“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.”
The latest release also includes enhanced support for advanced Web standards, like HTML5 and WebM video, search suggestions for selected providers has been fine tuned, and Opera can now prompt you to share your location to make better use of geolocation-supporting sites.
In addition, Opera Software vaporized a box full of bugs, everything from goofiness with the user interface (no more Opera Link freezing on startup, for example) to a handful of security fixes.
Video below (turn AdBlock off if you can't see it, or better yet, disable AdBlock altogether for MaximumPC.com).
When Microsoft agreed to add a browser ballot screen to copies of Windows sold in Europe, many questioned just how much of an impact this would have on Internet Explorer’s market share. If you count yourself among the naysayers then feel free to make a triumphant fist pump, because the early feedback would seem to agree with you. According to the New York Times the first six months of data is suggesting that the browser ballot screen is having only a minor influence on the browser decision making process, and has renewed the debate over the effectiveness of mandated antitrust remedies.
According to StatCounter reports, Microsoft’s European share has dropped from 44.9 percent in January to around 39.8 percent today, but it’s almost impossible to tell if the browser ballot screen is to blame. Experts argue that the decline curve seen in the EU matches losses in other markets, with much of the lost IE business moving over to Google Chrome. Google’s share of the European market has doubled to 11.9 percent over the past twelve months, and they even managed to pick up 5.8 percent during the same period in which IE shed 5.1 percent. Is this the result of the browser ballot screen? Or just Google making a more compelling product?
What would you do if you were greeted with a browser ballot screen with your new install? For many people Internet Explorer is the best browser for downloading other browsers, but would you actually want a Windows PC without it at all? Let us know after the jump and help us conduct our own unofficial survey.
The latest browser market share statistics are out from Web analytics firm Net Applications, and of all the browsers, only Google's Chrome made any kind of notable gain.
Chrome bumped up its position from 7.52 percent in August to nearly 8 percent in September, which is more than twice the market share it held one year ago.
Microsoft's Internet Explorer continued to slip, dropping from 60.40 percent to 59.65 percent in that same time frame. Both Firefox and Opera held steady by increasing their share a nominal 0.03 and 0.02 percent, respectively, while Apple's Safari browser continued its slow but steady climb, rising from 5.16 percent to 5.27 percent.
Released in the middle of September, Microsoft's IE9 Beta accounted for 0.25 percent of browser usage in the last two weeks of the month.
The newest version of the Opera browser -- version 10.60 -- has gone Gold and is now available for downlaod. Opera Software's latest browser incarnation comes built around the Opera Presto 2.6 rendering engine and is purportedly the company's speediest browser yet.
"Opera 10.60 is the fastest browser we have ever made," Opera Software wrote in a blog post. "With millions of users expecting Opera to deliver the future, we now support search suggestions, Geolocation, WebM, and new HTML5 elements such as Web workers in addition to added security and stability fixes."
There's a new version of the Opera browser available -- Opera 10.54 -- though it's an incremental update rather than anything even resembling a major overhaul. By Opera Software's own admission, there isn't a whole lot for Windows users to get excited about, though there are some security enhancements, including:
Fixed an issue where Data URIs could be used to allow cross-site scripting
Prevented Opera from being used as a vector for a font issue in the underlying operating system, as reported by Microsoft's security team
Opera software put a bigger emphasis on security fixes for the Mac platform, though the Windows side wasn't without a bit of intrigue. Listed in the Windows changelog are three additional issues to the ones outlined above, including an "extremely severe" issue, another listed as "moderately severe," and one listed as "less severe," details for all three of which "will be disclosed at a later date."
Google debuted its open, royalty-free WebM video format last month. Based on the open-source V8 video codec, WebM is meant as a challenger to the propriety H.264 video codec, which threatens to saddle web video with hefty licensing fees and royalties.
Google, Opera and Mozilla are easily its most prominent backers, with the trio pledging WebM support in their respective browsers. As for the rival camp, Apple's weight is firmly behind H.264, whereas another important patron, Microsoft, has decided to support both H.264 and WebM beginning with IE9.
“Like every codec, WebM is not immune to change; the difference in our project is that the improvements are publicly visible, and compatibility and implementation issues can be worked through in an open forum,” Jim Bankoski, Google's Codec Engineering Manager, wrote in a blog post.
Can your browser beat a potato in a speed test? If you're using either Chrome or Opera, the answer is a resounding "yes," and both Google and Opera Software have proof. Let's start with Google.
Following the release of Chrome beta version 5.0.375.29, Google wanted to get the point across that there have been significant speed-enhancing improvements made to the underlying architecture. To get their point across, Google posted a video featuring a variety of stunts filmed with high-speed videography. The very first one involves a potato being shot through a metal grid and, well, it's probably better if you just see for yourself:
Not to be outdone, the spunky developers over at Opera Software saw this as an opportunity to poke a little fun at Google, and so they've gone and posted a video of their own. In it, a Scandivavian engineer concludes, "So there we have it, the Opera browser is much faster than a potato." This too will make more sense if you see it for yourself, so here you go:
The million dollar question is, which video is better? Cast your vote in the comments section below!
In the emerging world of HTML5 video, the H.264 codec has the early lead. But as anticipated, Google threw a new competitor into the mix today at Google I/O. Google's VP8 codec is now available to anyone to use royalty-free. This was announced as part of a larger project called WebM in conjunction with Mozilla and Opera.
Many have been concerned with the patent ownership of H.264, and open source projects like Firefox have been unable to include it. VP8 could be a real alternative here. The other open alternative, Ogg Theora, is seen as having inferior quality to that of H.264 and VP8. There were rumors earlier today that Microsoft would be building support for VP8 into the upcoming Internet Explorer 9. Redmond has clarified they will support the standard, but users will need to install the codec on their systems.
In short order Chrome, Firefox, and Opera will have support for the new codec. Youtube will also be made compatible with VP8. No word on if Safari will join the VP8 club as well. Flash isn't dead yet, but there's another vulture circling it now. Would you prefer VP8 or H.264 be the next generation video standard?
Opera Software on Tuesday released the first beta for version 10.53 of its Opera browser for Linux and FreeBSD. The latest beta release uses its own toolkit called Quick, and as such, there are no dependencies on GTK or Qt/KDE, so it can run on just about any version of Linux.
"If you've been waiting for Opera 10.5 to stabilize before trying it on your Linux or FreeBSD system, now is your chance," Opera wrote in a blog post. "Try it and keep reporting any issues you have, help us make this the best release for Unix ever!"
Codenamed "Evenes," Opera 10.53 features the new Vega graphics engine and support for HTML5 video courtesy of the free and open Ogg Theora codec. What you won't find, however, is support for Solaris.
"In order to ensure a consistently high quality browser across our most popular desktop platforms, we have reluctantly decided to drop support for Solaris," Opera said.