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Mozilla, Microsoft unite against Google Chrome frame

by Sylvie Barak on 30 September 2009, 10:03

Tags: Firefox, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Mozilla

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Chrome plated Internet Explorer

Mozilla backing up Microsoft in an argument? Only when hell freezes over, some would posit. But in fact, that statement can easily be changed to read ‘only when Google frames over', which is exactly what has pushed two unlikely bedfellows closer together.

It all began last week when Google released a plug-in for Microsoft's Internet Explorer to effectively bung Google's competing Chrome browser under the bonnet of IE six, seven and eight. Google rationalised that this allowed IE to work with HTML 5 and sped the browser up by an estimated factor of 10, using Chrome's WebKit rendering and high-performance JavaScript engine.

Also, the frame apparently only works on certain Web pages that have been specifically tagged by developers, but that's little consolation to Microsoft.

Unexpectedly, however, Google's actions have come under fire not just from Microsoft, which says Chrome Frame is a security threat that "has doubled the attach area for malware and malicious scripts," but also from an unlikely ally, Mozilla's vice president of engineering, Mike Shaver.

As creator of the open source Firefox browser, Mozilla is one of the last firms one would expect to spring to Microsoft's defense, but Shaver is unequivocal in his disdain for Google's actions, slamming the firm in his blog. Shaver not only adds to Microsoft's security concerns, but also explains that IE6 probably won't even be able to run Chrome Frame because firstly, it's too weak and secondly it's been locked down to prevent such manipulations.