Are you messing with us, Microsoft? For every controversial aspect of Windows 8 -- the Metro UI, limiting ARM users to Internet Explorer, et cetera -- you toss in something cool, like the new way the OS handles corrupt hard drives. Today's tidbit brings good news that's a win for the little guy; by default, IE10 will have the "Do Not Track" opt-out signal enabled to keep white hat marketers and web masters from tracking users across the Net.
Cake, toasts and cheers; Microsoft’s been having a hell of a party up in Redmond. Why, you ask? Is Windows 8 shipping early? Did Xbox sales spike even higher? Did somebody actually buy a Windows Phone? None of the above. Today, the Internet Explorer team is celebrating a near-death experience as the US browser share of IE6 finally dipped under one percent. That's right, the non-standards-compliant beast is finally rasping out its dying breath.
If you’re a Maximum PC reader, there’s a good chance that you’re the computer geek that relatives call when they get infected with a nasty piece of malware. With it being the day after Thanksgiving, there’s also an above-average chance that you might be over at your folks’ house at some point today. It’s time to strike and make things easier for your future self! Leave Black Friday to others and hop on the new post-Turkey Day bandwagon: Update Your Parents’ Browser Day. You’ll be glad you did.
Ancient people used the sun to calculate the passing of time. That isn’t necessarily the most accurate time-keeping method around now – especially with the whole daylight savings time thing – but fortunately, us modern types have something just as reliable to keep track of the days: Firefox’s new rapid-release schedule. Six weeks after Firefox 7 launched, Firefox 8 is now available for download – but you’ll need to scrounge around a bit for it.
For years, the browser race was a one-horse affair: it was Internet Explorer’s way or the highway. Then Firefox crawled out of the Netscape wreckage and established itself as a viable, free alternative to Microsoft’s bundled software. Google’s Chrome may be the feisty new kid on the block, but a new report says it very well may unseat Firefox by the end of the year for the worldwide number two slot in the cut-throat browser wars.
Turns out the European Commission was right about browsers: users don’t necessarily find the Internet Explorer (IE) experience as integral to the overall Windows experience as Microsoft says it is. Given a choice, under the newly approved Windows browser ballot, some of the lesser known browser options are seeing a boost in adoption.
Opera, in particular, has been a beneficiary. Rolf Assev, chief strategy officer for Opera is reporting a tripling in its downloads, with big surges in the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Poland, and Spain. No word yet, however, on how other browsers in the ballot are doing
It’s fair to say that a tripling of Opera’s downloads may not amount to much, but it does suggest that, if given a legitimate choice, users will opt for something other than IE. And, in the overall scheme of things, it will be the lesser known browsers that will likely benefit.
Fans of IE should be happy with this. The more competition there is in the browser market, the more Microsoft’s feet will be held to the fire to keep IE up-to-date. Given that smaller market share apps tend to be innovators, it can’t hurt to keep them around, if for no other reason then for the big boys to prey upon the new features they introduce.
Apparently, two extensions already exist: Google Mail Checker and BuildBot Monitor. Mail Checker keeps an eye on your Google Mail, displaying the number of messages in your inbox on the Google Chrome toolbar. BuildBot keeps track of the current status of the Chromium build, and notifies you when a newer build is available for download.
According to Siegler, installation is a breeze: “Installing these extensions is a breeze. You click the “Install” link, the file downloads, you click to run it, it asks if you’re sure you want to install the extension, you say “yes”, and you’re done. There is no need to restart Chrome/Chromium, they work right away.” Unlike Firefox it’s load and go. And Siegler reports that Chrome extensions don’t, yet, slow down the browser, like they do in Firefox.