Per one estimate, IE 8 still accounts for over one-fifth of the PC browser market
Microsoft detailed its browser support plans in a post on the Internet Explorer Team Blog on Thursday. In its post, the company included a list of operating systems and browser version combinations that will continue to be supported beyond January 12, 2016, and the five-year-old Internet Explorer 8, currently the most popular version of the browser, is not on the list.
Will Microsoft ever bother to squash this security bug?
There's a zero-day security flaw in Internet Explorer that's been known for at least the last 7 months, yet Microsoft has yet to release a patch. Perhaps it never will -- after all, IE8 is the last version of Microsoft's browser to support Windows XP, which itself is now an unsupported operating system. Alternately, Microsoft might just be having a really tough time with this one -- the Redmond outfit doesn't have a whole lot to say on the matter.
Zero-day exploit targeting businesses utilizing IE 8 and 9
If your business happens to use Internet Explorer exclusively, you may want to keep an eye out for a recent zero day flaw in the browser that impacts all versions. Though Microsoft has promised a patch is in the works, the exploit may be in the wild for quite some time considering the next security patches aren't due to be released until October 8th.
Microsoft is having a Windows conference in May, but don’t get your hopes up, no Windows 8 news is expected. The so-called Windows Summit is designed to help software and hardware makers to develop products and services that work well with the current versions of Windows and Internet Explorer. The Three day event is currently scheduled for May 25-27.
According to a Microsoft statement to Cnet, they are looking to attract developers “who are looking to engage with Microsoft on an intimate level or who haven't engaged with Microsoft in the past 18 months.” Sounds awkward. A (hopefully not as awkward) keynote will be given by Microsoft General Manager Mike Angiulo. Registration for the event will cost $399.
The conference will probably not contain any big news, to our dismay. Attendees are not even required to sign non-disclosure agreements. It seems like Microsoft is looking to reach out to new developers, and encourage them to work on Windows 7 and IE8. We have an idea how Microsoft could get said developers fired up. It involves a certain sweaty CEO pumping his fists and chanting “developers”. Who wouldn’t love that?
Mozilla released Firefox 3.5 back in June, leaving it with ample time to finish the year on a high that has no precedent in Mozilla's history. It has become the single most popular browser (version) in the world, according to StatCounter. It completed its conquest of the globe last week when it edged past IE 7.
Its share of the browser market stood at 21.93 percent, a shade ahead of IE 7's 21.2 percent. But the various versions of Internet Explorer are still a force to reckon with and together command more than half of the global browser market, with Mozilla's Firefox coming in second with around 32 percent.
IE8 has managed to stave off Firefox 3.5 in North America. The former leads in the region with around 25 percent market share. Most of Firefox's growth seems to be coming from Europe and Asia.
It was found to have blocked 81% of live malware threats during the tests. The figure seems more imposing once you learn that the runner-up, Firefox 3, only managed to block 27% of malware threats. To boot, Microsoft’s browser also managed to block 83% of phishing URLs, with Firefox finishing second with 80%.
But Ars Technica has cast doubts over the veracity of the tests. The heavily lopsided nature of the results is not the only thing to blame for its skepticism. Amy Barzdukas, General Manager of Internet Explorer, told Ars Technica that the tests had been sponsored by Microsoft. Apparently, it ended up becoming the lone sponsor, as other companies didn’t respond to NSS Labs’ call for funding. Microsoft claims to have had no control over the results.
"We invited Google, Mozilla, Apple, Opera to participate, but they didn’t even bother to respond, except for Opera, which stated they “don’t really focus on malware," NSS Labs’ president, Rick Moy, told Ars Technica.
According to a screenshot taken by an IE6 user who was watching some videos on YouTube, it would appear that support for the browser will be phased out very soon.
The screenshot suggests that an upgrade to a “more modern” browser, including Google Chrome, Internet Explorer 8 and Firefox 3.5. And, they’re not alone – apparently Digg is looking to cut their support for IE6 as well.
There’s been no official word yet from YouTube, so this information is only as good as its sources (truthfully, folks on Twitter). But, it doesn’t seem illogical, so if it turns out to be true, there’ll be little surprise.
Mozilla just launched a new project, named Electrolysis, which is meant to bring multiprocess browsing to Firefox. And, according to Mozilla, this project has allowed them to improve Firefox’s performance, security and stability. Developers of the project have already put together a prototype that’s able to render a page in a separate process from the interface shell that it’s displayed in.
Apparently the idea of implementing multiprocessing into the browser didn’t gain much traction until its use by Google and Microsoft in Chrome and IE8. Chrome’s multiprocess architecture allows it to fill in security holes, and it prevents page specific glitches from crashing the entire browser – something that Mozilla hopes to do as well.
There’s no word yet if the multiprocess browsing will be ready in time for the next release of Firefox, but the work will be done separately so as not to impede the current stages of development.
Call it a gimmick, call it what you want, but it looks like Microsoft is doing some good by helping out those in need via their Internet Explorer 8 advertising.
Along side their Dean Cain commercials that went live earlier this month, they’ll be donating the equivalent of eight meals to the Feeding America Network for each completed download of Internet Explorer 8.
Make sure that you download soon though; this promotion will only run from June 10th to August 8th. So, if you’re not downloading IE8 for yourself, download it for those in need! You’ll feel better tonight knowing you did.