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Microsoft blasts Google over Chrome Frame plug-in

Microsoft warned Internet Explorer (IE) users that they could double their security woes if they installed and used Google Chrome Frame, the plug-in that provides better JavaScript performance and adds support for HTML 5 to Microsoft's browser.

“It's not necessarily that plug-ins aren't or can't be secure, but that running a browser within a browser doubles the potential attack surface in a way that we don't see is particularly helpful,” said Amy Bazdukas, Microsoft's general manager for IE.

Top five strategies for combating modern threats: is anti-virus dead? : Download nowBazdukas also said that by running Chrome Frame, Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) users were unwittingly discarding all the private browsing protections that Microsoft built into its newest browser.

“Chrome Frame breaks the privacy model of IE,” she claimed. “Users are not going to be able to use IE's privacy features, something that's not made apparent to users. They're essentially circumvented.”

Bazdukas also maintained that IE8's browser history deletion feature is crippled by Chrome Frame; users who decide to erase the history may think it's working, but it's not.

In a statement earlier today, Microsoft said using Chrome Frame is not “a risk we would recommend our friends and families take.” Bazdukas, however, got more specific.

“We're not saying that there's a specific security vulnerability in Chrome Frame, but the concern that plug-ins in general have had regarding security issues adds a new potential threat when Chrome Frame is used. Users have told us that they're looking for a better and safer browser, and we can't see how [using Chrome Frame] will deliver that.”

Released Tuesday, Chrome Frame lets IE utilize the Chrome browser's WebKit rendering engine, as well as its high-performance V8 JavaScript engine. Google pitched the plug-in as a way to instantly improve the performance of the notoriously slow IE , and as a way for Web developers to support standards IE can't handle, including HTML 5.

According to benchmark tests conducted by Computerworld , IE8 with Chrome Frame zips through JavaScript nearly 10 times faster than does IE8 on its own.

The extra speed and HTML 5 support are necessary, said Google, if IE users are to run advanced Web applications such as Google Wave , a collaboration and communications tool that Google launched in May.

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