IE 6 / 7 / 8 bad performance?

When you start developing complex enterprise applications using GWT, you can run into the problem that IE does not perform quite well with too much JavaScript.

Many companies are still stuck in – IMHO – the most successfull vendor-version lock-in web history. Ever heard this?

I cannot upgrade IE in our company because of  (…)*

(*) You can fill in you favorite corporate intranet application that won’t work elsewhere, only in IE6.

And even if you can upgrade IE to the latest version (actually IE8), it won’t get much better. Chrome, Opera, Firefox and Safari – pic anyone and you will see that the RIA in question can be fast.

And here is where Google comes to the rescue. In a recent blog posting, the Chromium declared that „chrome is ready for business„:

Both Chrome and Chromium are now manageable through Group Policy objects on Windows, plist/MCX configuration on Mac, and special JSON configuration files on Linux. We polished up the NTLM and Kerberos protocol support, and created a list of supported policies and administrative templates to help administrators deploy.

This is good news for companies willing to switch from IE to chrome, but for those sticking to IE we still have the nochrome-vendor-version lock-in. And this is the greatest problem: how do you switch to a modern browser, if you must run several applications in IE? The answer is simple: you switch the rendering engine inside IE, but not for all applications, just for those explicitly asking for it:

For users needing access to older web applications not yet qualified for Chrome, we also developed Chrome Frame, an Internet Explorer (TM) plug-in that provides Chrome-quality rendering for the broader Web, while defaulting to host rendering for any web applications that still require IE.

This way, IE will work as always, but if some page adds a simple html or http header, google chrome will do the rendering of the page, inside IE. Users don’t have to switch from one browser to another, and the IT department can rollout one web application upgrade after another, without compromising legacy apps.

You could even use a proxy with content adaptation to add the required http header to all pages from the internet.

I mean, really, even Microsoft says you should upgrade:

Microsoft’s urging to upgrade to IE8 appears to be partially in response to the German and French governments‘ recommendation that people stop using Internet Explorer altogether due to its security vulnerabilities.

Microsoft’s announcement said: „It is important to note that all software has vulnerabilities and switching browsers in an attempt to protect against this one, highly publicized, but currently limited attack can inadvertently create some false sense of security. Moreover, IE8 has other built-in security protections, such as the SmartScreen filter, that other browsers do not have that protect against real consumer threats, such as socially engineered malware and phishing attacks.“

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