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September 25, 2009

Chrome Frame, Not Just for Internet Explorer

Google has recently released a plugin for Internet Explorer that renders web pages using Google Chrome. The plugin, called Google Chrome Frame, is open-source and the code is publicly available.

By looking at the code, it's obvious that the plugin is not limited to Internet Explorer. There's also a NPAPI plugin, which should work in browsers that support NPAPI: Firefox, Safari, Opera and other browsers. Here's a comment from one of the Chrome Frame files:

"ChromeFrameNPAPI: Implementation of the NPAPI plugin, which is responsible for hosting a chrome frame, i.e. an iframe like widget which hosts the the chrome window. This object delegates to Chrome.exe (via the Chrome IPC-based automation mechanism) for the actual rendering".

A post from the Chromium blog explained the purpose of Google's plugin: "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."

Instead of asking users to download a different browser, Google and other companies that develop complex web applications can ask users to install Google Chrome Frame. This way, Google Chrome runs invisibly inside another browser.

This blog is not affiliated with Google.