Attention Surface owners and anyone else rocking a touchscreen display with Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, there's a version of Firefox you might be interested in. Mozilla today made its "Firefox for Windows 8 Touch" beta available to download, so you can tap and swipe your way through cyberspace the way you do on the Start screen. The browser has a new tile-based Firefox start screen with one-tap access to Top Sites, Bookmarks, and History.
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.
See who's tracking your online browsing with this new add-on
Online privacy is already tough to nail down, and everywhere you go on the internet retains little traces of your presence. You're still easily traceable, even if you take more precautions than the average user takes. Lightbeam (via PC World), is an interesting new add-on from Mozilla, is an informative new tool that shows us exactly which sites are tracking or otherwise gleaning data from you.
AVG Technologies was in need of a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Gary Kovacs, the former chief of Mozilla, needed a job after having stepped down from his previous role several months ago. Like a cheesy corporate love story, the two have found each other and will ride off into the sunset hand-in-hand, or something like that. Hollywood shenanigans aside, Kovacs will bring his more than two decades of Mozilla experience to one of the more popular free security vendors on the market.
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.
There's an interesting article in AdWeek discussing Mozilla's plans to eventually enable its Do-Not-Track feature by default in an upcoming version of its Firefox browser, which would effectively block third-party tracking cookies. Mozilla announced plans to implement DNT as a default setting months ago, though as recently as last month, the browser maker said it still needed to perform more testing. As it stands, there's no concrete release date for when Firefox will turn on the feature, we only know it's coming, and advertisers aren't the least bit happy about it.
Up to this point, the browser wars have been defined by market share, standards support, privacy protocols, speed, add-ons, and various other features that make surfing the web a more pleasurable experience. Microsoft would be tickled pink if you'd also consider energy efficiency when deciding which browser to use, because if that's your primary criteria, look no further than Internet Explorer 10.
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.