About a week ago, I read about how Adobe is doing an opt-out bundling deal, including Chrome with Flash and Adobe Reader X. What struck me as odd was how there seemed to be no business case for whomever was footing the bill to make it happen. If you have to trick people into installing Chrome, what are the odds that they’ll just magically start clicking on the icon?
Today, I finally found the probable business case. It seems Google Chrome Frame now comes free with every copy of Chrome and doesn’t require elevated privileges to install. (If you haven’t heard of it, it’s an Internet Explorer plugin which plugs the guts of Chrome into Internet Explorer so websites can opt out of Microsoft’s rendering engine… sort of like IE Tab in reverse)
That means that, every time Adobe tricks someone into installing Chrome, that’s one more copy of Internet Explorer that will
use Webkit/V8 as an alternative to Trident/JScript when it encounters this variant of Microsoft’s X-UA-Compatible:
<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=edge,chrome=1">
Apparently IE7 users have already joined their IE6-using neighbors in being asked to either upgrade or install Chrome Frame when they open up GMail.