Test version of Chrome Frame for IE installs without admin privileges

Google is testing a new version of its Chrome Frame plug-in for Internet Explorer that users can intall without administrative privileges.

The IE plug-in causes Microsoft's browser to use the open source WebKit Web content engine favored by the Google Chrome browser rather than Microsoft's IE Trident layout engine. The switch only takes when browsing Web sites that have added some code to enable the feature.

Google introduced the plug-in back in September of 2009, so it's not new. Apparently, some IT shops didn't permit its use, or its use was curtailed in computing environments where users did not have the Windows administrative privileges to install it. This test release of Chrome Frame, which is less than a beta release, will work without admin privileges. Google wants to get feedback to create a beta, leading to a more stable version.

"We'll be working hard to bring Non-Admin Chrome Frame up to the beta and stable channels over the coming weeks," wrote Robert Shield, a software engineer with Google, in a blog post.

The Chrome Frame plug-in is designed to work with Internet Explorer versions 6 through 9. It's supported on Windows XP Service Pack 2 and greater, Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating systems, according to Google's FAQ.

When Chrome Frame was initially unveiled, Google had suggested that it offered Internet Explorer users and Web developers better performance and security than IE. Microsoft's reaction was to point to a security flaw associated with IE 8 and to imply that Chrome Frame was a general security risk. Google announced a fix for that flaw after about three months' time.

Google's FAQ claims that Chrome Frame users get the security benefits of Chrome's sandbox technology along with automatic updates for faster response to vulnerabilities. The FAQ also suggests that Chrome Frame can be used with IE 6 to maintain legacy compatibility on intranet sites while taking advantage of the rendering engine enabled via Chrome Frame.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is the online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group sites, including Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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