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Google Takes on Flash and Silverlight with Chrome Frame

Posted by Charles | September 23, 2009 .

In my 10 RIA Predictions for 2009 No. 3 I said “Google will release a RIA runtime to beat Flex, Silverlight, Firefox and everybody else for UI spaces.” I am right!

Google released the Google Chrome Frame yesterday (9/22/09).

It’s a plugin, as I predicted. So far it’s only for IE. “With Google Chrome Frame, developers can now take advantage of the latest open web technologies, even in Internet Explorer. From a faster Javascript engine, to support for current web technologies like HTML5’s offline capabilities and <canvas>, to modern CSS/Layout handling, Google Chrome Frame enables these features within IE with no additional coding or testing for different browser versions.”

Obviously, Chrome Frame’s core is the WebKit JavaScript engine, which is way faster than IE JS engine and it supports bigger portion of HTML5. That’s why I’m saying this is a kick (first of many) to the Flex and Silverlight.

Once you installed Chrome Frame, you can enable it by adding this line to the HTML page:

<meta http-equiv=”X-UA-Compatible” content=”chrome=1″>

It’s just that sample. It seems a new and easier way to invoke a plugin.

Google is really preparing for the Google Chrome OS launch. They’ve taken care of mobile with Andorid, Firefox with Chrome, now IE with Frame. The ground is leveled so let’s wait and see Chrome OS takes over the world.

But I do see there are problems. People or organizations that stick with IE usually 1) IE is there, why bother, or don’t know how to get others 2) Just love Microsoft 3) “IE is more secure” (heard lots of gov orgs say so). None of them is the candidate to install another plugin, and few of them care much about faster JavaScript or can spell out JavaScript.

In terms of HTML5, this is a egg and chicken problem. Why I have to deploy HTML5 capable plugin when I’m not ready for HTML5 based application development? I don’t do HTML5 app because there aren’t that many browsers support it yet.

So for now, I think it’s a geeks’ toy. How do you think?

(BTW, I’m right about 2009 is the year of cloud computing, but I’ll leave a full review to the year end.)

 Google Takes on Flash and Silverlight with Chrome Frame

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4 Comments so far
  1. Huuuze  September 23, 2009 11:00 am

    Equating Google Chrome Frame to a “RIA runtime” is a huge stretch. I wouldn’t pat yourself on the back based upon it’s release. If Google had released a runtime that made it dead simple to create Flex-like components using canvas/JavaScript, then you’d have a valid argument.

  2. oluwasogo  September 30, 2009 9:38 am

    Maybe u need to ask urself what RIA really means..coz if u really know what it means you wont be making this kind of comparison…

  3. Charles  September 30, 2009 9:49 am

    @oluwasogo Believe me, RIA means less and less. Very soon, it means nothing. Is there anybody out there still bragging about his/her application is a GUI application? No, but back then there were lots of smart developers couldn’t help mentioning the apps they developed were GUI not text based.

    Same thing here, the none-RIA apps are the old text based app and the RIAs are the new GUI apps. When everything is RIA then who cares.

    Still think RIA is something special and will always holds some special definition that I should conform?

  4. mh  October 3, 2009 5:16 am

    I havent tried it yet but are you saying this is something that can be embedded in a page of HTML like flash or silverlight? So you could have Frame, Flash and silverlight all within the one page? Nont just something like ieTab that turns firefox into IE for example?

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