Windows XP support is entering its final stages. This coming Tuesday will see the release of some of the last security patches for the operating system which, despite its advanced age, still commands a sizable share of the PC market and simply refuses to die.
A ferocious free-for-all among the top web browsers
The landscape is evolving and you can either change with it or be left behind. This is the position browser makers find themselves in as cloud computing and touch interfaces take center stage, as Windows 8 with its vastly overhauled UI continues to wiggle into more homes and businesses around the world, and as web developers push increasing amounts of rich content at site visitors.
Note: This article was originally featured in the December 2013 issue of the magazine.
The industry needs a better way to survey software
Now that January is in the rear view mirror, we're presented with our first opportunity to see which browsers are off to a promising start in 2014 and which ones are destined to be also-rans. The problem with attempting to do so is the lack of reliable data. To show you what we mean, let's first look at data from NetApplications, which has Internet Explorer in a dominant position with a 58.21 percent share of the browser market. Looking at the numbers, IE is pretty much untouchable.
IE flaw could allow hackers to wreak havoc remotely
Be advised that if you're running Internet Explorer version 8 or 9, you could be a sitting duck for a remote code execution attack. Microsoft is aware of the zero day flaw and has issued an emergency Band-Aid as a temporary fix as it continues to investigate the issue. Applying Microsoft's "CVE-2013-3893 MSHTML Shim Workaround" prevents attackers from being able to exploit the security flaw until a permanent fix is rolled out.
Maybe car insurance reps should offers discounts based on browser choice
There are lots of ways to save money on your car insurance. A good agent will help you find all the discounts available to you, but would you be willing to switch browsers if it meant a cheaper rate? To be clear, that's probably never going to be an option, but what is happening is that Firefox users, on average, end up paying cheaper premiums than those who drive any other browser.
Conflicting data makes it difficult to gauge the browser landscape.
Depending on which data collection service you trust the most, Microsoft's Internet Explorer is either wiping the floor with Google's Chrome browser, or getting spanked by the relative newcomer. Starting with the former, NetMarketShare has IE way out in the lead with a 55.81 percent share of the desktop browser market, virtually unchanged from last month and up a little more than a percentage point from a year ago.
Microsoft has hitherto viewed WebGL as a security threat
Is Microsoft getting ready to ditch its earlier stance on WebGL (Web-based Graphics Library)? If changes inside an early Internet Explorer 11 build are anything to go by then Microsoft’s opposition to the 3D acceleration standard could be on its last legs.
Microsoft has denied for months that Windows Blue even exists, but we finally have proof. A forum post from a Polish tech blog contained links for Windows 8 build 9364, and R27 installed the patch to verify its legitimacy. The consensus seems to be that Build 9364 is an “alpha” version of Blue, and while it might not be entirely feature complete, it certainly gives us a pretty good idea of what Microsoft has in store. We would recommend against installing this build for both legal and stability reasons, however that doesn’t mean you're totally shut out. We’ve compiled a full gallery of screenshots showing off the changes, and so far we have to say things are looking up for the modern UI.
Windows 8 may be struggling, but Internet Explorer is thriving.
For years Internet Explorer has been easy to pick on, but for once the Redmond based software giant is bucking the trend. Market share for Internet Explorer has reached an 18-month high, and it seems to have done so largely at the expense of Google Chrome. In February IE climbed 0.68 points to 55.82 percent. Chrome dropped 1.21 percent, and Firefox rocketed above 20 percent to settle at 16.27 and 20.12 percent respectively.
Internet Explorer 10 delivers a 20 percent increase in real-world site performance versus IE9, Microsoft says.
Microsoft may have taken its sweet time porting Internet Explorer 10 (IE10) over to Windows 7, but it's finally finished and ready for mass consumption. IE10 is available to download worldwide in 95 languages, with Microsoft planning to auto-update Windows 7 customers to its latest browser in the coming weeks, starting today with customers running the IE10 Release Preview.