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 debuted last May.
Notably, IE8's SunSpider scores with Chrome Frame running equaled Google's Chrome browser, a solid indication that the plug-in effectively turns any version of IE into the speed equivalent of Chrome itself.
Earlier this week, Computerworld matched Chrome 3.0, the current production version of Google's browser, against four rivals - IE8, Mozilla's Firefox 3.5, Opera Software's Opera 10 and Apple's Safari 4.0- and pegged Chrome as the fastest of the five Windows browsers by comfortable, sometimes extreme, margins.
Chrome Frame must be installed by the browser user, but it can be triggered automatically by website and application developers using a single HTML tag on their sites or in their applications' code.
Until those sites and applications are modified to call on Chrome Frame, users can manually force IE to use the plug-in by prefacing the URL of a site with the characters ‘cf:.
That was how Computerworld obtained the impressive SunSpider results for IE8.
The Chrome Frame plug-in works with IE6, IE7 or IE8 on Windows XP or Windows Vista. It can be downloaded from Google's website.