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Microsoft to Google: Stay Out Of Our Browser!

On Tuesday, Google announced the release of Chrome Frame, an engine that can be used within Internet Explorer 6, IE7, and IE8 that allows Chrome to render Web pages rather than Microsoft's IE engine; Chrome Frame also executes Google JavaScript programs. To enable Chrome Frame within Internet Explorer, surfers simply must install a plug-in while Web developers must insert a line of code into their pages that speaks directly with Chrome Frame upon each visit.

Naturally, Microsoft didn't take too kindly with the idea, telling consumers that they are better off upgrading Internet Explorer to the latest version rather than inserting Chrome Frame into its software. "With Internet Explorer 8, we made significant advancements and updates to make the browser safer for our customers," Microsoft said. "Given the security issues with plug-ins in general and Google Chrome in particular, Google Chrome Frame running as a plug-in has doubled the attach area for malware and malicious scripts. This is not a risk we would recommend our friends and families take."

Mozilla's Dion Almaer snickered at the comment on his Twitter page, claiming that consumers should "uninstall Silverlight now," and that Microsoft is frightened by the security issues some plug-ins can bring. Amy Barzdukas, general manager for Internet Explorer, sang a more positive tune and told CNET that it was indeed a security issue with Microsoft, calling the process "a browser within a browser." She said that running Chrome Frame interferes with private browsing and clear-browser-history features found in the new Internet Explorer 8.

"That is not made clear," Barzdukas told CNET. "That is a trade-off that customers would really want to make with eyes wide open."  She also added that consumers using Internet Explorer 6 need to dump the old browser and download the latest release, saying that installing another add-on is not an ideal option. "It just compounds your problem," she said.