Considering that Chrome managed to take the “most popular niche browser” crown from Opera on the very first day of its release, you would think there would be some bad blood between the browser’s bosses. Not so, according to Opera founder Jon von Tetzchner. In an interview with CNET’s Rafe Needleman, von Tetzchner explains how Chrome and other unlikely products have actually benefited Opera.
Of Chrome, von Tetzchner says that although the browser is a competitor, its (relatively) high profile launch drew a lot of attention to the fact that there are alternatives to the big three browsers. As a result, Opera’s daily downloads have gone up 20% since the launch of Chrome.
Most of Opera’s revenue comes from its popular Mini variant for mobile phones. Even here, von Tetzchner says that the high-profile iPhone, which does not use Opera, is actually helping the browser by (again) bringing mobile browsing into the public eye, causing more people to try out the internet functionality of their Opera-equipped mobile phones.
So what’s your take? Is Opera in denial? Tell us after the jump.
Amazon has agreed to acquire casual web gaming company Reflexive Entertainment. The move marks the internet behemoth’s foray into casual gaming. Reflexive was constituted in 1997 and is stationed in Orange County, California. Reflexive is working on a game development and distribution service called Reflexive Arcade.
The Reflexive Arcade service will be restricted to only PC, Mac and web-based games. The true motivation behind this particular acquisition is not yet known. The two companies haven’t made the details of the transaction public.
With Opera’s market share hovering around 1%, you might think that the Scandinavian browser’s developers would be feeling a little down. That doesn’t seem to be the case, as DailyTech has posted a lengthy interview with Jon S. von Tetzchner, the founder of Opera Software, and in it the Norseman seems as enthusiastic as ever about Opera’s prospects.
When asked about what makes Opera competitive, he responds “speed,” clarifying that he doesn’t just mean the software’s speed, but also the speed with which the user is able to accomplish things using the browser. He refers specifically to Opera’s mouse gestures, password wand, and the “Quick find” history-searching function as helping users browse faster.
Of the competition, he says “We believe in giving users the tools they need. Outside of add-ons, Chrome, Firefox and IE all think the browser should get out of your way. We continually add and refine features to make browsing more productive, organized and efficient.”
He also discusses Opera’s strong showing in the mobile market, its relationship with Nintendo, and his thoughts on how Chrome is actually growing Opera’s market share.
If you’ve ever used or considered Opera, the interview is definitely worth a read, so check it out and let us know what you think.
A new version of Google's Chrome browser is being made available, and as the release notes indicate in all caps, the update is intended for the "Dev channel ONLY." We're not sure if that means plain folk can expect their PCs to spontaneously combust by running the updated browser, but until Chrome gets groomed with extension support, we suspect most people won't bother to find out.
The new update puts a heavy focus on plugins, not the least of which includes addressing an issue where using Flash plugins could lock up the Chrome browser and shoot CPU usage up to 100 percent. The new version also fixes plugins not playing when embedded in a third-party frame on a page, and improves support for pages with multiple plugins playing video.
Several other changes have been made, such as adding a command line switch to start the browser in incognito mode, fixing a problem with videos stopping after 1 second, adding better support for Windows Media player, and a whole bunch more.
What would you like to see Google focus on with its Chrome browser? Hit the jump and let us know.
We'd venture to guess that most Maximum PC readers use Firefox as their primary browser, but when it comes to alternative browsers (those not developed by Microsoft or Mozilla), Opera remains a popular choice due to its feature-set and speed. For fans of the Opera browser, the good gets even better with the latest release, version 9.6.
Among the changes, the new magazine-style RSS feeds are sure to be a hit. The new feature converts any RSS feed into a magazine-like page with the articles laid out in columns, making them more accessible for casual readers to view content before subscribing or bookmarking it.
Other changes include speed enhancements for faster page load times, optimized Opera Mail with a 'low bandwidth mode' to retrieve emails faster when bandwidth is limited, and expansions to Opera Link which now include custom search engines and typed history.
Grab the new download here, hit the jump, and let us know what you think.
According to a new report from Net Applications, both Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Mozilla's Firefox browsers saw a drop in market share last month. That shouldn't come as a big surprise considering that Google's Chrome browser made its debut in the same time period, but what's interesting to note is that the combined drop exceeds the gains posted by Chrome.
At some point, Microsoft has to be getting concerned. IE still dominates the browser landscape by a wide margin, but that won't always be the case if it keeps giving up market share. IE slid .63 points to 71.52 percent in September, which adds up to a 3.95-point drop on the year, or down 5.2 percent. Firefox's slide was a little less slippery at .22 points settling in at 19.46 percent, and has gained ground on the year with a 2.48-point climb, or up 14.6 percent.
It also wouldn't take a leap of faith to assume most Chrome users were previously surfing with IE and Firefox, and if true, that would mean more IE users made the jump than those using Firefox. You can draw your own conclusion on that one.
As far as moral victories in the browser wars go, Apple's Safari web browser can now claim one of them. The Safari 4 beta scored a perfect 100/100 on the brutal Acid3 web standards test, becoming the first browser to pass all four conditions of the test (browser must use default settings, animation has to be smooth, score must end on 100/100, and must produce a pixel perfect copy of the reference rendering).
In theory, this would make Safari the dominant browser, with Opera 9.52 scoring 84 points, Firefox 3.0.3 at 71 points, and IE7 and IE8 posting rather dismal scores at 14 and 21 points respectively. Somewhat marring Safari's achievement is that whole market share thing, in which Microsoft's Internet Explorer, despite lagging way behind the competition in Acid3's testing, still dominates by a wide margin.
The question is, do you care about the Acid3 test?
NBC has lost many battles over the past few years, but it looks as though it might actually win the war over its copy protected media. Executives from the company claim to have found a “template” for protecting their videos from piracy, and it appears as though it’s actually working. You may have noticed lately that copy protected content from NBC and others have been slowly drying up from video swapping sites like YouTube, Dailymotion, Veoh and even Soapbox. And as a result, NBC has been very vocal about the fact that it is generally satisfied with the new systems these services have put in place. As proof NBC cites its recent successes in controlling content from the both the Olympic Games and select Saturday Night Live clips. Clearly NBC views YouTube and other similar services as the primary battleground in protecting their content and attributes a large percentage of online video piracy to being committed out of convenience. According to Rick Cotton NBC’s general council; "What has happened up to now is the ability to access and download infringing content has been trivially simple, and the lesson it teaches people is that if it's that easy it can't be wrong,". NBC however seems to recognize that it needs to find alternatives to these services or risk pushing users to harder forms of piracy such as Bit Torrent. Arguably its full length episodes at both nbc.com and hulu.com do just that. Only time will tell if NBC’s main beef was truly over controlling its content, or simply locking it down to traditional distribution models.
Does the end of copy protected media on sites like YouTube put the death nail in user submitted video? Hit the jump and let us know what you think.
One of the commonly accepted keys to success is to write down your goals, and Mozilla has done just that. The open-source software company has identified four areas it would like to improve by 2010:
Deepen Mozilla's role as a centerpiece of the internet
Continue Firefox mindshare and marketshare momentum
Of most interest is Mozilla's focus on mobility and by 2010, the company plans to "have an effective product in the mobile market." That plan appears to include getting its TraceMonkey engine fine tuned to run on ARM processors. Preliminary results look very promising, though it's anyone's guess as to when Firefox Mobile will show up on handheld devices, with Mozilla saying only that it "will ship well before" 2010.
Google is home to many of the world’s smartest and most creative engineers and its newest plan once again proves they aren’t afraid to pioneer. To sum up Google’s idea in a few words, they plan to take the collective knowledge of mankind and send it out to sea, literally. The search giant is home to countless computer systems which crunch the millions of search terms thrown at it each minute and finding ways to keep costs down is always a challenge. Google hopes that by housing these computers on massive ships out in the ocean it will allow them to use sea water to both cool and power the electronics. Google’s commitment to the environment is commendable and even though data centers currently only represent a small portion of our total power consumption, the Mckinsey consulting firm predicts that by 2020 the carbon footprint of server farms will overtake the entire airline industry. In addition to energy savings, Google also stands to benefit from the tax exempt status that comes from operating in international waters. The high cost of operating data centers has pushed other companies to look for creative ways to save money as well. In fact, both Microsoft and Sun Microsystems are rumored to be looking at similarly bizarre options, though none have yet been confirmed.
Let me just say this; if Google plans to take the cloud and cast it out to sea, I hope my Google Doc’s can survive a hurricane.