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23 September 2009, 12:30

Google launches Chrome Frame for IE

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Zoom Internet Explorer running Google Chrome Frame.
Google has released an early version of their open source plug-in that brings HTML5 and other open web technologies to Internet Explorer. Some of the latest web technologies and capabilities, such as the <audio> and <video> elements and Web Workers, are not currently supported by Internet Explorer, especially its older versions. In addition to adding support for technologies like the HTML5 canvas tag and offline capabilities, Google Chrome Frame uses Chrome's speedy V8 JavaScript engine.

When installed, pages will still be displayed using the IE engine by default. According to a post on The Chromium Blog, to use Chrome Frame, developers simply need to add a single tag ( <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="chrome=1"> ) to the top of their web pages. Once the tag is detected by Google Chrome Frame, it automatically switches to Chrome's WebKit-based rendering engine. Other browser that don't understand the tag will just render the page as normal. Google Chrome Frame is currently based on the latest developer channel (a.k.a. the Dev channel) release of Chrome.

The developers note that, as this version of Google Chrome Frame is an "early-stage release", it is only intended for developers and testing. Users are encouraged to share any feedback and report any bugs which they find.

More details about Google Chrome Frame can be found in a short introductory video on YouTube and in the Developer's Guide. Google Chrome Frame is compatible with Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8 and is available to download for Windows XP SP2 and Windows Vista. Terms of use are displayed on the download page or prospective users can refer directly to Google's EULA page.

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