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Internet Explorer 9 "to close performance gap"

Microsoft has unveiled the first details of Internet Explorer 9, promising that it will close the performance gap on rival browsers.

Although Microsoft admitted it only started working on IE9 three weeks ago, the company still felt confident enough to share details of the next-generation browser with attendees at its Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles.

The major newcomer is a revamped rendering engine that will tap the power of the PC's graphics card to accelerate text and graphics performance.

Releasing the Chromium OS open source project

In July we announced that we were working on Google Chrome OS, an open source operating system for people who spend most of their time on the web.

Today we are open-sourcing the project as Chromium OS. We are doing this early, a year before Google Chrome OS will be ready for users, because we are eager to engage with partners, the open source community and developers. As with the Google Chrome browser, development will be done in the open from this point on. This means the code is free, accessible to anyone and open for contributions. The Chromium OS project includes our current code base, user interface experiments and some initial designs for ongoing development. This is the initial sketch and we will color it in over the course of the next year.

Microsoft denies it built 'backdoor' in Windows 7

Microsoft today denied that it has built a backdoor into Windows 7, a concern that surfaced yesterday after a senior National Security Agency (NSA) official testified before Congress that the agency had worked on the operating system.

"Microsoft has not and will not put 'backdoors' into Windows," a company spokeswoman said, reacting to a Computerworld story Wednesday.

ATI releases Catalyst 9.11 WHQL

In addition to claiming support for Adobe Flash Player 10.1 Beta, ATI has released a new version of its Catalyst drivers in order to fully support that same feature. The new driver supports Radeon HD 2000, 3000, 4000 and 5000 series graphics cards as well as Radeon HD 4200 and 3000 series IGPs.

The new Catalyst 9.11 features 8.671 display drivers and should bring GPU acceleration of H.264 video content using Adobe Flash Player 10.1 Beta. This features is limited to HD 5800, 5700 and HD 4000 series of products. The new driver also comes with high quality downscaling for video transcoding MSE and a bunch of other minor fixes.

The new driver can be found here.

Office 2010 in public beta

Earlier this week, Office 2010 Beta was made available to MSDN and TechNet Subscribers and without wasting the time, Microsoft has done same for general public. Office 2010 public beta is available now at Microsoft Download Center.

Firefox 3.6b3 is now available for download

Last night the Mozilla community released Firefox 3.6 Beta 3, making it available for free download and issuing an update for all Firefox 3.6 beta users. This update contains over 80 fixes from the last Firefox 3.6 beta, containing many improvements for web developers, Add-on developers, and users.

AMD shows some love for Flash Player 10.1

Starting with Radeon HD 3000 IGP. In order not to give Nvidia too much breathing room, AMD has announced that the new Flash Player 10.1 beta will make use of ATI Stream technology for some neat hardware acceleration.

Hardware acceleration for Flash Player 10.1 beta will include both notebook and desktop platforms which run on Radeon HD 4000, 5700 and 5800 series graphics cards, Mobility Radeon HD 4000 and HD 3000 IGP, as well as bunch of FirePro cards starting from V3750 to V8750 and higher.

Adobe Unveils Public Betas for Flash Player 10.1

This just in: Adobe Labs has some new toys up for grabs. As part of Adobe's poorly-named Open Screen Initiative to put Flash on every popular platform known to mankind, Adobe has released beta versions of Flash Player 10.1 and Adobe AIR 2.0 for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

GeForce/ION Driver Release 195

This is a WHQL-candidate driver for GeForce 6, 7, 8, 9, 100, and 200-series desktop GPUs and ION desktop GPUs.

New in Version 195.55

Microsoft confirms first Windows 7 zero-day bug

Microsoft late has confirmed that an unpatched vulnerability exists in Windows 7, but is downplaying the problem, saying most users would be protected from attack by blocking two ports at the firewall.

In a security advisory, Microsoft acknowledged that a bug in SMB (Server Message Block), a Microsoft-made network file- and print-sharing protocol, could be used by attackers to cripple Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 machines.

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