Non-Admin Chrome Frame, Now Stable!

The title says it all: you can now put a link like this in your app and users will get the stable version of either admin or non-admin Chrome Frame, depending on what rights they have on their system:

<!--[if lt IE 9 ]>
<p>Your browser is <em>ancient!</em>
<a href="http://microsoft.com/ie">Upgrade</a> or
<a href="http://www.google.com/chromeframe/?redirect=true">
   install Google Chrome Frame</a> to experience this app.
</p>
< ![endif]-->

The redirect=true ensures that once the the install completes, users are automatically redirected back to your site (slick, huh?) and the conditional comments keep the prompt from being shown to folks with modern browsers.

At the top of your document you’ll still need to add the header or meta tag to your apps/pages to opt-in to Chrome Frame rendering:

    <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=edge,chrome=1">

Couldn’t be easier, and if you’re using a starter kit like the excellent HTML5 Boilerplate, it’s already in there!

Nearly forgot…

So, why, you might ask, did it take this long from showing user-mode at I/O to get this to the the world?

Good, if convoluted question. The answer is long, complicated, and involves a harrowing-yet-seamless transition of hundreds of millions of Chrome installs to a new installer infrastructure, but I’ll skip to the punch line: millions of users won’t even have to download Chrome Frame to install it. Chrome Frame’s quick-enable mode is available on every system that has Chrome installed — even if Chrome isn’t being used as the default browser — which means that for many of your users installing Chrome Frame can be nearly instant. No download, no traditional install process. Just “activate”, “accept” and those users are on their way back to your site to experience the HTML5 goodness you’ve built.

If you’re contemplating adding a prompt to your site or app, know that you’re not alone either. As promised, GMail is asking all IE 6 and 7 users to upgrade or install Chrome Frame. A growing list of sites like Angry Birds couldn’t have been built without assuming Chrome Frame as a solution to “the IE problem”.

Chrome Frame is all about turning HTML5 from a “someday…” prospect to a reality for your very next project, even if you’re deploying to users and organizations that can’t join us here in the future by adopting modern browsers. Only the trailing edge has been standing still, and now that we’re all free of it I can’t wait to see we build.

The web is about to get better a whole lot faster.

Update: Erik Wright informs me that we don’t even need the prefersystemlevel now! Post updated to reflect this.

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  1. [...] automatically update and has the user-perceived benefit of being "just a plugin" (that all users can install) instead of switching to a whole new [...]

  2. [...] I finally found the probable business case. It seems Google Chrome Frame now comes free with every copy of Chrome and doesn’t require [...]