Steve Ballmer has, in the past, stated that he would be open to the idea of Internet Explorer dropping the Trident rendering engine in favor of the open-source Webkit. I, for one, would love it if this happens – Trident is the bane of web developers around the world. Simply stated, it is holding the web back from it’s true potential. Well, it looks like Google has done the work for Microsoft, with Google Chrome Frame for IE.
To utilize Chrome Frame on your site, all that is needed is a single meta tag – if Chrome Frame is installed, IE will use it, and if not, the page will still render. This is very nice, unobtrusive behavior indeed.
<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="chrome=1">
Google developed Chrome Frame primarily for their upcoming Google Wave communication software. It probably became quickly evident to Google that they would never be able to offer the rich functionality that Wave requires under IE. I would expect that the release of Chrome Frame is ruffling some feathers at Microsoft – Google seems to be getting on the nerves of some it’s major tech competitors lately using similar tactics. Still, it’s hard to see how consumers lose with this move – to some extent, it’s the best thing that could happen to Internet Explorer.