Microsoft Tells Users Not to Install Google Chrome Frame

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Did you really think that Microsoft would just roll over and take Google’s ‘effort’ to make Internet Explorer adopt to the changing web technology by releasing the Google Chrome Frame? Well, clearly Microsoft will not let this pass and allow Google to play with IE for the advancement Google’s own agenda. So Microsoft is discouraging IE users not to install Chrome Frame arguing that it will make Internet Explorer less secure.

A Microsoft representative who spoke with Ars Technica said:

“With Internet Explorer 8, we made significant advancements and updates to make the browser safer for our customers. Given the security issues with plugins in general and Google Chrome in particular, Google Chrome Frame running as a plugin has doubled the attach area for malware and malicious scripts. This is not a risk we would recommend our friends and families take.”

While this statement might somehow be true, especially if you will just take it as coming from the IE owner, Microsoft is however missing some fine details about Chrome security and raises several questions.

How can Microsoft be so sure that there actually is a significant number of malware and bots targeting Google Chrome?  We might have seen some vulnerabilities of Chrome during its early stages but the Google Chrome engineers worked doubly hard to make Google Chrome as stable as it is right now. And don’t most hackers target IE?

Of course, one thing that Microsoft did not notice in the Google announcement of the Chrome Frame is the fact that it is not really geared so much for IE8 but more so for earlier versions of the Microsoft browser.  But apparently, in their objection to the Chrome Frame, Microsoft was singling out IE8 as secure browser which does not need the Chrome Frame.

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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  • Tanner Powell

    Haha, I love how they resorted to fear-mongering at the end. Good luck, Microsoft.

  • Nik

    So are Microsoft saying that all plugins used in IE are potentially dangerous?
    Does this include those written using Microsfot approved APIs?

    Surely it would be better for Microsoft to not allow ANY plugins or extenstion. Then it can guarnatee the security of it browser completely.

    Or is it only Goolge plugins it has problems with?

  • Chris

    Lol! Can’t wait to see how this Microsoft vs Google debate is going to unfold further!

  • Bob

    Microsoft, while seemingly operating from a position of self-interest, is right. Attaching someone else’s software to software of its own enlarges the target for hackers. Everyone admts that IE and other Microsoft products are targets for attacks. That choice is not due to the fact that Microsoft products are intrinsically less secure than others but rather due to the prevalence of its products and the availability of its published standards and documentation. Other software makers such as Apple and Redhat have never really had to probe the depths of their software insecurity because they have not been pressed to the wall by the sheer numbers of cyber sociopaths that Microsoft has had to fend off. They simply don’t offer the opportunity for financial gain to hackers that Microsoft does.

    By exposing IE to additional attacks through Google’s Framework whose standards are also published, it does indeed double the exposure area for IE, and at present, it would be an uncontrollable exposure for Microsoft. It is true that any toolbar or add-on to IE offers the same risks IF they allow unchecked data to flow through IE into a system. That is why IE 8 under Windows 7 has undergone some exceptional changes to its processes. IE running on top of earlier Microsoft OSes do not have the benefit of such improvements.

    I am sure that Google’s engineers have worked hard to produce this framework, but bear in mind that Google has never had to test its own limits by deploying software directly to 92% of the world’s desktop computers and then living with the consequences. It has operated for the most part as a centralized computing resource accessible through the web. If it succeeds in moving its framework to the desktops of the world, it will find that it, too, will be as big a target for cyber crime as that of Microsoft, and the chickens that accompany such actions will come home to roost.