Skype is virtually everywhere. There are native Skype clients for almost all major platforms, from the PC to mobile devices to connected TVs. But what about the Web? After all, it too is an apps platform, and a powerful one at that. Even though a browser-based version of Skype doesn’t exist at the moment, recent job postings by Microsoft have revealed that an effort to remedy this situation is already underway.
When you’re getting ready for the big dance, you slip into something nice, clean and pretty to try and put your best foot forward for the crowd. Two major sites did that today. Facebook doffed the equivalent of a new pair of shoes in anticipation of tomorrow’s F8 conference, drastically changing users’ News Feeds while keeping the rest of the layout the same. Pandora took the opposite route; they overhauled their ensemble from the ground up in a quest to impress. Unfortunately, one of them dashed its prom queen hopes after getting a big FAIL from unhappy users.
We think it’s fair to say that the majority of people in the world today take technology for granted. We drive to work without understanding how an internal combustion engine works. Our leftovers are mysteriously re-heated in the microwave without any knowledge of how its non-ionizing radiation affects what the food we’re about to put into our mouths. The same goes for computers: We turn our PCs on and get down to the serious business of checking our mail, paying a few bills online and wasting what’s left of our lives on Twitter without so much as a thought to how any of these services operate. (Well, maybe not Maximum PC readers, but...) While ignorance can be bliss, knowledge is pretty sweet, too. That’s why Codecademy is our Cool Site of the Week.
Google Chrome has become a leading browser in just a few years, thanks in part to the rapid pace of development. Google is frequently pushing out updates to the beta and developer channels, with the stable release getting the final product. It was just a month ago that version 9 became official, and Google has announced today that Chrome version 10 has left beta, bringing with it a slew of new features.
Microsoft on Wednesday released the seventh platform preview of its upcoming web browser Internet Explorer 9 (download link). Comparatively less stable than beta builds, platform previews are aimed at acquainting developers with new features and gathering valuable feedback.
According to Dean Hachamovitch, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Internet Explorer, who wrote a copious blog post to discuss the latest platform preview release, improving real world site performance, and not “subsystem microbenchmarks,” remains the real focus of company’s development efforts.
But he soon clarified: “We’ve been consistent in our point of view that these tests are at best not very useful, and at worst misleading. Even with the most recent results in the chart above, our motivations and our point of view remain unchanged.”
“We’ve focused on improving real world site performance. We’ve made progress on some microbenchmarks as a side effect. Focusing on another subsystem microbenchmark is not very useful.”
“It's still a bit too early for that, but we're indicating willingness to do so," Håkon Wium Lie, Opera Software's chief technology officer, told reporters. "We think it would be fairly easy to write up that specification, if there is willingness.”