"It might give Google more exposure within an enterprise setting, where it lacks the kind of administrative tools that Microsoft offers for IE," she said, "but what's the motivation for people to migrate to Chrome when they can get some of its benefits within IE? I think its message to get people to migrate is actually decreased. I'm just not sure where Google is going with this."
Google seemed to know. In an entry on the company's Wave developer blog , Lars Rasmussen and Adam Schuck of the Wave team said Chrome Frame was an answer to their prayers.
Google Wave , which the search giant introduced in May, is the company's collaboration and communication tool that combines features from Internet staples such as e-mail, instant messaging and document sharing. Wave is built on Google Web Toolkit using HTML 5, which IE doesn't support, but can with the Chrome Frame plug-in.
Microsoft's IE6 is the most vulnerable to hijacking by Chrome Frame. The eight-year-old browser has been the target this year of a "Kill IE6" campaign by Web site operators and designers, and has even gotten the cold shoulder from Microsoft. Last month, Amy Bazdukas, Microsoft's general manager for IE, used the phrase, "Friends shouldn't let friends use IE6," to describe the company's eagerness to convince users to move on.
The stumbling block, said Bazdukas in an interview at the time, was the enterprise, where IT administrators are loath to update workers' Web browsers for fear of breaking applications and intranets created with IE6's quirks in mind.
"In a way [Chrome Frame] could be great news for IT," McLeish admitted. "They could give users an alternative browser without having to go through the migration and support issues."
She still wasn't sold on Chrome Frame, however. "The open question for enterprises is around security," she said, noting that companies would have to apply updates for not only IE, but also for Google's plug-in.