Now that Google launched a Chrome plug-in for Internet Explorer, users will see dialogs that suggest to install the plug-in. The first Google service that will show this message is Google Wave.
"To use Google Wave in Internet Explorer you need to install the Google Chrome Frame browser plugin. Or, you can use one of these browsers: Google Chrome, Safari 4, Firefox 3.5. If you want to continue at your own peril, go ahead."
I'm not an Internet Explorer user and I understand that developers hate it because they have to spend a lot of time finding workarounds for IE, instead of adding new features, but this message is misleading.
"To use Google Wave in Internet Explorer you need to install the Google Chrome Frame browser plugin." That's simply not true: Google Wave works in Internet Explorer, even though there are some features that require Google Gears or work better in other browsers.
Just because you can't offer the same experience in all browsers is not a reason to mislead users. You can inform users that your application runs faster in Google Chrome or certain features are only available if you install a plug-in or a more recent browser.
It's a slippery slope and I hope Google doesn't drop support for Internet Explorer just because it's a good opportunity to promote its own browser. Especially now, when even Microsoft builds applications that don't require Internet Explorer.
"Graceful degradation is an important principle in Web design. It means that, when you put in features designed to take advantage of the latest and greatest features of newer browsers, you should do it in a way that older browsers, and browsers letting users disable particular features, can "step down" to a method that still allows access to the basic content of the site, though perhaps not as snazzy in appearance," explains Dan Tobias.
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