According to daily browsing statistics provided by Net Applications, Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 beta 2 has garnered a fair bit of interest from users, with the latest beta increasing market share from 0.23 percent at the beginning of the month to now sitting at 0.41 percent. Still, Google's new Chrome browser (also in beta form) has been more popular, breaching the 1 percent mark early in September and now claiming 0.79 percent of the market.
Looking at the overall picture, Microsoft can't be too concerned. Net Applications notes an average market share for IE 7 and IE 6 of 46.38 and 24.08 percent respectively, which when combined with IE 8's 0.31 percent average, has Internet Explorer still dominating the browser wars with 70.82 percent of the market in the first half of September. In August, IE claimed a slightly larger slice at 72.15 percent.
Meanwhile, open-source stalwart Firefox also noted a slight drop since August, with combined market share taking a small dip from 19.73 percent to 19.38 percent. What's interesting to note here is that Microsoft's IE 6 still grabs a larger share than all three Firefox browsers combined.
Hit the jump and let us know what browser you're using.
If you're still sporting an older version of Google Desktop, you might consider upgrading. The search giant has just released version 5.8 of it's Google Desktop software for Windows with a handful of improvements it hopes will make it worthy of a second look for anyone who previously dismissed it.
The biggest change with version 5.8 concerns speed, with the company's blog indicating that the new version is "based entirely on performance." Google claims it found a way to cut memory usage during startup by about 50 percent, and that shutdown has been improved five-fold. But more than just an octane injection, Google Desktop 5.8 also sports a few new features, such as improved Outlook integration and support for Flash in gadgets.
Sadly, 64-bit XP and Vista users need not apply. For the 32-bit crowd, download your copy here and hit the jump to let us know what you think.
Move over Acer, Asus, BenQ, Dell, ECS, Everex, Gigabyte, HP, Lenovo, MSI, and everyone else, and make room in the netbook bandwagon for Toshiba and Samsung. Citing un-named "sources in the notebook industry," Digitimes says both companies will soon jump into the ultraportable fray.
Later this year, Toshiba is expected to launch its 8.9-inch Satellite NB105. Like many netbooks, the NB105 will come equipped with an Intel Atom processor. Other specs include a modest 1GB of memory and 120GB hard drive, with Windows XP at the helm.
Slightly bigger at 10.2 inches, Samsung's nameless model will also sport an Intel Atom chip and 1GB of memory with Windows XP, but will come with either an 80GB or 120GB hard drive. Europe will get first crack at the new netbook next month.
Digitimes points out an interesting side note, in that looking at the top 10 notebook vendors, only Apple and Sony have yet to enter the netbook market.
Game publisher Electronic Arts has been catching a great deal of flak over its decision to saddle Spore with SecuROM inspired DRM. What was to be a hotly anticipated creature creator game now stands as a product to be made an example of by angry PC gamers who have the nerve to want to be treated like a consumer rather than a potential thief. Well over 2,000 Amazon 'customer reviews' have Spore pegged with a 1.5 star rating, most of which feature angry rhetoric over Spore's DRM, which limits users to three activations As one reviewer put it, "this basically means that you are actually RENTING the game, instead of owning it."
But is EA being unreasonable? The publisher claims the three PC limit essentially represents a balance of meeting the needs of the largest portion of its user base while still limiting piracy. EA notes that, according to its own stats, less than 25 percent of its customers ever activate a game on more than one machine, and those that wish to activate on more than three accounts fall into the under one percentile.
Hit the jump to see what else EA had to say on the matter.
The report that cites unnamed sources – no surprises – further claims that Microsoft has supplied some of its most intimate customers and partners with alpha builds of the OS designated M1 and M2 (M stands for milestone); M3 is in the works per the sources. A beta release by the end of this year will almost ensure the release of Windows 7 in late 2009 or early 2010; therefore, this delay won’t have a huge impact on Windows 7 release plans.
There are more Call of Duty: Modern Warfare players than there are readers for most major websites, so obviously -- through use of top-level mathematics -- this announcement has 23 out of every 11 of you in a glee-induced coma. No, wait.
Anyway, at today's Activision Blizzard Analyst Day event, Activision Publishing CEO Mike Griffith officially handed off the COD baton to its original owner. The move is in line with Activision's "leapfrog" strategy for the franchise, which sees Treyarch and Infinity Ward alternate COD releases each year.
Beyond that, however, few details were announced. In all likelihood, the game will probably hurdle itself forward in time from COD: World at War's WWII setting, back to the present, but that's merely speculation.
But what do you want out of COD 6? Another trip into modern-day Unspecifiedistan? An MMO? Something entirely new?
Google’s chief of mobile platforms Andy Rubin seems to believe the cliché ‘first impression is the last impression’. He told Reuters that the success of the Android platform would depend on the reception of its first phone. He believes that there is very little margin for failure as far as the first Android phone goes - first impression. The first Android phone will be T-Mobile’s HTC Dream, and is rumored to be scheduled for release later this month.
Intel today announced the official release of their Dunnington-based Xeon 7400 server CPU. The six-core chip is monolithic, meaning that all six cores are on one die, and is the first Xeon CPU to sport that design. The previous 7300 series CPU, dubbed Tigerton, was a quad-core processor with two dual-core chips on a single module (like existing quad-core consumer chips). As expected, Dunnington is still of the Penryn architecture (45nm High-K manufacturing process), and will be compatible with current Tigerton Socket 604 motherboards.
Speed-wise, Intel claims a 50% performance increase in the 7400 over the 7300 series CPU based on TPC-E database benchmark testing (TPC-E simulates the online transaction workload of a large brokerage firm). More impressive is Intel’s claim that even with the improved performance, Dunnington’s energy efficiency actually means it uses 10% lower power than the previous generation. The gains are largely attributed to the presence of a new 16MB level-3 cache, in addition to the extra compute power of two more cores. Xeon 7400 CPUs will launch at 2.66Ghz with either four or six core, and will be priced from $856 to $2729.
What does this mean for consumers? Unfortunately, not much. Intel has no current plans to release a six-core CPU to the mainstream market, and few applications would be able to scale well enough to take full advantage of the additional two cores. Intel seems to be pushing Nehalem for the consumer market, which will launch as a quad-core. Dunnington customers – large Web 2.0 companies like Myspace – will be the ones who benefit most from the extra performance and power efficiency, which may enable them to develop compute-intensive features like high-definition video sharing.
More pics of the sizable chip and Intel's press conference after the jump.
World of Warcraft is pretty popular. So much so, in fact, that Blizzard could probably slap its painfully recognizable logo on an empty box and still have The Sims spewing furious, unintelligible curses over their relinquished seat at the top of the sales charts. But Blizzard would never do that to you. Instead, the mighty blue giant is cramming Warcraft-branded boxes with Wrath -- an ethereal substance that, admittedly, is still a fairly hard sell.
Don't worry, though; for those of you who feel deserving of an actual reward for you unbridled -- and somewhat perplexing -- devotion, Blizzard is also releasing a Wrath of the Lich King Collector's Edition. Within its confines, you'll find the following:
The Art of World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, a 208-page book featuring never-before-seen images from the game.
An exclusive in-game pet: Frosty, the baby frost wyrm.
A behind-the-scenes DVD containing over an hour of developer interviews, the Wrath of the Lich King intro cinematic with director’s commentary, and more.
The official soundtrack CD, containing 21 epic tracks from the game, along with exclusive bonus tracks.
A mouse pad featuring a map of the newly opened continent of Northrend.
Two World of Warcraft Trading Card Game March of the Legion™ starter decks, along with two exclusive cards available only in the Collector’s Edition.
This "expansion," as Blizzard is calling it, hits shelves on November 13. Frankly, though, we just can't understand the appeal. Oh well.
It doesn't matter that you rarely, if ever, saw Scrappy-Doo get into a fight, because you always knew that given the chance, he'd be ready to throw down no matter who the opponent was. Apparently that same spunkiness doesn't translate into the tech industry. How many times did we hear about Microsoft promising a hostile takeover of Yahoo its demands weren't met? Skip ahead a few months and Microsoft is still Microsoft, while Yahoo is still Yahoo.
Now it's Electronic Arts who is backing down in its hostile takeover bid, who earlier this year took it unsolicited $2 billion bid public for rival game maker Take-Two Interactive, best known for the Grand Theft Auto series. EA tried unsuccessfully to buy Take-Two back in February for $26 per share, and after the offer was refused, EA tried its hand at strong-arming Take-Two with threats of a hostile bid, only to extend the deadline multiple times.
The hostile bid official ended in August, and now one month later, so too has EA's interest in the company. Perhaps Spore is doing better than the Amazon customer reviews would indicate?