Google Wave gives up on Internet Explorer

By John Bowman, CBCNews.ca.

The developers of Google Wave — the tech giant's next-generation communication platform that combines email, instant messaging, wikis and file sharing — seem to have thrown up their hands when it comes to supporting Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

On their blog, the developers say that Wave requires strong JavaScript performance and will use the capabilities of HTML 5 to create a web app that performs like a desktop application:

Compared with other browsers, the JavaScript performance [of Internet Explorer] is many times slower and HTML5 support is still far behind. Likewise, the many different versions of IE still in use — each with its own set of [cascading style sheet] quirks and layout limitations —- further complicates building rich web applications.

Users of every version of Internet Explorer, from the surprisingly not-dead IE6 to the more recent IE8, will be asked to switch to another browser (Google's Chrome, Apple's Safari or Mozilla Firefox) or to install a new plug-in: Google Chrome Frame.

Google Chrome Frame is an add-on to IE that essentially runs a fast, standards-compliant browser inside a slow, buggy one. In a test performed by Computerworld, Internet Explorer 8 with Chrome Frame running zipped through a Javascript benchmark nearly 10 times faster than IE8 on its own.

Some bloggers are seeing Google Frame as a solution for people who are stuck with IE because of corporate policies against installing their own software on work computers.

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