Microsoft Chromed by Google

September 27, 2009
By

Update: Google is chroming Microsoft once again. IE9 is not out yet with its many HTML5 enhancements. But Microsoft is going to do nothing for the legion of IE8, IE7, and IE6 users. So Google has created the Google CanvasExplorer, a JavaScript that enables HTML5 on all those soon-to-be older versions of IE. But they still have a 52% combined web browser share. Google has updated CanvasExplorer in the Spring to ensure IE6 support.


If you had any doubts that Microsoft and Google are competing fulltime for the role of number one software development company, just follow the latest announcements this past week by both companies. Microsoft annouces new Bing search engine improvements; Google counters with Sidewiki and new Data API enhancements. But nowhere have the haymakers been landing with more force than the recent announcement of Chrome Frame by Google. Chrome Frame is a plugin for all IE browser versions from IE6 through IE8. The plugin runs in Windows XP plus Vista and Windows 7. Its what the plugin does that is so remarkable – its is a direct slap in the face to Redmond and its software engineering prowess. This is because Chrome Frame guts IE’s rendering engine and replaces it with Chrome’s version of WebKit. Chrome Frame also guts Microsoft’s JavaScript engine and replaces it with their own speed-leading JavaScript engine. The result is that IE-Googlized runs 3-10 times faster and is instantly much more Web standards compliant than Microsoft’s latest IE8 browser [Microsoft's deliberate 8 to 9 year failure to implement long promised HTML, CSS, DOM and other Web standards ].

Think of Chrome Frame as Ford saying to GM, your cars are so bad that they are not just performance deficient but also are safety hazards. So we, Ford , are offering a free plugin upgrade to all your customers in which we replace the motor and drive train on your GM cars. And then they do so – and the Googlized IE browsers … uhh Fordized GM cars do run better.

Finally, IE-Googlized with Chrome Frame is more secure because IE8 depends on running in Vista or Windows 7 to deliver their security but Windows XP still has more than 70% of all Windows installations. Computerworld has been following the fallout from this move by the Google and the War of PR Words is in full swing. Rather than repeat the blow by blow [see above link for starters], consider the image. Google is saying that it needs to build this plugin [and apparently takes staff off of porting Chrome to Apple and Linux to do so; they are late for delivery] because Microsoft’s IE browsers are too shaky, too slow and non-standards compliant. Think of Chrome Frame as Ford saying to GM, your cars are so bad that they are not just performance deficient but also are safety hazards. So we, Ford , are offering a free plugin upgrade to all your customers in which we replace the motor and drive train on your GM cars. And then they do so – and the Googlized IE browsers … uhh Fordized GM cars do run better. A lot better.Up to 10 times better!


Google insists that it is acting not just out of altruism but in its own best interests. Google’s upcoming Google Wave and other Web software cannot run fast and reliably enough in any version of IE on any version of Windows- XP, Vista, and 7. Whap! Our own tests confirm what Infoworld is saying – that IE8-Googlized with Chrome Frame is indeed 3-10 times faster running a variety of Websites and applications. Wow and whap! What a knockout blow Google has just delivered to Microsoft in the World of Web software. Pundits agree that the fastest emerging field in IT is Web 2.0 and Cloud Computing. And now Google is saying that the Emperor, Microsoft’s still market leading IE browser, has no clothes.


This “Microsoft … just not good enough” message is not a new theme. Apple’s TV commercials and advertising campaign for its new Snow Leopard operating system has raised identically the same issues regarding Microsoft’s Windows operating system. Apple attacks Windows saying it is not nearly safe and reliable enough from virus/ security infections or self-induced degradation and/or crashes. Worse, Windows is not nearly as trim and speedy as Apple’s new Snow Leopard Mac OS. And indeed, Apple has invested in two technologies [64bit standard and OpenCL] that will give it a widening lead in performance in the OS market. But going even further Apple is also attacking Microsoft “innovation” in its software as being pedestrian and copycat. The problem for Microsoft is that Windows 7 is vulnerable on both fronts. First, many pundits in praising some of the new features of Windows 7, are also noting that many of Windows  “features” have been copied from innovations pioneered on the Mac. And one of the big questions about Windows 7 is not whether it will be better than Vista but will it be better than Windows XP which commands over 67% of the total OS market share [well ahead of Vista at about 20%] as of August 2009. Will Windows 7 be faster across the board and by a substantial margin over  Windows XP [not just the easily bested Vista] ? And will Windows 7 be able to run the same gamut of applications and peripherals that Windows XP can ?


This reviewer, like the the public, is not fond of attack ads. The political arena has shown how destructive they can be. However, political attack ads often have the taint of being unjustified smears – stacked with innuendo, distortions, and outright falshoods. In stark contrast Google’s Chrome Frame is definitive proof that in the Web World Microsoft has been taking things off its software. For over 5  years Redmond  made no improvements other than security fixes to its IE browser. As a result Microsoft’s IE browser and big chunks of its Web software are deficient in both implementation of Web standards and performance speed. Some have argued this has been done to always give its desktop Windows OS an edge versus the fast emerging SaaS and Web 2.0 software. Google’s Chrome Frame plugin is definitive proof that Microsoft could have done a lot better with its IE browser. If in doubt, try it yourself . The download and install take only a few minutes – and the performance uptick is remarkable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *