Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Introducing Google Chrome Frame

Today, we're releasing an early version of Google Chrome Frame, an open source plug-in that brings HTML5 and other open web technologies to Internet Explorer.

We're building Google Chrome Frame to help web developers deliver faster, richer applications like Google Wave. Recent JavaScript performance improvements and the emergence of HTML5 have enabled web applications to do things that could previously only be done by desktop software. One challenge developers face in using these new technologies is that they are not yet supported by Internet Explorer. Developers can't afford to ignore IE -- most people use some version of IE -- so they end up spending lots of time implementing work-arounds or limiting the functionality of their apps.

With Google Chrome Frame, developers can now take advantage of the latest open web technologies, even in Internet Explorer. From a faster Javascript engine,  to support for current web technologies like HTML5's offline capabilities and <canvas>, to modern CSS/Layout handling, Google Chrome Frame enables these features within IE with no additional coding or testing for different browser versions.

To start using Google Chrome Frame, all developers need to do is to add a single tag:

<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="chrome=1">

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.

We believe that Google Chrome Frame makes life easier for web developers as well as users. While this is still an early version intended for developers, our team invites you to try out this for your site. You can start by reading our documentation. Please share your feedback in our discussion group and file any bugs you find through the Chromium issue tracker.

(Cross-posted on the Chromium Blog)


  1. Amusing idea. Very embarrassing for Microsoft.

  2. Is there a standalone version? My problem with chrome is no ISA Proxy support in the installer.

  3. Checkmate! Very nice move from google!

  4. Does this mean Google Gears will be deprecated?

  5. Looks like we are almost coming to a perfect circle. Very very nice move indeed, it all makes so much sense!

  6. The user still has to install something other than IE to make it work, so isn't this just adding another variable to account for on top of all the ones web developers already have to deal with?

  7. @Paul Thompson
    I had the same thoughts. But I'm wondering if Google might have something up their sleeve for getting that IE plugin installed. If not, at least we're one tiny step closer.

  8. The tag isn't valid; add a closing slash to the meta tag!
    <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="chrome=1" />

  9. I created a WordPress plugin to add Google Chrome Frame capability, check it out:

  10. very nice.
    Could you please add it so that when using the 'cf:' prefix that the next page viewed would also carry the prefix so we know whether or not the new page is also in GCF? It'd be greatly appreciated. ;-)

    Great Work!

  11. Since Chrome Frame already works on OGGTV, IE users now have access to HTML5 video, and the VLC video plug-in.

    Everyone can test Chrome Frame at:


    And see how this early release handles various HTML5 video playback situations.

  12. I wonder how many people are locked into legacy systems, being forced to use IE at work, for example.

    I'm thinking they'll be the first to get 'converted.'
    Awesome tech you guys just brewed up. Thank you!

    PS: Zack, that tag is valid html, relax.

  13. who cares about HTML? Closure is required for XHTML.