IE Frames Google Chrome, Or Vice Versa

Google's pushing to get more adoption for its nascent browser, Chrome, but hasn't been making serious inroads, particularly in the Enterprise. Most IT departments standardize on one (Internet Explorer) or maybe two (add Firefox) browsers. On Tuesday, Google announced a possible way around that problem: Google Chrome Frame.

Google Chrome Frame is a plug-in which allows users to switch to the Webkit rendering engine as well as the Chrome Javascript engine while still using IE. You can think of it as a form of IETab, which allows end users to switch to the IE rendering engine (in a specific tab) while in Firefox.

This is such an early release that Google doesn't even call it a beta. It's s developer release, aimed at encouraging web developers to play with it. Thing is, it doesn't even have a nice toggle like IETab does. Chrome's engine takes over when a specific tag is added to a page; otherwise, nothing is different. What would be nice would be the ability to toggle back and forth, sans tag, as IETab does.

That would seem to be something that they will likely add in the future, as would Firefox support. In reality, how much good will this plug-in do for Google? A lot of corporate (and other) pages simply don't render (or work) properly in Chrome, and anything written to use ActiveX isn't going to work in Chrome either. That's the beauty of IETab: use Firefox almost all the time; use IE when absolutely necessary.

For end users who might want to try it, there are other ways to force Google Chrome Frame to be used, however. Navigate to the URL and prepend "cf:" to the URL. An example would be "cf:" to go to

You can also use the Windows Registry to force a URL to be loaded in Google Chrome Frame. The URLs are registry values (and not sub-keys):

HKCU/Software/Google/ChromeFrame/OptInUrls, and then:

** [string value name is the pattern to match, assigned value is not used]
** [use simple pattern, no regexp matching]
* ['*' means load everything!]
Google does not guarantee that these methods will continue to work in the future, or that they will work properly!

Honestly, what Google needs to do to get more adoption is to get more extensions. The huge number of extensions for Firefox means we're not going to change anytime soon, unless we see extensions that duplicate Tab Mix Plus and LastPass (or Roboform) functionality.

Watch an introductory video: