Have you gotten around to installing Internet Explorer 9 yet? Well, you might want to get on that before it's already obsolete. Microsoft showed off the first platform preview of Internet Explorer 10 and the MIX developer conference today. If you fancy a look at the future of the browser, the preview can be downloaded from Microsoft's Test Drive site. But the real surprise came at the end, when the curtain dropped to reveal the Windows box was running on ARM.
Microsoft released Internet Explorer 6 (AKA the browser that will not die) ten years ago in 2001. To commemorate this occasion, the Windows team has started a little site called ie6countdown, where as you might expect, the market share of IE6 will be monitored as it continues to drop. Microsoft says this is a demonstration of their commitment to get the browser down from its still high 12% share.
The recent release of the IE9 Release Candidate gave Microsoft an opportunity to rave about all the wonderful things it has achieved. Heavily touted in particular was the browser’s unprecedented compliance with modern web standards like HTML5 and CSS3. But Mozilla’s tech evangelist Paul Rouget has taken umbrage at Redmond’s assertion of superior standards compliance.
Almost all the images you spot on the web are JPEGs, but Google is looking to change that. An offshoot of the search giant's WebM video technology is a new image format being called WebP. WebP and JPEG are both so-called "lossy" formats. Meaning they do not reproduce an image exactly, but rather compress the data an create a reasonable facsimile that can be used online.
Where WebP may actually attract attention, is in the efficiency of the compression. According to Google, WebP produces image files about 40% smaller than JPEG. This is a potential bandwidth and load time saver. On image heavy sites, this could be particularly useful on mobile devices where resources are limited. WebP would still have a big hill to climb though. JEPG is built into so many devices and programs already. "The challenges are tremendous," said Google's Richard Rabbat. "We foresee it's going to be a very long conversation."
Google will be adding native support for WebP to Chrome in the coming weeks. They will also be releasing conversion software so users can decide for themselves how good WebP is. Would you consider using this new format if your software supported it?
The day is almost at hand folks, Microsoft has just made it known that the first beta for the upcoming Internet Explorer 9 will be available on September 15. There will be a lunch event on that day where developers will show off "the beauty of the web." Well, eye-rolling tag lines aside, it will be interesting to see if Microsoft can manage to put out a solid browser after previously faltering.
Internet Explorer 9 has been made available as a developer preview since March. In the intervening months, the browser has sped up, and become more standards compliant. Microsoft is building in support for the HTML5 web standard as well. The UI of the preview builds has not been that of the final build. We're hoping for Microsoft to really knock our socks off with a new and innovative design. We should find out on September 15. What would it take for you to get back on Microsoft's browser?
According to several people in the know, the Internet will run out of new IPv4 address space in less than a year. As more internet enabled devices flood the market place, we're moving inexorably towards the day when the new IPv6 standard will have to save the day. But will we be ready?
IPv4 addresses are limited to 32-bit numbers, thus about 4 billion unique addresses exist. The IPv6 standard uses 128-bit numbers. So that works out to a few quintillion addresses. That should certainly be enough to tide us over until we entrust our network infrastructure to the loving embrace of Skynet. Most of the hard work to get ready for the changeover needs to be done by ISPs, which need to deliver addresses as IPv6.
Large content providers like Google and Facebook aren't just sitting back though. They will need to work with ISPs to ensure their content is implemented as IPv6. Do you foresee any issues with the IPv6 transition?
Apple launched their own site to show off the cool stuff one can do with HTML5 earlier this month. The only problem was that the demos would only work in Apple's Safari browser. In response, Google is opening its own HTML5 showcase called HTML5Rocks. As far as names go, you can't deny the honesty it shows. Google loved HTML5, and they want you to love it too.
The HTML5Rocks site has nine different tutorials on HTML5, and a feature where you can write your own code to test. The whole affair works well in Chrome, but it also works in Safari. The undertone being a slight jab at Apple's notorious closed nature.
Head on over and check it out. It doesn't have the flashiness of Apple's demos, it's more of a tool to get developers interested in HTML5. MTML5Rocks presents HTML5 features in a more educational way really.We found it quite informative.
While Internet Explorer continues to be the most used browser in the world, it is not a product that everyone swears by. Web developers itching to jump onto the HTML5 bandwagon have Internet Explorer standing in their way like an antiquated monolith. The various versions of the browser currently in use - between 50-60 percent of the browser market – are incompatible with the new web standard, except for IE 8 that is partially compatible.
According to a post on the Chromium Blog, Google fixed over 200 bugs in the previous build: “We’ve improved our handling of Internet Explorer’s InPrivate browsing, cache clearing, and cookie blocking. All of the enhancements and features of Google Chrome 5.0 are available in Google Chrome Frame too, including HTML5 audio and video, canvas, geolocation, workers, and databases.” Existing users will automatically have the plug-in updated to the latest version.
The sites include the likes of the New York Times, Vimeo, CNN, and The White House. Confusingly, the Apple page does not link to the sites; it just shows a header for each. Apple has a description of how each site has implemented design changes for the iPad. Some sites like Reuters are listed as having HTML5 video for “most” content, while Virgin America is “almost entirely standards based”.
Apple also has a link at the bottom of the page asking, “Is your site taking advantage of the latest web standards?” Website admins are encouraged to submit their site for consideration as “iPad ready”. Hopefully this will be more informal than the App Store approval process.