Browser

My question to Mozilla: Whose web is it anyway?

Mozilla, the makers of Firefox, just announced that they are looking to block in-page popups (also known as overlays). These are the kind of things that commonly interrupt you to ask you to sign up to newsletters or to 'Like on Facebook'. In-page popups are very different to the traditional (and much more intrusive) popups which all popular browsers now all block, something that isn't at all controversial.

Internet Explorer 8 Release Candidate

Although Firefox is my choice for Internet browsers, I do use Microsoft's Internet Explorer from time to time.  Yesterday, I installed the release candidate of Internet Explorer 8.

I can't say I'm a big fan of their "Web slice" approach as it feels like I'm ramming Google Desktop via RSS feeds down the browser's favorites bar.  Who know though, perhaps the slice approach will grow on me.  However, I am a big fan of Microsoft creating a more compliant and less buggy browser and IE8 seems to fit the bill.  If IE7 was a good step in the right direction then IE8 gets Microsoft's users pretty close to the destination.

Meanwhile, my rant to all the IE6 users.  I can't believe that about a third of Microsoft Windows users are still using IE6.  Shame on you if you are still using that insecure, buggy, and non-compliant browser.  Microsoft doesn't even want you to use that browser...and yet you're still stuck in the stone ages.  I have a theory that IE6 is symbolic of the problems of complacency at Microsoft and those companies/users that are still on that browser.  IE8 arriving on a modern Windows desktop near you and you're still on IE6?  Give me a break!

Is Microsoft finally seeing the light with Office?

A recent blog post from Sarah Parez tries to answer some "want-to-know" questions on the upcoming Microsoft Office Web Applications.  With software as a service becoming more popular, Google has quickly become a competitor of Microsoft's Office Suite with its Google Docs. Microsoft is aggressively fighting back by making its Office software available via the Web browser.

Firefox 3.0 now available to download

Mozilla FirefoxMozzila released the final version of Firefox 3.0 today and you can download it at Mozilla.

Available today in approximately 50 languages, Firefox 3 is two to three times faster than its predecessor and offers more than 15,000 improvements, including the revolutionary smart location bar, malware protection, and extensive under the hood work to improve the speed and performance of the browser.

While I've been talking about Firefox 3 since late 2006, I have to admit that I haven't been into Firefox 3's development as much as I did with Firefox 2.  While there were some bumps on the way with the alphas and betas, Firefox 3.0 is definately a well polished product (I'm using it as I write in this post).  My first two impressions of Firefox 3 is that it is fast and that I don't quite get the awesome bar.

Windows XP SP3, Internet Explorer 6, and Complacency

Microsoft has never said that they would drop support for Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) after the release of Windows XP Service Pack 3. However, I've often wondered if it would be to Microsoft's advantage, as well as beneficial to their customers, if they did drop the IE6 support. With Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) now the status quo for most non-Enterprise users of Windows and IE8 development underway, what better opportunity is there to end support for IE6 than now?

There is no question that Microsoft is supporting IE6 in the next service pack. Jane Maliouta, Microsoft's Deployment Project Manager for IE8, addressed IE6 support with XP SP3 in an IEBlog post on IE and Windows XP SP3.

XPSP3 will continue to ship with IE6 and contains a roll-up of the latest security updates for IE6. If you are still running Internet Explorer 6, then XPSP3 will be offered to you via Windows Update as a high priority update. You can safely install XPSP3 and will have an updated version of IE6 with all your personal preferences, such as home pages and favorites, still intact.

So the question remains, just how long does Microsoft plan to support this 7 year old browser? From as near as I can tell, support for Internet Explorer 6 is tied to the life cycle of the Windows XP operating system. Mainstream support for Windows XP is currently dated to end in April 14, 2009. So that means Internet Explorer 6 will have been on the desktop for more than eight years! While enterprises may take comfort that product support for Windows XP and IE6 has lasted so long, consumers and the rest of the world have since moved on with the changing world.

Microsoft reverses IE8 compatibility decision

On Monday, Microsoft announced from their IEBlog that they were reversing their decision for how Internet Explorer 8 would be compatible with Web pages designed for Internet Explorer 7 as well as Internet standards. You may recall that earlier this year Microsoft announced that Internet Explorer 8 in "Standards Mode" would actually be rendering pages in Internet Explorer 7's "Standards Mode".