Google Chrome Frame Avoids Admin Lockdowns, Leaves Beta

IT Management

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Google's developers want your Internet browsing experience to be as robust as possible, even those of you who are stuck using Internet Explorer 6, or any of the versions that succeeded IE6. This capability now includes people who are locked down behind an administrative wall and can't update your browser.

While Google Chrome Frame has been out of its beta stage since September of last year, Chrome developers have been working on a version that avoids these "I can't install the new version" barriers, and now, the admin-avoiding version of Google Chrome Frame is ready for public consumption.

The Chrome blog explains these new capabilities as such:

In addition to Non-Admin Chrome Frame moving to the stable channel, we are rolling out a change to the default Chrome Frame installer; it will now run at Admin level by default and will fall back to Non-Admin mode if the user does not have the necessary permissions on their machine. This will allow all users to download a single installer that just works.

For those of you who aren't aware of Google Chrome, especially those of you who are stuck in IE's environment, Chrome Frame promises to do the following:

Google Chrome Frame is an open source plug-in that seamlessly brings Google Chrome's open web technologies and speedy JavaScript engine to Internet Explorer.

While adding Google Chrome's capabilities to Internet Explorer may seem almost innocuous compared to other tech stories, the significance should not be ignored.

Google's Chrome developers essentially reversed-engineered Microsoft's unstoppable browser to make it more user-friendly in relation to rich web content, and they did it without Microsoft's help. Lest we forget, while Chrome was built on open source principals, Internet Explorer was absolutely not. Getting the two to mesh, especially with older versions of IE, is recognition-worthy.

Of course, Google could very well be doing this so more people can use Google products. A quick quote from Chrome developer Alex Russell is very revealing, at least in regards to Google's motivations behind such a plugin:

As promised, GMail is asking all IE 6 and 7 users to upgrade or install Chrome Frame. A growing list of sites like Angry Birds couldn’t have been built without assuming Chrome Frame as a solution to "the IE problem".

While it's true "the IE problem" is in quotes, the fact that it's there at all demonstrates one of the prevailing attitudes towards Microsoft's browser.