Google Chrome Frame basically embeds Chrome’s webkit engine into IE (6/7/8), replacing Trident. However, this is not a flat out replacement, but rather an opt-in experience that web-developers can choose for their site by adding a simple meta tag in their HTML. The Developer’s Documentation describes this.
Last week, I said that the only way Microsoft could stop the marketshare IE is haemorrhaging would be to replace the Trident engine with Webkit! It looks like Google is jumping the gun and taking direct action to address the poor state of IE and bring it up to a respectable level
Of course, this isn’t going to apply to all users of IE, but it is a nice gesture that allows even IE users to experience what’s possible with a modern rendering engine and features. If Google wanted to push Google Chrome Frame (and webstandards as a whole) they could install Google Chrome Frame as part of other Google Software; they’re already installing Chrome without asking anyway! :P
Frankly, it‘s sad that IE is so behind the times that developers have to adopt this rather extreme method, but if it drives the adoption of HTML5 and helps lessen Adobe Flash’s (and IE’s) grip on the Internet, then all the better.
This is still an early release and there are a number of remaining issues.