5 is not a finalised standard, so why is it being rolled out by so many people?

    This is just like the non-standard extension bullshit MS did years ago, until the standard is agreed using it will just cause a world of hurt.

    Anyone deploying an HTML5 app just now is a raging moron.

    MS was actually right (is this the first time?) to NOT support HTML5 until the standard is agreed. Google, Mozilla et al are just ramming non-standards down our throats, but because they are "not MS" the fanbois still reach for the tissues with every announcement.

    Hypocritical dolts.

    This, of course, does not change the fact that IE is pish, but that is no reason to go and break its standards compliance even more.

  53. Ben 4
    WTF?

    It's just a tool, get a life!

    You lot who claim one browser is so much better than the others make me laugh. I use all the major browsers and they all have their failings.

    Browsers are just tools (or maybe you lot are), they all behave very much the same, pick one you like, use it and shut up!

    But please don't pretend your browser is the saviour of the internet.

  54. Apocalypse Later

    Google?

    Are people still using that? With all the tracking and adverts? Gosh.

    http://ixquick.com

  55. Patrick O'Reilly
    Gates Horns

    IE Tab

    I don't know what Microsoft are giving out about, there already exsists a Firefox plugin called IE Tab that is basically IE wrapped in Firefox.

  56. Toastan Buttar
    Dead Vulture

    Firefox usage on El Reg

    "If you're reading these words, chances are you've already made the switch."

    ...because reading El Reg without ABP grinds yer average system to a halt. Honestly, I don't mind ads, but the sheer number of large animations on El Reg usually makes my cooling fans max out. The only time it's acceptable is when the ads have been suppressed by ABP on FF.

  57. The Other Steve
    Flame

    @Brett Weaver - you're doing it wrong

    "It is impossible that you are a developer on windows and retain those opinions. Vista is too slow. Full stop."

    Bzzzt! You're wrong. I am a developer on windows (amongst many other targets), and I share those opinions. See, not impossible at all. Wonder what that does for the rest of your off topic argument ?

    "If you ever become a developer with a real deadline"

    Like what I am. See later for cock waving, but trust me, mine's bigger than yours.

    "you will appreciate why people get upset when their machine just stops for no reason"

    It doesn't.

    "takes 15 minutes to read the table of contents on a DVD"

    It doesn't.

    "or starts going at half pace because Microsoft has initiated some unnecessary process in the background which is stealing memory and machine cycles."

    It doesn't.

    "All of these things happen to me on a quad core COMPAQ with 3GB of memory."

    Then it's broken. My main Vista development box is a quad core with 2GB, it has been running for over a month (e.g. has been powered up constantly) with 4 virtual desktops, minimum of 4 instances of Visual Studio 2008, a Virtual PC instance running an older VS version, apps, custom code, Immunity Debugger and IDA pro. And windbg attached that for kernel debugging.

    Add standard email and web on top of that, constantly either iTunes or streaming audio over the web. The only problem I've had is occasionally blue screening the VPC due to bugs in the drivers under development.

    So, you're doing something wrong. Very, very wrong. Vista has its irritations for sure, but it aint that bad.

    As I've said many times before, show me a crashy windows box and I'll show you a shit admin, or if I'm feeling charitable, some poor sop who installed some utterly repugnant and poorly written piece of ware that is actually causing all their woes. In your case, I suspect some horrible, PHP IDE, or perhaps that Ruby On Rails server you're running.

    Windows developer my ass. Crayon waving web monkey, more likely.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Brett Weaver

    Brett Waver wrote: "I await a true pre-emptive multitasking desktop OS... Maybe Google?"

    Errrrr. Wasn't Amiga Workbench 1.x a true pre-emptive multitasking OS? That one was written about 25 years ago! The only OS I can think of these days that is not pre-emptive (although it claims to be) is WInblows.

    I remember getting the press release for Win2k. Then putting in a floppy disk and formatting it - formatting stopped if I closed the DOS window. Pre-emptive - NO. Multitasking - barely.

    As far as I know all the more recent versions of windows are based on the same core of rancid shite that Win2k was.

    I heartily applaud Google on this effort - because once users see what a pile of steaming wank IE is, the MS monopoly is one step closer to being over.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    Browsers...

    Hmmm, I switched to FF back in the early 2000s because of the rendering speed. The tabs and search as you type were nice, but the rendering speed was definitely the prime reason for switching. Since then I've been particularly fed up about how unstable FF was and I've been waiting for something to replace it. Chrome, Safari and Opera all suck pretty badly for various reasons. That's why no-one uses any of them. IE8 has really impressed me. There are a few annoyances that they need to fix before I'll use it (refresh and stop buttons in completely the wrong place), but overall it is pretty swish.

  60. Wila
    Happy

    High time for a firefox plugin then too

    Maybe we can get a firefox plugin for IE then as well? After all, it is easy to develop IE plugins and the best way to get your software in on a MS platform is via the backdoor :D

  61. B3vil

    @Chris Bradshaw

    Microsoft don't really lose their market share.

    As far as the users are concerned they're still running IE, IE supports all the latest features that their favorite sites need, and they have no reason to run anything other than IE.

    If anything it will give people more of a reason to stick with IE.

    When a new version of IE comes out, they will happily upgrade to it because they think that IE is good, and IE does everything they need. By that point IE might actually support the standards properly. I think what Microsoft don't like is simply that it means they'll have to do work to

    a) ensure that future updates and versions don't break the plugin, because then it will look like iE sucks (page worked in previous version, update broke it.. blah blah blah)

    or

    b) actually implement all these things properlyso that the plugin isn't needed.

    People think Firefox is great because of it's ad-blocking, but it's only really great when you have the ad-block plugins installed. People see the plugins and the features they offer as part of the browser. Once the plugin is installed nobody will even remember it's 'Google' or 'Chrome'

  62. Code Monkey

    Har har har

    Google: "Fixed that for you"

    Love it!

  63. Patrick O'Reilly

    Opera?

    "While we encourage users to use a more modern and standards compliant browser such as Firefox, Safari, Opera or Google Chrome rather than a plug-in"

    Does this mean that Opera will be supported for use with Google Wave at launch time?

  64. Cameron Colley

    RE: Tech savy users

    I agree completely -- I've had experience of (ignoring the really old) IE6, IE8, FF3 and Chrome on Windows and FF3, FF3.5, Chrome, Opera and Konqueror on Kubuntu and I have come to the conclusion that if Chrome and Opera had cookie and object (advert and active content) white listing I wouldn't care which of FF, Chrome or Opera I used.

    As it is I'm "stuck" with Firefox because it works best for how I browse -- but, other than not using IE for idealogical reasons (I don't want to encourage IE only coding), I'm relatively browser agnostic.

  65. EyeCU

    Bullshit 'Standards Compliance'

    How can anybody claim HTML5 is a standard? It isn't finished and doesn't even look close to being finished - therefore Mozilla and Google are trying to force non-standards compliant shit on everybody which is the same behaviour that MS have been rightly bashed for time and time again. Why is it suddenly different when it is Google doing it?

    Firefox is getting worse with every release, if it wasn't for adblock and noscript I would have dumped it long ago. If there was an equivalent for IE7/8 then I would go back to using IE. Opera isn't an option - I have tried many versions of it including 10 and still think it's crap, standards compliant or not.

  66. Ben Rosenthal
    Gates Horns

    I for one welcome

    our new Android overlords.

    and much like a Microsoft employee, I would not recommend using IE with or without plug-ins to anyone either.

    selected Bill only because there is no little green robot.

  67. brudinie
    WTF?

    @By Robin 2

    "IE8 is about 3 times faster at rendering my pages than Firefox 3.5".

    Really? Really? Did I read that correctly?

    I've done plenty of bench marks with Firefox 3.5 and Firefox whips IE8 every time.

    E.g. with jquery, lightboxing with affects looks smooth on Firefox 3.5 where as with IE8 it is jerky.

    Are you running Firefox 3.5 with a stupid number of extensions and with Firebug enabled because if that's the case, yes it could take longer to render. That's not a fault with Firefox, its a fault with the user.

  68. Jolyon Ralph
    Thumb Up

    Polishing a turd

    Heard of that, never heard of chrome-plating a turd before. Well done googleguys

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    "world's most popular browser"

    No, IE is not the worlds most POPULAR browser.

    It is the worlds most ubiquitous browser. 'Popular' implies that the majority use it as a their browser of choice, over other browsers. In fact most average users use it because it is there on their desktop. A lot of these people wouldn't have the fist clue how to download, install, configure an alternative browser - even if they understood there is in fact a choice at all.

  70. Informagic
    FAIL

    Google's mindpower

    For sure it's nice to bash Microsoft; I also do it from time to time. But all that bashing distracts us from what is really happening: Google uses Microsoft's unpopularity to silently take control over the internet. And I'm talking serious here.

    Since Google brought out its StreetView with all the cars roaming around, I switched to other mapping applications, mainly my GPS' one. And two months ago I deactivated my GMail account, uninstalled Google Earth -- which, by the way, were the only applications I ever used from them. But their dooming omnipresence in terms of browser, desktop environment and even operating systems (Android), makes me sick in fear of the future.

    Guys, bashing Microsoft is one thing, but blindly opening all doors to a company which will have access to basically everything that constitutes yourself is something else. I strongly recommend what I am doing (besides writing these lines from Debian Lenny using Epiphany): boykott Google and use meta search engines like Ixquick. Elsewise we'll have a real Skynet faster than you can download your latest Chrome/Picasa/whatever update.

  71. TimNevins

    @Apocalypse

    Or if you want the benefits of Google without the tracking etc then http://www.scroogle.org/scraper.html

    no cookies , no search-term records , access log deleted within 48 hours

  72. abigsmurf

    Considering switching from Firefox

    Slow to load up, hard-drive thrashing when typing in URLS, several viral infections (most malware has switched to targeting plugins rather than browsers), too many intrusive updates (do I really need weekly updates to a simple flv download plugin?), lack of feedback for when javascript messes up.

    I'm no longer seeing a huge benefit from using firefox over other browsers

  73. John I'm only dancing
    Flame

    Polish

    You can polish a turd as much as you like but it will forever remain a turd. IE, Chrome, Safari, are all turds in my book.

  74. Albert
    Alien

    The web is the new OS and Google is going to own it.

    I think Google thought people would flock to Chrome because it is faster and it didn’t happen, so they need to get the IE people to have the Chrome functionality so they can push their online apps.

    In an always connected environment who needs desktop apps when you can use the Google ones. Couple the Chrome browser with one of those really light Linux distros that boots is seconds and suddenly the need for Windows disappears. Until that day make sure people can experience this way of working so their next device decision will encourage them to look at the lighter option.

    I wonder what ChromeOS will be like…

  75. Tom 64
    Thumb Up

    Right browser for the job

    I use lots of different browsers for different reasons:

    IE for the legacy intranet stuff - IE8 is actually quite decent

    FF for firebug - the best web dev plugin

    Chrome on my netbook because its by far the fastest with the smallest 'chrome' - but I'd NEVER trust it with my passwords.

    Opera for casual browsing (inbuilt ad blocking) and passworded sites.

    Job done.

    The only browser I don't use is Safari - this is massive bloatware and an enormous resource hog on windows.

  76. HansG

    "Updating these browsers could break enterprise apps"????

    hahaha, yeah, which is why most "enterprises" still use IE6!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  77. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    @Cade Metz - lies, damn lies and statistics

    So now we are to take the first 10 days following the release of Firefox 3 as a representative sample?

    maybe, a percentage of those were trying out hte new browser for its look, feel and speed before making a decision?

    I know I did....., but here is the crux - I no longer use FF3 and havent for some time since building my latest pc.....

    of course on my blog, you can follow the shortcut and the stats for browsers, OS and H/W is accessable by all. that said, I assume these figure are more sensitive to a commercial web based site like the ref?

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Used the plugin

    I've got a site that relies heavily on SVG, and we've been directing people to the Adobe plugin if we detect IE. We do provide links to FF, Chrome. Opera and Safari also when IE is detected.

    The Adobe plugin was Ok, but lacked some facilities, adn of course Adobe have stopped supporting it now.

    After reading this story I went back to my code after reading Google's info on ChromeFrame, and added it to my site.

    It's bloody brilliant!!

    With this plugin, I can have 1 site that renders properly in pretty much anything, and not have to bang in alternate code just to handle IE.

    It's fast, and the client has been very impressed with the change. They didn't worry about installing a plugin, because we used to have to do that for SVGViewer, but Google's engine handles more SVG features and is faster.

    Thanks Google, this is a HUGE step in the right direction until M$ pull their heads out of their arses.

  79. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
    FAIL

    James O'Brien

    If you're running IE with no AV or firewall and you're boasting about not having any viruses on your computer, you are akin to the guy who has unprotected sex with lots of women whilst saying, "it's fine, I don't have any STIs!", while all along you're the one who's been giving them all chlamydia. In other words, just because you don't obviously have any symptoms of a virus on your PC, doesn't mean it's not being used as a spam relay with all sorts of spyware, trojans, keyloggers, etc. on it.

    Idiot.

  80. Paul Charters
    Stop

    Erm...

    There's alot of hate and pedantry in the comments here, and I only skimmed them...but surely the entire problem is moot if you avoid using any of Google's spyware-ridden rubbish in the first place?

    MS, Google, Apple, Sony...they're all the same and criticising one citing another as an example is an exercise in futility. What you need to do is set a series of standards on how things SHOULD be to protect people and ensure all their data, usage, etc is safe and locked away (UNLESS they specifically request their data be used by these companies) and then compare the practices of these companies against those standards.

    So stop the British Parliament petty you-said-you-said arguments.

  81. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    LOL

    Take that MS!

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Ben 4 - WFT

    You are just a user of browsers so your opinion is justified, but when you have spent days having to debug and hack your beautiful standards compliant web app to work with IE then you will empathise with some of the pain that IE has caused me and many other web developers over the years.

    Unfortunately people like you often end up in the position of decision making for companies, little real IT experience of software beyond a user but still think you know it all.

  83. Rob
    Coffee/keyboard

    @TheOther Steve

    Yay, someone normal at last.

    I agree usually down to how someone else installed it, I have a laptop with less spec and it runs Vista far better than Bretts machine.

    And because of this phrase "Crayon waving web monkey" you owe me a new keyboard.

  84. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Who cares.

    "This almost looked like it was supposed to be a news article. Instead it's a distorted rant against Microsoft that is even more intemperate than the remarks of Google's own head of engineering. The most childish part was the assumption that Register readers most certainly use something besides IE (or in other words, "a better browser.") One wonders if El Reg's own webserver logs would bear that out?"

    Who cares? Microsoft used to lead, sorry poach, the world but now just look like they're stuck in some kind of timewarp. Maybe if they showed they were willing to work with competitors instead of just trying to crush them into the ground people might have more sympathy with them. Not saying Google are some kind of White Knight but frankly this looks more like a pair of handbag wielding grandmas bitching about whose grandchild looks prettier than some supposedly grown-up men discussing a good way forward for technology.

  85. Maty

    Either he's a troll ...

    (and a lying troll) or James O'Brien does not get viruses on his naked little computer because its being maintained by some unfriendly people in Russia in exchange for serving kiddie porn or relaying spam.

    Really, is there no way to keep these morons off the net?

    Pity because I was having such a good laugh until I read that post. Microsoft worried about insecure plug-ins in a browser? Oh, good one Sir!

    ActiveX anyone?

  86. Fuzz

    @By Robin 2

    Are you sure IE is faster than firefox, try even getting this site to work in IE http://jsspeccy.zxdemo.org/ let alone making it go as quickly as firefox.

    IE is slower running javascript than all the other browsers by an order of magnitude with chrome way out ahead and safari coming in second.

  87. Antony Riley
    Grenade

    Evil Google?

    I seriously doubt the plugin contains code which calls home to Google. In any case it would be easy to prove if it did, because unlike Google's Chrome browser, it is entirely open source.

    So until someone comes up with concrete proof (which should be pretty damn easy), I suggest that the people calling Google evil should probably shut the hell up for now.

    Not that Google isn't evil, just that writing plugins for competing browsers to make them 10 times faster and something resembling standards compliant probably isn't indicative of evil.

  88. This post has been deleted by its author

  89. Brent Beach

    Chrome is worth a try

    I tried chrome recently because FF was not rendering a website correctly. Chrome starts up in a couple of seconds, imported almost all my FF stuff, renders much faster than FF. All in all, pretty good. I keep it open on the desktop for certain sites. FF is still my main browser - better password control, better cross machine sync of bookmarks and passwords, better address bar suggestions from history. It is slower and uses 3 times the pages that chrome uses - so chrome on the netbook for sure. IE - not in the last 5 years except for occasional checks to verify that - yes, it still sucks.

  90. deegee

    mmm

    My 80% IE8 versus 20% FF3 use ratio is simply because I find IE's interface better. FF3 also starts up slower on my system.

    Half of the time with FF you have to install addons to do anything. And their bookmark system is wacked.

    I tried GC but didn't like it at all.

    @Brett Weaver 03:05

    " Vista is too slow." "All of these things happen to me on a quad core COMPAQ with 3GB of memory."

    Well you must have some other serious issues then. Are you runnig a bloatware like NAV or similar?

    I have Vista H.P. x64 on a C2Q-3.0GHz 8GB-1066 system for 3DS Max and UE3 development, and it flies.

    It's as-fast or faster than my XP-SP3 C2D-3.0GHz system except for bootup (Vista is slower at that one thing).

    @Fred Flintstone 06:48 "alternate reality?"

    "Overall: Vista sucks."

    I'm one who also disagrees with you.

    In my SOHO I have XP Pro 32, Vista H.P. 32 and x64, Server 2003, and Win 7RC. Vista performs just fine.

    "DRM: ... yet I have to wait for a computer?"

    Maybe you should check what other software you are running or how you are configured. I don't have this issue on any of my computers.

    "Office 2007: ... "

    For certain application the ribbon "fluent" interface is actually quite good.

    Regarding Office I can take it or leave it. If you read the papers by the Office DevTeam they changed up the UI because of toolbar hell. Personally I like the ribbon concept for specialized apps like drafting or modeling.

  91. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Opera support for Wave

    It's cool (and super sneaky) that Google is pushing IE to get standards-compliant in a roundabout way (the knucklehead comments about HTML5 notwithstanding).

    "...says a Google spokesman."While we encourage users to use a more modern and standards compliant browser such as Firefox, Safari, OPERA or Google Chrome rather than a plug-in,"

    Though, as a long-time Opera user, it's clear that Google will support Opera for Wave (given Opera is easy to support with excellent web-standards development)...but tries to pathetically discredit Opera users by not including it in the browser-choice pop-up box, while including all other browsers. (Even though Opera is quite fast on all Google JS sites -- even without Opera's faster Carakan JS engine.)

    Very cheesy, googlers. Support Opera explicitly, already!

  92. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How long ago...

    Was MS *begging* the world to write plugins for IE?

    Well, now Google has :)

    Nice one, google. I might even take a look one of these days!

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    F" Em

    Too bad now they get a taste of their own medicine of embrace, extend, and extinguish....

    as to "Given the security issues with plug-ins in general and Google Chrome in particular, Google Chrome Frame running as a plug-in has doubled the attack area for malware and malicious scripts. This is not a risk we would recommend our friends and families take."

    hardly doubled as it added a fist sized hole to a browser with holes that you could already drive a Mac Truck thru....best option is dump Explorer, dump Windows and go with the Penguin, Devil, or the fruity OS.

  94. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Pfwwhe

    "With Internet Explorer 8, we made significant advancements and updates to make the browser safer for our customers," reads a canned statement from the company.

    HAhahahahah... (deep breath).. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahha (deep breath) Hahahahahahahahahah...

    Hee.. oh my god... haha... hee hee... bwuhahaha..

  95. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    93 Comments?

    According to counter at the bottom of the article, this story has 93 comments.

    ?

  96. not.known@this.address Bronze badge
    FAIL

    Pot, kettle...

    Not sure which is funnier, MicroSloth accusing other people's browsers of having holes or Google making a plug-in so Users can experience Chrome via IE...

    And surely that last is like the ads for super-dooper high-def TVs showing on normal TVs and idiots claiming they can see a difference in the pictures...

  97. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    @Paul Charters

    Actually Paul, as someone who works in the data and comms industry, I can tell you that there are HUGE variations with how major companies collect, maintain, and protect personal data. You put Sony on your list - but I happen to know that Sony is absolutely primitive with how it collects and corrolates customer data internally, at least here in the UK. Totally safe, but no single customer view across their various divisions, and they seem very poor in using it to provide maximum business value. (umm, I'll be ACing this)

    Google, on the other hand, IS highly efficient and sophisticated with how they collect, corrolate, and use personal data - probably the best on the planet right now. That doesn't make them evil, but it certainly does make some people nervous about how well they control it, and how good a unified view they have on a person with all of that data.

    The "problem" is that Google's business IS collecting and corrollating as much personal data as possible to use to boost the targeting of their advertising platforms - that's what they make their money on. To make matters more interesting, they keep hiring the best and brightest as staff...so there does exist a "what have they thought of that we haven't" nature to that suspicion. Have they thought of even better ways to correllate your searches with data from Street View perhaps? Are they storing those correllations anywhere to help deliver localized advertising? Would we even know?

    I don't want to sound paranoid - if Google were doing all that there is perhaps little harm in it, other than I see internet ads that advertise products I REALLY might want to buy, and spend more money. But that assumes that they protect those consumer profiles PERFECTLY, and never have a security breach. I am personally less sure about that...and I can't rate the danger, because I don't know exactly what derived data Google has. All I can see is that it keeps expanding limitlessly over time, as they broaden their data collection into our mobile phones, on line book choices, internet searches, etc. Fragmented data doesn't worry me, but a perfect picture of themselves that could be lost or stolen might worry many people...

  98. MarkT
    Alien

    You will be Googlated

    Resistance is futile.

    Should that be a :-) or a :-( ?

  99. maestr0

    Wouldn't wish it on anyone.

    Well, Microsoft wouldn't wish that sort of vulnerability on family or friends, however they are quite happy to continue selling windows... No qualms there!

  100. Huh?
    Grenade

    Wow! Does That Mean We Can Frame the Frame in Firefox Now?

    So I'm already using "IE Tab" in Firefox, which allows me to run IE framed inside FF (sounds exactly like what MS does NOT want Google to do with Chrome in IE). Helpful in those instances you run into an Active-X control (or a website built to MS "standards") -- but now does this mean I can frame Chrome in an IE Tab inside Firefox? Might be fun to try!

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