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Sep 28 2009

IE 8 with Google Chrome plugin provides 10x performance boost

Microsoft, Google just drank your milkshake. Here you have a browser that’s been all but broken for ten years, you only started releasing again after Firefox showed you that the web browser could be done better. Your browser is a shoddy pile of ripped-off features and half-baked “new innovations”, and the Google built a rival toward their core competency — making something with no frills but tons of horsepower under the hood. And to prove it, the Google Code project released a beta of Chrome Frame, a plugin for IE 8 that embeds the Chrome browser (with its sandboxing features and super-fast Javascript and rendering engine) directly into the IE interface.

According to tests run by Computerworld , Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) was 9.6 times faster than IE8 on its own. Computerworld ran the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark suite three times each for IE8 with Chrome Frame, and IE8 without the plug-in, then averaged the scores.

And this plug-in apparently makes IE runs circles around your broken pile of hacks in its original state. It’s no wonder your response is to claim it makes IE less secure — because in your world, it’s only secure if you control the code and the patching mechanisms. In everyone else’s, it’s secure if you set up permissions correctly to begin with, such as how in Chrome, plugins can only operate within the context of Chrome itself, never gaining access to the system resources unless a programmer can somehow not only crack their way out of the sandbox, but then go on to compromise the system proper.

Yes, I know, IE 7 and 8 have a “protected mode” that it can run in, which does this same kind of sandboxing — but that only works under Vista and Windows 7. Google Chrome will run under XP and IE6 as well. As I just pushed through the IE8 patch throughout my work network, and the bulk of the complaints are about IE’s speed decreases (though I’ve disabled frippery like accelerators and the welcome wizard in an attempt to mitigate that somewhat), I’m strongly tempted to distribute Chrome and this Chrome Frame plugin as well. It’d not only diminish the speed complaints, it’d significantly increase the security of my XP-based environment.

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