"The European Commission can confirm that Microsoft has proposed a consumer ballot screen as a solution to the pending antitrust case,” EU revealed in a statement.
Microsoft had been hoping EU would allow it to ship Windows without a browser. EU had agreed to this solution when bundling of Windows Media Player was at issue, but the results proved that it was just a ruse. Had EU lent its seal of approval to Microsoft’s favorite solution, the company would have found it very easy to influence OEMs.
Less than a month after the release of Firefox 3.5, Mozilla has published a few design mockups for Firefox 3.7 on Mozilla Wiki. Mozilla made it amply clear that the designs “are only for brainstorming/exploration”. Mozilla is making a conscious effort to come up with a design that will let Firefox 3.7 melt seamlessly into the Windows7/Windows Vista environment. On the face of it, Firefox 3.7 is very likely to feature a toolbar that mimics glass in its appearance, with the buttons being translucent and having added gloss.
The Apple App Store for the iPhone/iPod Touch has proved to be a huge hit and forced the introduction of similar services on rival mobile platforms. However, Vic Gundotra, vp of engineering at Google, believes such app stores will not have much of an impact in the future. He expects mobile web browsers to be more than equipped to deliver all kinds of content in the future.
“Many, many applications can be delivered through the browser and what that does for our costs is stunning,” Gundotra said at the Mobilebeat Conference in San Francisco. Palm’s Michael Abbot seconded his opinion and cited the introduction of HTML5 standards, which has made it easier for web apps to make use of a phone’s hardware, as a portent of things to follow.
Last week, Google rolled out a native development kit for Android developers. Developers can now create Android apps using native-code languages such as C and C++. Prior to the release of the Android Native Development Kit, applications for the platform could only be written in Java and run using Google’s Dalvik Java virtual machine.
"Developers are taking a look at the NDK to see if it provides the capabilities we need to bring Fennec to Android. If it's possible, I think our community would be interested in doing it, because Android will be appearing on more smartphones with the capabilities to provide a good browsing experience," Mozilla’s VP of mobile Jay Sullivan said.
Although running software natively can aid performance, there are other factors to offset that advantage. "Your application will be more complicated, have reduced compatibility, have no access to framework APIs, and be harder to debug,” Android engineer David Turner warned in a blog post announcing the release of the NDK.
For most users, Microsoft's Live Search is little more than a default setting on new installations of Internet Explorer. This perception is part of why Microsoft has always struggled to gain market share against Google & Yahoo who both hold the number 1 & 2 positions by a fairly large margin. Microsoft has struggled to come up with a strategy for sometime now, but it seems clear that its new strategy is to shed the past by dropping the Windows Live brand in favour of Kumo.
The timeframe for the redesign has been kept secret so far, but according to a forum posting on Neowin, Microsoft has started a clock in the lobby of its search headquarters that is counting down to June 2nd. This date, coincidentally enough, coincides with a speech being given by the head of Microsoft's online servi
ces division at the Search Engine Expo in Seattle. It is here that Dr Qi Lu is expected to formally announce Kumo and demonstrate the upgrades to the search engine. The timing also lines up well with a new ad campaign which is planned for the summer. So far Microsoft hasn't commented on Kumo specifically, and executives have hinted that it is but one of several names being considered at this point.
Early screen shots show several potential improvements that will allow searches to be broken down by relevant categories, making it easier to find information when you search for more general terms. For example; if you search for “Microsoft”, Kumo might give you a category for Windows, Office, Xbox, etc.
What do you think of Kumo as a brand name? What would you call it? And finally, will this get you to use Microsoft Search?
How about an iTunes-style interface that shows web page or content thumbnails in the main pane with media libraries, browsing history, surflists, and statistics in the left pane? Or, how about tabs, applications, and work spaces in the left pane to take full advantage of today's widescreen displays? Either way, the once-sharp distinctions between a web browser interface and an operating system management interface like Windows Explorer have become very blurry. While the jury's still out on the Firefox of the future's interface, it looks as if the Ubiquity command-line interface will definitely make it into Firefox by version 3.6.
Are you ready for a new browser experience? Take a look at the prototypes, mockups, and demos, then join us after the jump for your chance to sound off.
Over Easter weekend, many Twitter fans were getting worms instead of finding Easter Eggs, as the developer of a rival microblogging site (StalkDaily), one 17-year-old Michael "Mikeyy" Mooney, was busy drawing Twitter users to his site through infected links and Twitter profiles. According to PCWorld and the Twitter status page, the infection has now been brought under control. But inquiring minds want to know, "what happened?" and "how can we stop a future attack?"
Doing a Google search for "Mikeyy" or "TwitterWorm" isn't the best way to find out, though, as the F-Secure security blog points out that fake news sites are being used to infect curious searchers with (unrelated) malware. To get the real scoop, join us after the jump.
Microsoft's latest browser, Internet Explorer 8, has gotten mixed reviews from MaximumPC.com readers (see comments here and here), but one question that's hard for any individual user to answer about any browser is "how secure is it?"
To find out, Microsoft asked NSS Labs to pit IE8 RC1 against its predecessor, IE7, as well as the following third-party browsers: Firefox 3.0.7, Safari 3.2, Chrome 1.0.154, and Opera 9.64. The objective: find out which browser did the best job at handling so-called social-engineering malware sites - the ones that try to con you into downloading malware disguised as something else ("Adobe Flash update," anyone?).
ComputerWorldreports that IE8 did the best job of fending off attacks from 492 malware-distributing websites, blocking 69% of attacks (details here [PDF link]). If you're not using IE8, join us after the jump to learn how your favorite browser fared.
Another reason why Google has left its competitors way, way behind in the search engine race: Friday, a post on the (unofficial) Google Operating System blog noted that you can now restrict Google image searches by specifying one of twelve different colors:
Only images that contain the specified color will be listed in the search results. Officially, you must use a command-line search in your browser's address bar to use this new feature, using the following syntax:
As expected, Microsoft used this week's MIX09 conference to officially launch Internet Explorer 8, Cnet's Ina Fried reports. To make it easy to get your hands on IE8, links to the previous IE8 beta version website now automatically point to the official IE8 page. So, what's new in IE8? We've discussed a lot of the new features in previous articles, but if you need to get up to speed, here are some of the high points:
Compatibility mode, designed to enable IE8 (built, at long last, to comply with official standards) to properly render pages on sites designed to match previous IE versions' Microsoft-only features
Web accelerators, which provide one-click blog, define, email, find, map, and search for content in any web page
SmartScreen filter and other built-in features to help provide a more secure search environment
InPrivate browsing that automatically blocks history and other traces of where you've been online