Mozilla's open-source Firefox browser continues to gain ground in the browser wars in what can be considered a major uphill battle. Firefox has flirted with a steady 20 percent market share in the past, and according to Net Applications, October has been kind to the configurable browser, which settled in at 19.97 percent. That number represents a 0.51-point jump over September and is a record high for Mozilla.
Meanwhile, Microsoft's Internet Explorer slipped again last month, continuing its trend as having the fastest declining market share out of the six most popular browsers. But far from being a free fall of sorts, IE's combined share nestled in at a still very dominant 71.52 percent, down from 71.27 percent one month prior. That puts IE at a 4.2-point drop for the year, compared to Firefox's 2.99-point gain.
It will be interesting to see what kind of effect Google's Chrome browser may have on the top two contenders. Currently, Chrome only accounts for a 0.74 percent slice of the browser pie (down from 0.78 percent), but that could change if Google follows through with adding extension support.
Hit the jump and tell us how you see the browser wars shaking out in 2009 and beyond.
Die hard Apple fans love to defend their platform, and that’s okay, it’s actually good to know they are capable of emotion. But is this really what passes for a news story? The popular web tabloid AppleInsider.com ran a news feature on Friday criticizing Microsoft’s decision to place a Vista campaign booth outside an Apple store in Birmingham England. The booth was apparently set up to record I’m a PC videos for possible use in upcoming marketing efforts. Some of the clips gathered are slated for use in TV commercials while others will be used for web promotions. In addition to gathering video clips, Microsoft staffers are on hand to convert potential Mac customers back into the fold. The booths are the continuation of the Vista ad campaign which started with Bill Gates and Jerry Sienfeld, and more recently matured into the “I’m a PC” initiative.
For most of the last decade, improving 3D performance has been the primary goal of operating system, application (read gaming) developers, and hardware developers. However, when you're at work, trying hard to make the money you need to buy a new HDTV and über-gaming PC, you're probably working in a 2D world that's being managed by the creaky GDI/GDI+ APIs which were first developed back to the 1990s.
This week, Microsoft introduced a replacement for GDI/GDI+ called Direct2D. Microsoft's Thomas Olsen, a Dev Lead in the Windows Desktop Graphics organization, uses his new blog to bring us up to speed on why we need the new Direct2D API and how it will make PCs work better.
To learn more about Direct2D, join us after the jump.
Leaked screenshots of Microsoft's upcoming Windows 7 OS are nothing new, and we expect even more frequent peeks with beta releases floating around the web. That's the case with GottaBeMobile.com, who is currently participating in the Windows 7 beta and is showing off several screenies of the new OS running on a Tablet PC.
As would be expected, much of the focus remains on the Tablet Input Panel (TIP) and how the TIP tab operates. This includes how-to animations that display when clicked and show how to correct a word, how to delete, split a word, how to join, and an option to hide the videos. And in a departure from Vista, handwriting to the TIP is auto recognized inline instead of displaying the recognition results in a bubble below the word.
GottaBeMobile promises that there are more screenshots to come, so if this is your bag of tea, consider adding the site to your favorites.
Straight out of the “surprise!” file, Microsoft’s Live search engine is down in usage while Yahoo’s has finally gained some ground. Despite Microsoft’s offering serious perks to the members of Club Internet to use their search engine, they just weren’t able to come through in traffic, as claimed by researcher ComScore Inc.
According to ComScore, Yahoo’s portion of the Internet search engine pie has gone up from 19.6 percent to 20.2 percent. Unfortunately for Microsoft though, their percentage has dropped from an already low 8.9 percent down to 8.5 percent. Not surprisingly, Google took care of 62.9 percent of the searches made, and still has a very demanding lead.
At this rate Microsoft is going to have to cook up some pretty exciting perks to lure users back over to Live. (Try this one out: “Search for a date with Scarlett Johansson.” Thank me later.)
As the UK's PC Pro website puts it, SecondLight is like "Surface on steroids." A product of Microsoft's Cambridge, England research labs, SecondLight projects an image through the table, enabling a translucent surface placed on top of the Surface tabletop to display additional information, such as place names, an interior view of an object, and much more.
To learn more about how SecondLight works, join us after the jump.
Microsoft has joined forces with Akamai to provide a consummate high-definition video streaming experience for PCs. The two companies announced that Akamai will launch a beta version of its HD video streaming service christened AdaptiveEdge Streaming for Microsoft Silverlight in early 2009. The beta release will only be accessible to a few of Akamai’s own customers (content providers).
Windows Server 2008 and Microsoft Silverlight will form the skeletal base of the service. Akamai’s service will exploit Microsoft’s new Web server technology, called Internet Information Services 7.0 (IIS7.0) Smooth Streaming, which is aimed at delivering uninterrupted streaming videos – sans any buffering. “Smooth Streaming is an evolution of proven Silverlight technology that has powered global online events,” said Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of the .NET Developer Division at Microsoft, in a press release.
Microsoft clearly hopes that high-definition streaming video can help its Silverlight platform turn the tide and gain more traction. Of course, if Akamai’s service finds favor among providers, it will automatically endear Silverlight to all such content providers. The camaraderie between Microsoft and Akamai dates back to 1999, when the two first strung together a similar partnership.
ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley once again lives up to her blog's "All About Microsoft" title, delivering the news that attendees at this week's Professional Developers' Conference (PDC) will also take home a pre-beta of Windows 7's server counterpart, Windows Server 2008 R2. Here's what's new in what's being characterized as a "minor" update:
Windows Server 2008 R2 represents the end of 32-bit support in the Windows Server family; it's 64-bit only
Windows Server 2008 R2 features version 2 of Hyper-V "bare metal" virtualization, which will include a new Live Migration feature for fault-tolerant failover
PowerShell Version 2.0, which includes a more graphical interface than its predecessor
Is Windows Server 2008 R2 in your company's future? Microsoft hopes so. According to Foley, Microsoft is calling the pairing of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 "Better Together," with features such as BitLocker support for removable drives, BranchCache (hosted server caching) and others working better when both operating systems are in use.
Join us after the jump for your thoughts on "Windows 7 Server."
Yesterday we got a first look at some of Windows 7’s new features, care of a pre-beta sneak peek. Today, based on the privacy statement released with that same pre-beta, istartedsomething.com has puzzled out a new batch of upcoming Windows features.
• BitLocker Drive Encryption – encrypts your data, preventing an offline software attacks if your computer is stolen. • Driver Protection – Prevents the OS from starting drivers with known stability problems. • Dynamic Update – Allows the OS to automatically download the latest updates during installation. • Gadgets – Programs that run on the desktop, likely similar to the likes of Rainlender • Games Folder – Adds a right-click option for certain game icons which allows you automatically search for and download updates for the game. • Homegroup – “Allows you to easily link Windows 7 computers on your home network so that you can share pictures, music, videos, documents and devices. It also makes them ready to stream media to devices on your home network such as a media extender.”
So what do you think of the new features? Tell us after the jump.