Today Google announced the availability of an Internet Explorer (IE) plugin called Google Chrome Frame. The plugin is designed to allow HTML 5 support and is open source. This is an interesting and pretty novel idea. Google claims:
You can watch the video from Google about this released today:
The most interesting aspect, or problem, to me with this new plugin is who will use it. Sure, here are a lot of IE users but who will be installing the plug-in for use? Just thinking for a moment about all of the IE6 users today, who can be broken down into two distinct groups:
- Corporate Users – these folks are in companies with a corporate IT staff who controls what is on their desktops with remote deployments. Face it, if they are still using IE6 it’s the IT group be running out and installing this plug-in.
- Grandma – she feels lucky to be on the Internet, being able to see Flickr pictures of her grandkids. She probably couldn’t tell you if she had IE6 or something else. There is nothing wrong with this, it works for her and she is happy. Grandma will NOT be installing this plug-in.
I have the feeling that there are many IE7 users in the corporate world who are facing the same thing, the IT department controls their desktop and will not be putting some open source plug-in in the nightly deploy.
This narrows down the real audience for this plug-in, geeks and developers. I have no idea what the numbers are for any of the IE version installations and the demographics of who is using which version but I would tend to guess there are many users who will never see this plug-in.
I am interested to see how Google gets past this wall. If they can pull it off it will mean huge barriers brought down for web developers worldwide. I am rooting for them.