The more I look at Google Chrome Frame, the more I'm struck by how clever it is.
For those coming in late, Google Chrome Frame is a plugin for Internet Explorer that embeds the entire Chrome web rendering engine inside IE. Site authors can include a simple meta tag in their HTML that will tell the browser to use Chrome to render the page instead of IE.
(Let's ignore for a moment that when Microsoft introduced a meta tag that changed IE8s rendering mode, the web went apeshit.)
Ask any web developer and they'll tell you the biggest millstone around the neck of the web is Internet Explorer 6. Ask browser users, and they'll tell you the overwhelming reason why they can't upgrade to a more modern, standards-compliant browser is because their work won't let them. Ask IT departments why this is the case and they'll point to the six- to seven-figure costs of upgrading turn-of-the-century Intranets written to work in, and only in, Internet Explorer 6.
Google have provided a way for websites to opt out of IE6 (and even IE7) support without requiring enterprise-wide, Intranet-breaking browser upgrades, something Microsoft occasionally promised but never managed to deliver. In doing so, they've cheekily cut Microsoft out of the upgrade path of their own web browser.
Dear corporate IT departments. Your last tie to IE6 has just been neatly routed around. At my most conservative estimate you have twelve to eighteen months to either bite the bullet and adopt a real modern browser, or make Google Chrome Frame part of your default desktop image. Beyond that, I guarantee large chunks of the public web are going to stop working for you.