Archive for: internet explorer

“Browser+” Comes to Windows Marketplace. #wp7

Love surfin’ the web on your new WP7 device but aren’t too keen on the new mobile version of IE? You’re in luck. A new WP7 browser by the name of “Browser+” was recently released. One special aspect of this 3rd party offering includes being able to see your tabs and search box in the same view, whereas the stock browser makes you hunt and peck a bit. Even more impressive however, is a “reader” feature similar to Apple’s own Safari browser — it strips out elements of the page and neatly display the text in an easy-to-read book/page-like view. The browser itself certainly isn’t all that earth shattering, especially considering Browser+ doesn’t even make use of it’s own unique framework (it’s built off of mobile IE). Nevertheless, options are options.

There are a few bugs here and there. But what new software/mobile app doesn’t have at least one or two these days? Still, that may turn some potential users off. Regardless, be sure to hop inside and check out the video.

You can find Browser+ in the Windows Marketplace for $1. Any WP7 users tried it out yet?

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[Update] IE9 Lays the Smackdown on W3C Browser Test.

It isn’t often that we praise Internet Explorer for it’s web savy, specification prowess. But IE9 is turning out to be quite a contender in the desktop browser wars. Let the image above do the talking — you can see it’s speed and fairly standards compliant. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that the HTML 5 isn’t finished yet. Several tantalizing features of HTML 5 like web workers, file API’s, local storag, and several other more minor specs are not yet supported. As such, the browser developers can’t possibly come to terms with something they don’t know how to develop for.

Another thing worth questioning as well is just how long Microsoft could remain on top. Sure their latest browser rocks socks right now, but how will it fair in 6 months time when several of the other major browsers have gone through an update or two? IE9 is a slow beast to update, especially with major advancements. Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Safari are usually the ones who test the edges of the web first.

As IE 9 inches closer to release, it will sure be interesting to see further refinements and how its competitors respond.

A good article on Webmonkey shows things may not be as rosey as the test portrays…
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Browser battle: WinPhone 7 (early build), Android 2.2, and iOS 4.0.1

I have to admit, as Windows Phone 7 launch draws nearer, I find myself getting more and more excited. Part of it is the love I have for new, shiny gadgets. The other part is eager to see how well Microsoft managed to make Windows Phone 7. So far, we’ve seen plenty of promising features and hands on accounts. But the little things that we encounter day in and day out also play a big part in the success and/or failure of a platform. So today, we’re looking at the browser, Mobile IE, in Windows Phone 7.

Mind you, this is an pre-release build on hardware that probably won’t ever see the light of day. With that said, any negative performance issues cropping up now *should* hopefully be taken care of by the time launch day hits. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, hop inside to see Android, iOS, and WP7 square off in a mobile browser speed test…

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IE9 final preview ousted.

On a slightly more optimistic note veering away from the UK Government’s decision to stick with the overly beaten dead horse that is IE6, we share the good news that IE9 is one step closer to release. For today, (actually it was later yesterday) Microsoft has officially taken the wraps off of the latest “Final” Preview of IE9.

The latest release still intended more for developers, has it conquiring Apple’s Safari web browser in SunSpider benchmarks as well as almost netting a perfect 100% on the hallowed Acid 3 test. (Come on MS, you still can’t manage 100% on a test that’s over a year old?) Though, I’m sure as the browser moves into the beta stage we’ll see even more tweaks made in the name of improving performance. Still, by the time IE9 is released later this year, Chrome will be nearing double digit numbers (based on new 6-week major update cycles) and Firefox 4 will be legit. With two big browsers receiving substantial updates at far shorter intervals, it looks like Microsoft will be forever playing catch-up.

Whataya think: Will IE9 be relevant?
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UK government staying with IE6 because it’s cheaper than upgrading.

*Facepalm* When are corporate entities going to realize the almighty dollar is not always the most important factor? I’m referring to a recent decision by the UK Government to forgo any browser upgrades as they had been planning. Instead, the whole lot of ‘em will continue pushing IE6 as the standard affair.

It’s quite sad when the browser’s own parent company, Microsoft, repeatedly knocks the browser for being old, slow, and insecure, the UK Government still considers it a viable option. When looking solely at monetary aspects, sure, IE6 may save a few pennies. But after being in the corporate IT world myself for many years, I can tell you that moving from browser to browser is not as big of a hassle as the UK Government is playing it off to be.

The Brits cite Microsoft’s willingness to update and patch IE6 until 2014. For the sake of everyone UK Government employee’s sanity, I hope to God they jump ship to greener pastures long before the deadline. Any official employees care to weigh in?
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Reassuring: Pwn2Own claims iPhone, OS X’s Safari, IE 8, and Firefox all in one day…

Safe you think, safe we’re not. Leave it to the exceptionally daft minds at Pwn2own for revealing just how vulnerable we really are when navigating the online world. A rouge link here, a hidden background download there — it’s pretty treacherous. The point of Pwn2own is not to steal however, but instead inform and help browser devs to better code their products. Rewards help too. And let me tell ya, legally hacking and compromising various browsers can be quite the side business. So far this year four people have won $10,000 for cracking various browsers. The winners and their victims:

  • Safari (Mac) — Charlie Miller
  • IE8 — Peter Vreugdenhil
  • Firefox — “Nils”
  • iPhone (un-jailbroken) — Ralf Philipp Weinmann (via proxy compliments of Vincenzo Iozzo

Oddly enough, Chrome is absent from today’s fallen victims, though I’m sure it’s only a matter of time if it hasn’t fallen already.

All of the men above are $10k richer today after their hard work. What’s interesting to note is that while here at the event it took minutes — and in some cases, seconds — these hackers spend weeks on their exploits. I’m sure a fair share of these guys have day jobs. Just think what a team of hackers who eat and breathe this stuff are capable of…?

Enough filling your heads with horror stories. So I have to ask: Do you still feel as safe surfin’ the web now?


Is IE9 the first Microsoft browser (in a long, long time) worth using?

Microsoft is certainly finding every last duck and throwing them into line aren’t they? I mean, WinPhone 7 is shaping up to be quite the mobile OS savior. Windows 7 is right up their with 10.6 as far as desktop OS’s go (subjective, I know). And now, one of the most criticized Microsoft products, Internet Explorer, is shaping up to be quite the looker even it’s extremely early preview stage. The biggest news on the IE 9 front is the move to a webkit-based rendering engine. This change will finally allow Redmond’s in-house browser to stay neck and neck with faster, “more modern” browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, and Safari to name a few.

So Microsoft unveiled a boat load of information about their next browser. How does it stack up to the competition? In short: pretty darn good. HTML 5 support is the biggie of course with the video support via .h264 as well as hardware accelerated graphics being pegged as other reasons to get all excited. In regards to the embedded video support, at M’s demo today in Vegas, two 720p videos were shown off side by side, stutter free and smooth as warm butter. That’s something I can certainly appreciate even if several other browsers have featured the same features for months now.

Another bragging point can be seen above in the rendering performance with the new webkit roots. Granted, it’s still not as fast as several newer browsers such as the freshly-out-of-beta Opera 10.5 or Chrome 5 dev version. But IE 9 itself is in the extreme early stages. A notable and intriguing showing no less.

I’ve been a very outspoken critic of Microsoft for a while. Not because I loathe them, but because I honestly hope that someday an employee would stumble by here and think: “Hmmm, where can we improve?” Whether they heard my criticisms or not, across the board Microsoft is making some decent and noteworthy strides. I’d even go as far to say that I’d love to see Microsoft take the whole IE9, Windows 7, Xbox, Media Center ecosystems and mesh them altogether into some uber platform that truly fits together — every nook and cranny. Such cohesion is generally an Apple-only trait. But if Microsoft can pull it off, they’ll have something special.

Excited — if not for the shear awesomeness (I can’t believe I’m saying “awesome” — in a positive tone — and “IE” in the same sentence) of any particular Microsoft product of late but instead of the overall picture that finally looks to be coming together? Focusing more specifically on IE 9, is this the browser from Microsoft that will finally be worth using and even recommended?

The curious bunch can pick up a copy of the early IE 9 preview here+. Bear in mind however that it is extremely basic as of right now, lacking even a basic address bar. Let us know how it goes for you!


The face of IE 6 in 2010 and beyond…

Ok ok, I know. You’re thinking another IE 6 joke/rant. Well, this one is actually quite funny and doesn’t really need much else. (**See picture below) Simply put, IE6′s web standards compliance are so lacking, (and terrible at what they do manage to muster in support these days) that it will take a pretty face such as subject 1 (top) and turn it into subject 2 (not top). In real life, it’s not quite that drastic — to a human face anyway. Either way, the geek in you should find this at least mildly amusing. Am I right?

DailyWhat > Embiggen (Flikr)

IE 6 refuses to die. But why?

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time criticizing Internet Explorer 6′s continued lingering in the public sector. For consumers, IE6 is at the very bottom of the totem pole of relevance. The corporate sector however, is an entirely different story. My personal opinion was that the reason for the reliance on old software and technology was simply because of legacy hardware and software dependent on the outdated browser. Well, I was right — partially. There’s actually several good reasons as highlighted by Esther Schindler in her article: “Why You Can’t Pry IE6 Out of Their Cold Dead Hands”. Now before you start jumping on this as another anti-IE6 rant, take note that this is actually a well laid out explanation.

So why exactly do businesses stick with IE6?

  • Companies simply don’t know, or don’t feel like upgrading.
  • One or two company dependent programs hinder upgrades.
  • “Why fix it if it isn’t broken?”
  • “User control”: Most popular sites these days (ie: Facebook and YouTube) rely on modern web browsers to work properly. Why spend extra money upgrading software and paying for web filtering software on top of it when a broken, standards deficient browser does all of the work for you?

When you sit down and think about it, the reasons above make sense. Though at some point, relying on outdated IT equipment will come back to bite you. Whether it be in the form of greater upgrade costs when the company is finally doing a massive upgrade or a catastrophic hardware/software failure, staying complacent with old junk just isn’t a good idea.

So do I have more respect for the companies who do hold off for such reasons as highlighted above? No. Regardless if it’s a decision of the individual company or because of a 3rd party program developer that refuses to upgrade and support newer browsers, it all comes down to cheap and/or lazy people. Update or whither out of existence.

Read the full article at IT Expert Voice


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Win7 browser ballot goes live next week, shows it’s face now.

Folks in Europe who have so far been plagued with the lack of browser options in Windows during setup can breathe a sigh of relief today, for the much talked about “browser ballot” will officially go live next week. But today, we get to actually look at it. The ballot isn’t anything special — just a random ordering of the five top browsers (Chrome, Firefox, IE, Opera, and Safari) with two basic options: “Install” or “More Info”. While I don’t see the big fuss with IE coming standard on Windows, having choices provided from the start seems beneficial on paper at least.

Then again, I keep thinking this entire fight picked by the EU is stupid. Is it me or does this mountain-over-a-molehill fight regarding browser choices on Win7 seem a bit excessive? I’m hardly a Microsoft fanboy (or any fanboy really), but forcing Microsoft to offer other browsers from the get go while the EU fails to say anything about Apple’s bundling of Safari seems a bit one-sided and ridiculous. The outcome of politics and politicians getting into areas they don’t understand I suppose.


Squeaky clean “kiddie” version of IE 8 set loose. Kiddie porn, baddie, and nasty free.

Keeping kids safe on the internet these days is nothing short a chore. With literally millions of sites flooding the net with porn, violence, and BS calls to end piracy, traversing such a place as a small child can be daunting and frightening. Who doesn’t want to look out for the little one’s though?

That same feeling of helping the little ones is what no doubt drove Microsoft to team up with the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) and develop a special version of IE 8 with special features to further protect children from objectionable content online as well as making reporting said content several grades easier. So how good is it really?

If you really want to read past all the lines and cut through the crap, this new Kiddie edition of IE 8 isn’t anything too special at all as all of the filtering, searching, and other CEOP related features are nothing more than add-ons and shortcuts of some sort or another.

Regardless of how “separate” it really is, any preventative measures to keep those little eyes “little” a short while longer are more than welcome. Parents, curious readers, and those with nothing else better to do: care giving it a shot?


UK Gov’t: “IE 6 exploits? Psh, IE 6 is the bomb.”

Oh geeze. This morning we have another example of government showing their gross incompetence when it comes to anything digital. After the big Google hack debacle, Google as well as several other large institutions and companies have come forward, speaking out against IE 6 in particular, warning of the massive risk you take when using such an old and security ridden browser. Some have even gone as far as to call out any version of IE as a “bad choice”. For this article anyway, we’re focusing on IE 6 — the old hag that somehow still continues to live on…

You see, while the rest of the civilized world is finally wising up to the problems associated with using a nearly 10-year old browser, the UK Parliament is perfectly fine in their own little land with Microsoft’s aging relic. To them, the outcries of various security warnings and other perils are overblown.

What’s even worse is that according to the person asking the questions — UK’s Lord Avebury — Parliament IT staff are “actively discouraging” the use of any other browsers. Now at this point I’m not sure if they’re actively discouraging users from anything other than IE 6 or simply “other” non-IE browsers. Either way, it’s pretty sad.

Kind of scary to think that out of all the people to fall in love with a bug ridden, standards deficient, security laden browser, your countries Government is the most blinded by this so called love.

Inquirer > ebrahim

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Safari looses the bronze to Chrome.

chrome-darkAccording to Microsoft, Chrome is nothing more than a “rounding error”. Though as we continually watch Internet Explorers grip on the internet slip further and further down the totem pole (thank god) we can easily pass such comments off as comments made out of fear and uncertainty. It doesn’t matter how Microsoft feels however as Google Chrome has officially moved from #4 to #3 in the browser world, unseating Apple’ Safari.

On my Mac I used to use Safari as my main browser as it was crazy fast and got the job done. I’m not a big plugin/extension user so Firefox’s vast library of add-ons simply doesn’t appeal to me that much. On that note, Chrome appealed to me from the start as I’ve always been a sucker for new things and startups. Even though Chrome isn’t the newcomer it once was, it still has my attention and has effectively rendered Safari on my Mac nothing more than a secondary browser on the rare occurrence that I encounter an issue with Chrome for Mac.

Apple is one of the most competitive tech companies around so don’t expect them to take this dethroning too lightly. Future Safari updates will no doubt match or surpass Chrome’s current offerings further driving the friendly spirit of competition amongst the big four.

What’s your browser of choice and why? Do you see Chrome ever pushing Firefox out of the way for a silver medal finish? If you answered yes to the previous question, how long do you think it will take?

Pocket-Lint > ReDirecint AT