For all of Microsoft’s talk of Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8, we’ve heard precious little about the Windows 7 version beyond the certainty that it was coming. Eventually. Someday. The company is partly putting that anxiety to bed with word that IE 10 should be available for the Metrophobic in mid-November, but only in a preview version — a possible sign that Microsoft’s Windows 8 RTM deadline prevented the concurrent platform releases we’ve grown accustomed to in recent years. The team in Redmond is hinging its launch of a finished Windows 7 build on the feedback it gets, so we’d suggest that those willing to experiment with a new browser (but not a new OS) still give IE 10 a shot next month.
Chrome’s share of internet use just inched past Microsoft’s Internet Explorer last month, laying claim to king of the web browsers. Statcounter’s analytics measured that 32.43 percent of its 15 billion page-views were done on Google’s browser, while Internet Explore took 32.12 percent and Firefox 25.55 percent. According to StatCounter, an upswing of over 0.6 percent to Firefox (from Internet Explorer) helped Chrome claim the top spot. The month rounds off some impressive growth for Chrome in 2012, which claimed second place in Statcounter’s results at the start of the year. Now, if Google could just get that mobile version out to more handsets, we could see how it fares against small-screen competition.
It’s been a long and winding road for Internet Explorer, Microsoft’s venerable web browser, and for over a decade it’s been the browser of choice for most netizens. According to Net Marketshare’s latest numbers, however, IE now enables just under half of the world’s total — meaning mobile and desktop combined — web traffic after owning 95 percent of the browsing market seven years ago. The decline is at least partially due to a rise in mobile web browsing and an increasing Chrome user base. Of course, Microsoft’s finest still has a healthy 52.63 percent desktop market share, which gives it a sizable lead over the competition from Firefox (23 percent), Chrome (18 percent), and Safari (five percent). There’s plenty more graphs and charts to show you exactly how the browser war is going, so hit the links below for the full pie-chart treatment.
It wasn’t that long ago that Myriad gave us an exclusive sneak peek at its platform agnostic Android app emulator, Alien Dalvik 2.0. While we were there, the company gave us a glimpse of another project, called Remarkz, that piqued our interest. Remarkz is a slick little HTML 5 application that lets users annotate web pages with text and drawings and share the marked up pages via email, Facebook and Twitter. As opposed to using screen grab programs like Skitch or Jing, Remarkz keeps the web page links live and only requires adding a bookmark to get started. Additionally, a timeline feature lets you see when new notes are made on a page and who made them — giving it greater potential for use as a collaboration tool. True to Myriad form, it works on any platform (tablets, PCs and Macs) using any browser that supports HTML 5. It’s still in beta for now, but the app works pretty well despite a small bug here or there. Plus, given its egalitarian nature, Myriad hinted that we may see it on more screens (think big) in January at CES, which would up its cool quotient considerably. Interested? Check out a video walkthrough of the app after the break, and hit the source to start using it yourself.
Well, it looks like Microsoft is taking those warnings about WebGL pretty seriously. The company has decided not to support the web-based 3D standard because it wouldn’t be able to pass security muster. Highest on the list of concerns is that WebGL opens up a direct line from the internet to a system’s GPU. To make matters worse, holes and bugs may crop up that are platform or video card specific, turning attempts to plug holes in its defense into a game of whack-a-mole — with many players of varying reliability. Lastly Microsoft, like security firm Context, has found current solutions for protecting against DoS attacks rather unsatisfying. Lack of support in Internet Explorer won’t necessarily kill WebGL and, as it matures, Microsoft may change its tune — but it’s still a pretty big blow for all us of hoping the next edition of Crysiswould be browser-based.
Windows Phone’s latest iteration (codename Mango) is all about keeping it in the hood. We had a chance to sit down with a Windows Phone rep before today’s big reveal, and they let us in on a couple of new features that will most definitely set the OS apart — at least when it comes to navigating the tangled web that is the internet. We did get a quick glimpse at IE9, but the new browser isn’t much of a game changer — it supports HTML5, but still won’t deliver Flash or Silverlight compatibility. The real news here is in the Bing-powered search function, which lets users surf the vast expanses of the web four different ways, with a focus on the local.
Clicking the dedicated search button from the Windows Phone home screen takes you to a familiar Bing page, offering the visual, audio, and voice options we heard rumored earlier this month, along with a city scape icon. That skyline represents Local Scout, a function that focuses your queries on the neighborhood you’re in, providing location-specific results that highlight important information about establishments and events in your immediate area. Clicking through on any link brings up general information as well as reviews gleaned from popular user-generated sites. That’s not all that’s new, however, as Mango also offers some nifty tricks in its visual search. Instead of just snapping a barcode, you can actually use a shot of the product itself to bring up information about pricing, availability, and relevant apps.
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Most sane folks will have greeted the arrival of Internet Explorer 9 with a curious click on a download button or a simple update of the browser they were already using, but that’s not enough for everyone. One chap with a taste for the eccentrically geeky decided to take this opportunity to go through a retrospective of every version of IE, going all the way back to Windows 95′s first iteration, and to run the Acid compatibility tests to see how they stand up to modern standards. IE1, the ancient, CSS-deprived beast that it is, choked immediately and failed to even display its homepage without an error, but things improved steadily from there until the triumph of iteration 9. See all that glorious progress happening in the space of just a few minutes in the video after the break.
Internet Explorer 9 gets WebM support with 'preview' plug-in from Google, internet video gets more friendly
Google has released an early WebM plug-in for Microsoft’s latest and greatest browser, IE9 — stepping in to fill a gap that Microsoft itself refused to fill. You may remember the firm’s decision to not build in support for the new standard natively, but that it was “all in” with HTML5, WebM’s close cousin. Billed as a “technology preview” at this stage of the game, the add-on will enable users to play all WebM video content just like the good Internet overlords intended them to, despite the fact that an additional download is needed. Microsoft said that it would allow for support and it appears to be following up on its word, regardless of other harsher comments made separately. Isn’t it good to see big companies getting along? Now if only these same niceties played out in the mobile landscape, then we’d really be getting somewhere.
We had a hint that Microsoft would be releasing the final version of Internet Explorer 9 on March 14th, and now the company has finally, officially confirmed it. That launch will coincide with a press event / party at SXSW, and downloads will be available starting at 9PM Pacific time (or midnight Eastern time). Wondering what’s in store? Then you can always check out our review of the beta version, or simply download it yourself, of course — suffice it to say, it’s no Internet Explorer 6.