Google Wave Team Gives Up on Internet Explorer

September 22, 2009

Google Wave Chrome Frame prompt After "countless hours" of work, the Google Wave team has thrown up their hands and decided not to make Wave work in Internet Explorer natively. Instead, they released Google Chrome Frame, an IE add-on that puts Chrome's backend inside Internet Explorer. Next week another batch of Google Wave invitations will go out, and IE users will have to install Chrome Frame or switch to Firefox or Safari to try Wave. (The screenshot is the prompt IE users will get when they try to log into Wave.) Google explains why Internet Explorer just doesn't have what it takes to run Wave:

Google Wave depends on strong JS and DOM rendering performance to provide a desktop-like experience in the browser. HTML5's offline storage and web workers will enable us to add great features without having to compromise on performance. Unfortunately, Internet Explorer, still used by the majority of the Web's users, has not kept up with such fairly recent developments in Web technology.

My experience using the developer preview of Google Wave (which I've never even tried in Internet Explorer) has shown that Wave is consistently more stable in Chrome, and even noticeably faster in Chrome than Firefox or Safari. As such, I usually run Wave in a separate Chrome window while I do my regular surfing in Firefox--and I wouldn't be surprised if more early adopters do the same as Wave rolls out. Until then, the IE team has a lot of work to do, because for them, hearing "my webapp is too advanced to run in your browser" from Google has to sting.

Oh how many times I’ve wished I could just give up on IE… I’ve started giving up on IE6, don’t even bother testing anymore. IE8 does a fine job with most the CSS stuff I do, but IE7 still doesn’t behave and I frequently need to create a bit of CSS just to get it back in line. I understand their frustration fully.

Jan Ole Peek
Sep 22 09 at 7:11 pm

With Google dumping on IE, I hope it emboldens other companies to do the same. It used to be the biggest issue was IE was incompatibility with web standards. Now application performance is becoming increasingly important. Its time for the internet to dump IE.

Sep 22 09 at 7:38 pm

this is sooooo cool, because it also means, you can actually USE HTML5 from this day on, without even thinking about Internet Exploder! You just send the dau’s to get the plugin, they are used to it, because of silverlight and flash.

Jörg Reinhardt [+2]
Sep 23 09 at 1:23 am

Google Chrome IE Update has been released! This should help IE users to make the switch even faster!

Microsoft IE should just be put out of its misery.

Sep 23 09 at 1:13 pm

I can’t remember the last time I used IE. That people actually still use it is a testament to the power of default settings.

Nathan Schock
Sep 23 09 at 8:28 pm

“my webapp is too advanced to run in your browser” is one way of putting it.

“we’re going to illegally leverage our marketshare in search, web-based email, and mobile phones in an attempt to take over browser market share ” is another way of putting it.

imagine the reaction if the situation was reversed, and Microsoft was releasing a new, boil-the-ocean, revolutionary new platform for apps, and then told everyone that they were going to exclude over half the population.

Chris Hollander [+1]
Sep 25 09 at 6:34 am

On a side note:
Where’s Opera?

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