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Google Chrome Frame Available as 'Stable' Release

Google on Tuesday released a "stable" plug-in for Internet Explorer that can compel Microsoft's browsers use Google Chrome Web browser technologies.

This particular release of Google Chrome Frame enables installation by users who have no administrative privileges in their Windows environments. Last month, Google floated a beta version of this so-called "Non-Admin Google Chrome Frame" plug-in. Now, the company considers the plug-in to be ready for use in the "stable channel," or by the general public, according to a blog post.

Google makes it easy for end users to install the plug-in, even if their IT departments curtail admin-level installation rights. The Chrome Frame installer "will now run at Admin level by default and will fall back to Non-Admin mode if the user does not have the necessary permissions on their machine," the blog explains.

Google's plug-in causes Microsoft's browser to use the open source WebKit Web content engine favored by the Google Chrome browser. It bypasses Microsoft's Internet Explorer Trident layout engine. The switch only takes place when browsing Web sites that have added some code to enable the feature, according to Google's FAQ.

Frustrated users stuck on earlier "legacy" versions of Internet Explorer by IT departments could use Google Chrome Frame to leverage Google's technologies instead. For instance, Google's FAQ 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. Users of Google Chrome Frame get automatic updates to their browsers and access to Google's sandbox security technologies.

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. It can be downloaded here.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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