The biggest news from the past week came in the form of a long-awaited release of Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9 beta. After several months of teasing the browser's upgrade with a series of feature-free developer's previews, Microsoft has finally unleashed the public beta for IE9. We gave the latest version a test drive, and you can get a closer look for yourselves in our First Look video and in-depth slideshow.
Recent Microsoft and Intel primers on Internet Explorer 9's accelerated graphics point to snappier Web browsing.
Microsoft will launch the beta of the upcoming Internet Explorer browser on Wednesday at an event in San Francisco as competition from Chrome, Firefox, and Safari has spurred Redmond to beef up its graphics acceleration, among other improvements. And Intel is slated to introduce its Sandy Bridge chip architecture, with features enhanced graphics silicon, at the Intel Developer Forum, which begins on Monday.
In a blog posted on Friday, Microsoft spelled out what it says are the merits of "full vs. partial acceleration," while Intel, in a new video, is claiming IE9 acceleration on its Core i series of chips--which will include new Sandy Bridge processors.
Graphics chip-based acceleration (Microsoft calls it "hardware acceleration") shifts some tasks from the main processor (CPU) to the graphics processor (GPU). Mainstream GPUs pack in dozens or even hundreds of processing cores. While each GPU core delivers a tiny fraction of the processing power of a CPU core, combined, they can tackle certain tasks much more quickly and efficiently than a CPU. Intel, for its part, has improved the built-in graphics on its Core i series of processors and will integrate its fastest graphics function yet onto the CPU in its upcoming Sandy Bridge processor.
In the Microsoft blog, Ted Johnson, program manager lead for Web graphics at Microsoft, explained the merits of a "fully-hardware accelerated display pipeline that runs from their markup to the screen."
In March, Johnson explains, Microsoft released the first IE9 Platform Preview with GPU-powered HTML5 turned on by default, enabling hardware acceleration on "everything on every Web page" including text, images, backgrounds, borders, SVG (scalable vector graphics) content, and HTML5 video and audio.… Read more
Internet Explorer's growth slowed once again, and Chrome shook off its slump in August, new statistics show.
Although Microsoft made progress in its goal to exterminate IE6 in favor of IE8's more modern and secure design, Internet Explorer overall slipped from 60.7 percent to 60.4 percent of global usage, as measured by Net Applications.
Chrome had slipped for the first time in its history, sinking to 7.2 percent in July, but returned to growth with 7.5 percent of August usage, Net Applications said.
Mozilla's Firefox market share was essentially flat, with 22.9 … Read more
I gave it a run earlier this afternoon. After I followed the instructions to close other applications and enter my home address, the video took about 15 seconds to start. My first impression was a flashback of visiting shady Web sites back in the days before pop-up blockers existed: a cascade of no fewer than eight browser windows opened, and trying to close … Read more
Thanks to Microsoft's Russian subsidiary, the world now has a pretty good idea of what Internet Explorer 9 will look like.
The Russian folks were kind enough to briefly post an image and some details that had yet to be shared about the browser. And although they pulled it down, ZDNet blogger Mary Jo Foley captured the information and screenshot.
More than anything else, the screenshot shows a browser that attempts to offer a minimalistic user interface and leave as much room as possible for the Web sites. When combined with the browser's hardware acceleration, the hope is … Read more
Thanks to corporate use and ties to Windows, Internet Explorer has remained dominant in the browser space ever since it won the first browser wars with Netscape a decade ago.
However, by allowing the browser to stagnate after the release of Windows XP in 2001, Microsoft created an opening that paved the way for the rise of Firefox and, more recently, Google's Chrome.
As a result Internet Explorer celebrates its 15th birthday Monday as market leader and like an upstart trying to compete against powerful rivals.
Arguably, the browser has never been more important--or competitive. As of July, Microsoft … Read more
Happy 15th birthday to Internet Explorer and AT&T says Net neutrality is indeed onerous and it's all for Verizon and Google's proposal (um, duh). The Facebook "dislike" button finally launches, but it's a scam; WiFi-sniffing aerial drones are the new black, and we celebrate 50 years of broadcasting to the world the following: "looking for a good planet to plunder? Call Earth."Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
We weren't fans of Bose's first in-ear headphones, but maybe Bose will make a better impression with its new line of in-ear headphones, which include the IE2 audio headphones and the MIE2 and MIE2i mobile headsets, which are designed "specifically for music-enabled mobile phones." The company says each is engineered with proprietary Bose technologies for improved audio quality and feature new StayHear tips for "greater stability and a comfortable fit."
None of these models are noise-canceling or noise-isolating. While the IE2 headphones don't feature an in-line microphone for receiving cell-phone calls, both the … Read more
On today's show, you can finally tell people that you read Playboy for the articles ... and have it be the truth! At least if you shell out $5 for the Playboy iPad app. Also, Oracle sues Google over Android, and it doesn't look good for Google. Plus, the brewing Apple vs. BBC cage match. Our prediction: Apple wins. Apple always wins.Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
Microsoft plans to launch the beta of the Internet Explorer browser on Sept. 15, according to a blog post on Thursday.
The software maker has scheduled an event in San Francisco to mark the arrival of the beta, billing the event (and the browser) as highlighting "the beauty of the Web." Microsoft also sent packages to reporters containing a variety of art supplies, such as crayons and fingerpaints, inside a box with an IE logo.
That Microsoft is holding a launch event reflects the resurgent importance of the browser and the degree to which Redmond is counting on … Read more