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Ask DLS: Does Google Chrome Frame tactic smell funny to anyone else?

Ok, I know all the cool kids like to take shots at Internet Explorer. Heck, I'll admit it -- I've done it myself. And yes, I do prefer using Google Chrome.

But there's something I just don't like about the way Google plans to get Chrome Frame onto users' systems. Group Product Manager Mike Smith and Software Engineer Alex Russell told TechCrunch that Google "won't be explicitly advertising it." Instead, they'll use "subtle methods to alert users to its existence."

Now, the mockup above is anything but subtle. I'd assume - based on what Google has done in the past on the search page - that users will probably see a small alert in the upper-right corner.

Here's my question - why not just push Chrome? Why push an option that bolts Chrome on to Internet Explorer? TC's MG Siegler says the plugin itself is about 500Kb, but adds that it downloads about 10Mb of additional "Chrome-related data to work correctly."

10Mb? The mini installer for Chromium is exactly that size. So this basically downloads the whole damn browser and embeds it via ActiveX in Internet Explorer? I'm not seeing the advantage over a separate Chrome install.

Sure, there's the whole "web devs hate how IE renders stuff" argument, but it sure seems like a separate Chrome install would make more sense than the Frame solution.

Another concern for me is that the plan is to use the Dev channel builds, which happen to be the least stable. Won't we all have fun laughing if this leads to hilarity like "OMG my browser crashed, I hate IE" even if it was Chrome Frame that cause the crash?

I'm fine with Google offering users the upgrade to Chrome. There's just something about the idea of Chrome Frame that doesn't sit right with me. What's your take?

Tags: askdls, browser-wars, chrome-frame, google-chrome, sneaky, suggest