Google has taken the aggressive step of advising some of the people using its Gmail webmail to use Chrome or Firefox rather than Internet Explorer.

When users log into their Gmail using Internet Explorer a red text link appears at the top right of the page saying 'get faster Google Mail.'

If you click on the link then you are taken through to a Google answers page that suggests that you should use a faster browser.

The suggestions it makes are Google's own Chrome browser or Firefox 3.0.

We suggest you upgrade

"Browsers are getting faster and better at running web applications like Google Mail that use browser technology to its limits. In order to get the best Google Mail experience possible, we suggest that you upgrade your browser to one of the fastest Google Mail supported browsers that work on Windows," reads the text.

There is a proviso that IE8 is being worked on 'Note: A faster version of Internet Explorer, IE8, is in development and available in a beta release.'

Although not all users appear to be affected in our early investigation, at first glance it is a particularly aggressive approach from Google.

To actively push two browsers over the currently dominant Internet Explorer is far from the normal Google softly, softly approach – especially in a week where Internet Explorer has been beset by news of a major security problem.

It seems, however, that Google is only pushing users to the other browsers if they are currently using Internet Explorer 7. Those that are using Internet Explorer 6 are told to upgrade to either Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer 7 for a faster Google service.

Whether this is a silly overview on Google's part or an active push away from Internet Explorer by the search kings remains to be seen.

What is for sure, is that Google is sending out mixed messages to its users, depending on what version of browser they are using.