Rumored features include digital inking support and tab grouping
Microsoft has a special press event scheduled for January 21, when it will finally turn the spotlight on Windows 10’s consumer-specific features. Chances are Microsoft could end up formally announcing the new "Spartan" browser, which we first heard about late last month, at the upcoming event, though it’s hard to say anything with certainty at this stage. Well, it may or may not figure on the upcoming company’s agenda for the event, but Spartan has already gotten the tech media buzzing.
If your friends and co-workers all seem unusually busy as of late, it's probably because they discovered a virtual gold mine of gaming goodness. You can discover it too, courtesy of the Internet Archive and software curator Jason Scott, who assembled a collection of roughly 2,400 MS-DOS games, all of which are playable in your browser. We're talking titles like The Oregon Trail, Leisure Suit Larry 1 - Land of the Lounge Lizard, Golden Axe, Street Fighter, Silent Service, and so many more.
The reason Microsoft is rolling with Windows 10 instead of Windows 9 for its next major operating system is because the changes are so dramatic, it warranted a generational leap in naming the product. That's the official story Microsoft wants us to believe, anyway, and while there are alternative theories -- like lazy coding -- there are parts of Windows 10 that are truly shaping up to be vastly different than Windows 8/8.1. That includes the browser, and word on the web is that Microsoft is rolling out a new vehicle for surfing through cyberspace in Windows 10.
It's the end of the Google era at Mozilla. Firefox 34 is available to download today, and with it comes Yahoo as the new default search partner in the U.S. However, don't fret if you're not cool with the change -- Mozilla isn't forcing Yahoo down anyone's throat. If you're content with whichever search engine is currently your default, Firefox will courteously leave it alone, so there's no need to make any changes following today's update.
Google will become an alternative choice in Firefox, as will DuckDuckGo
There are few things you can count on in life -- death, taxes, and blowhard analysts incorrectly proclaiming the death of the PC. A year ago, we would have added another entry, one that says Google will be the default search in Firefox until the end of time. No one would question it because the two have been so close for so long, but anything can happen when a contract comes up for renewal. And what happened this time is Mozilla chose Yahoo to replace Google as its default search provider for the next five years.
Make browser-based calls via Skype using a new plugin
If for whatever reason you don't want to download and install Skype to your PC but are still interested in making calls through the service, you now can (or soon will be able to). Microsoft today introduced Skype for Web, a beta plugin that allows you to make Skype calls from your browser without having the download and install the full software package. You can also use it to send and receive chat messages.
It used to be that if you wanted to waste some time at work, you fired up Minesweeper, Solitaire, or my personal favorite, SkiFree. Boy have times changed. Thanks to the wonders of the Internet and the efforts of the Internet Archive, time wasting just got a whole hell of a lot more fun. Now when you have some spare time to kill -- or even when you don't -- you can head over to the Internet Arcade and relive 900 classic arcade games right within your browser.
Maxthon developers claim Nitro is the fastest PC browser in the world
Growing tired of the same collection of browsers? If you're looking to try something new and aren't already familiar with Maxthon's offerings, you can download the beta of Maxthon Nitro (MxNitro), supposedly the fastest browser available for the PC, according to the developers. Compared to the previous version, it loads three times faster, and compared to whichever browser you're using now, the developers say it fetches and loads webpages "considerably quicker."
Advertisers can buy sponsored tiles in Firefox's new tab page
Mozilla is in search of a new revenue stream for its Firefox browser, and one proposed solution is to sell sponsored tiles that would appear on a new tab page. More than just a concept at this point, Mozilla is actively experimenting with sponsored tiles, which now appear in the newest Firefox Nightly build. These are test builds of the popular browser that contain new features and enhancements that may or may not advance into later builds, including a stable release.
Speed up your browsing experience with these nifty timesavers
In a little over five years, Google Chrome has gobbled up roughly 43% of the browser market. Its popularity comes from a snappy user experience, convenient apps, and the plethora of short cuts it provides users. Currently, Chrome offers over 50 shortcuts to make browsing take less effort. We’ve rounded up 12 of the best Chrome shortcuts that you may not have heard about. Know of any other useful Chrome shortcuts?