Technologizer posts about Microsoft Internet Explorer

ZDNet’s Ed Bott reports on a new Microsoft site designed to educate people about browser security (and convince them to upgrade from old versions of Internet Explorer). Shockingly, it gives IE9 a perfect security score.

Posted by Harry at 1:05 pm

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It’s been less than a month since Microsoft released the final version of Internet Explorer 9, but it’s already unleashing a sneak peek at IE10. As with IE9, it’s starting with a nearly interface-less “Platform Preview” that’s all about the rendering engine–and especially HTML5 support–not features.

The company isn’t saying when IE10 will ship, but if it sticks to its typical schedule it might be about a year away–which would be quick on the heels of IE9 by Microsoft standards.

Posted by Harry at 9:38 am

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Rumors of Firefox’s Death are Greatly Exaggerated

By  |  Posted at 7:01 am on Thursday, March 24, 2011

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There’s misguided analysis out there this week (see here, here, and to some extent here for examples) on how supposedly Firefox is dead or in trouble. Better stop the presses: it sure isn’t happening yet. In the first 24 hours following the browser’s official release, consumers have downloaded it more than 4.7 million times, double the rate for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 debut last week. Downloads continue at a fairly torrid pace — you can follow here.

Firefox 4′s success is evidence of the fact that consumers are still looking past Microsoft when it comes to browsers. According to NetApplications, Internet Explorer’s market share is now down to 57 percent. IE has been on a consistent decline for the past several years, and the upstart success of Chrome (which now has 11 percent of the market), and Firefox (at about 22 percent), show that consumers are ready for life post-Microsoft.

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Two links for you to stuff I wrote for other sites this week: My TIME.com column is about what a great a time it is to be a browser user–and why I hope the current era of harmony among browser makers gives way to more disagreement. And over at Techland, I wrote about a related question: Even if Internet Explorer 9 is good–and it is–will serious browser fans give it a chance?

Posted by Harry at 2:57 pm

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Microsoft Tries Its Darndest to Bid Internet Explorer 6 Adieu

By  |  Posted at 11:22 am on Friday, March 4, 2011

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It’s weird: In terms of durability and the sheer numbers of people who have used it, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 6 is one of the most successful software products of all time. But between its security holes and its poor compatibility with Web standards, it’s also one of the most headache-inducing applications ever–not just for the people who use it, but for those who build sites and strive to keep the Internet safe. And in early 2011–nearly a decade after IE 6 shipped with Windows XP–it’s a product from another era. Yet NetApplications says that 12 percent of Internet users worldwide are still running it.

These days, Microsoft has at least as much reason as anyone else to try and close the books officially on the IE 6 era: It doesn’t want to support it and would prefer that IE 6 holdouts upgrade to a newer Microsoft browser running on a newer Microsoft operating system. So the company has launched an Internet 6 Countdown site, with stats on IE6′s current usage and a stated mission of driving usage down to under 1 percent.

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Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate is Here

By  |  Posted at 1:58 pm on Thursday, February 10, 2011

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If you’ve been curious about Internet Explorer 9 but didn’t want to mess around with earlier beta versions, now’s a good time to check it out.

The IE9 release candidate is essentially the full version of Microsoft’s new web browser. Bugs may be squashed between now and whenever Microsoft releases the final version, but all the features of IE9 are intact.  (Over at ZDNet, Ed Bott has the definitive walkthrough.) You can get the release candidate from Microsoft’s “Beauty of the Web” promotional site.

In general, I agree with Harry’s assessment that IE9 is Microsoft’s most refreshing web browser yet, even if that means looking a bit like other browsers. Although I haven’t done any fancy speed tests, I can’t think of any major reasons not to recommend IE9.

Except for one thing: A few months after Microsoft released the IE9 public beta, Google launched the Chrome Web Store, a marketplace for extensions and Chrome-optimized web apps. It’s the most significant new browser feature I’ve seen in years, in that it encourages users to customize their browsers and seek out new web-based services. Now that TweetDeck and Imo have become part of my pinned tab line-up, I can’t imagine using a browser without them.

Microsoft has embraced web apps somewhat in IE9 with the ability to pin websites to the Windows 7 taskbar, but once you’re in the browser, there’s no built-in discovery tool for useful web services, nor is there a home page from which to quickly launch them. Also, Internet Explorer’s extension library is overpopulated with feed readers and toolbars, and some of them won’t even work with IE9.

In a way, Internet Explorer is now more minimalist than Chrome, a browser that desperately wants to show you all the great things the Web has to offer. Who’d have thought it?



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Chrome Ascendent

By  |  Posted at 4:39 pm on Thursday, December 2, 2010

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TechCrunch’s MG Siegler is reporting that Chrome is now the most-used browser among that site’s visitors, having slightly edged out Firefox in November. It’s yet another piece of evidence that Google’s browser is a major hit, especially among people who take their Web browsers really seriously.

Here at Technologizer, Firefox maintains the #1 spot–in fact, Chrome is only the third-most popular browser. (Internet Explorer is #2.) But Chrome usages is increasing at a steady clip, and both Firefox and IE have lost users over the past year.

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Twelve Smart Firefox and Internet Explorer Add-Ons

By  |  Posted at 11:30 am on Wednesday, December 1, 2010

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I can’t get enough of the handy-dandy freebies that clump onto Firefox (and Internet Explorer) and make the browsers smarter and easier to use.

Finding the right one is sometimes just a matter of saying, “gawd, why can’t I…” and sticking it into a Google search field. So here are a few that I’ve found — and integrated into my browsers.

One thought, though, before you start. Adhere to the Bass International one at a time rule. It’s the best way to experiment when modifying your browser with add-ons or extensions. You know the reason: If your browser starts acting hinky, you’ll find the culprit pretty quickly with only one new add-on installed. Also, adding a bunch at a time has been known to cause sunspots and make people faint. No, seriously.

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My Technologizer column for TIME.com is up: It’s a look at the Internet Explorer 9 beta:

Last week, Microsoft unveiled the first beta release of Internet Explorer 9, or IE9 for short. It’s easily the most impressive browser upgrade to hail from Redmond, Wash., since the original skirmishes with Netscape. And I don’t think it’s mere coincidence that it’s the first one the company has hatched since its scariest current competitor, Google, got into the browser business by launching Chrome two years ago this month.

Read the whole column here.

Posted by Harry at 11:13 am

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I’m not the only one pondering whether the arrival of IE9 could lead to a more fractured Web in which sites don’t work equally well in every modern browser. ZDnet’s Mary Jo Foley wondered about the same thing–and scored an interesting Microsoft interview on the subject.

Posted by Harry at 3:21 pm

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The Unwelcome Return of “Best Viewed With Internet Explorer”

By  |  Posted at 2:09 pm on Thursday, September 16, 2010

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Remember the bad old days of the Internet, when it wasn’t a given that one primary objective of any Web site should be to work equally well in any modern browser? Some sites slapped “Best Viewed With Internet Explorer” or “Best Viewed With Netscape Navigator” logos (or both of them) onto their home pages, like perverse badges of honor. It was like turning onto a highway and discovering signs saying it was best driven in a Buick or a Kia.

Eventually there were sites that would only operate properly in IE, most often because they used Microsoft’s IE-only ActiveX. (I have the horrible feeling that such sites are still out there, although the last one I encountered myself belonged to a financial institution which I stopped doing business with in 2009.)

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Internet Explorer 9: Microsoft’s Browser Gets Back in the Game

The first beta of IE9 is the first truly modern browser from Redmond. Try it without prejudice.

By  |  Posted at 9:00 am on Wednesday, September 15, 2010

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Apologies in advance for the mixed metaphor: For many years, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has been a sleeping giant that’s marched to its own drummer. Ever since Firefox appeared in 2004, Microsoft has struggled to figure out what IE should be in the new era of browser competition; it remains the world’s default browser, but it long ago lost the hearts and minds of nearly all of the serious browser users that I know.

At first, the company simply let 2001′s IE6 calcify, as if it wasn’t certain that the world needed a major new version of Internet Explorer at all. Then it released IE7 and IE8–bland updates that felt like they existed in a parallel universe of their own rather than the one in which Firefox and Safari (and, for the last two years, Chrome) have been evolving rapidly and cribbing each others’ best new features.

And then there’s Internet Explorer 9, which is debuting in beta form today at a bash in San Francisco. (I’m attending the event, and Microsoft provided me with the beta a few days early.) It’s easily the best new version of Microsoft’s browser in…well, in this century: The last IE upgrade that was this pleasing was version 5, which shipped in 1999. In most respects that matter, IE9 finally catches up with the competition. In a few, it’s sprinted past them. It’s just plain good.

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Internet Explorer 9 and the New UI Homogeny

By  |  Posted at 10:03 am on Wednesday, August 25, 2010

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ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley thinks she stumbled upon the user interface for Internet Explorer 9, spying a screenshot on Microsoft Russia’s press website. If this is the real deal, the next IE will look like the lovechild of Google Chrome and Firefox 4.

From Firefox 4, IE9 reportedly takes the oversized back button, translucent window and tremendous amount of wasted space above the navigation bar (seriously, it’s just an empty row with window management at the end, and the next Firefox is just as guilty). From Chrome, IE9 may derive the omnibar for search and URLs, and a series of menu icons on the right side of the screen.

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Microsoft has released its final Internet Explorer 9 Platform Preview–the pre-beta releases that let developers try out the new browser’s technical underpinnings. ZDnet’s Ed Bott predicts a true beta next month.

Posted by Harry at 10:00 pm

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The technical previews of Internet Explorer 9 haven’t been true betas–they’ve been all under-the-hood stuff, without a hint of any changes to the browser’s user interface. But as Mary Jo Foley reports, Microsoft says it plans to release an IE9 beta in September.

Posted by Harry at 2:36 pm

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