Firefox has just turned five, and it’s doubtful anybody outside of Redmond begrudges Mozilla’s celebrations. The open-source browser now accounts for 25% of the global market, according to figures from Net Applications, and has brought a radical rethink in what we expect from a browser.
However, as Mozilla blows out the birthday cake candles, it might also be reflecting on the curse of getting what you wish for.
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.
It might be used to run everything from PCs to power stations, but it seems some people are still a wee bit shy about using the (cough) L word.
Speaking at the launch of the touchscreen Pure Sensia digital radio, director of marketing Colin Crawford was pressed for specifics of the new device’s software. But after his CEO reminded him that the new radio was based on a Linux OS, Crawford remarked: “I don’t like the using the word ‘Linux’ on a radio.”
When it arrived on the desktop scene, Intel’s Core i7 levelled the opposition. With enough power to embarrass Intel’s own Core 2 architecture, not to mention AMD’s efforts, and coming at a cost that would make even a banker weep, Core i7 set the benchmark and set it high. Now it’s set to repeat the trick in the laptop market, and we’ve got our hands on a sample boasting the mid-range quad-core 1.73GHz i7-820QM.
On a recent edition of Dragons’ Den, Jason Roberts, founder and CEO of a company called Tech21, managed to convince Peter Jones and Theo Paphitis to part with £150,000 (in return for a 40% stake in his business) for what is effectively a range of laptop bags, MP3 player and mobile phone cases.
Mozilla’s Security team has disclosed a very interesting piece of research which suggests people refused to upgrade to the latest version of Firefox because they were afraid the browser would expose their, ahem, private collection of websites. In May, the company decided to have one last attempt at persuading the people on Firefox 2 to move up to Firefox 3, by hitting users of the old version with a pop-up that prompted them to upgrade. Those who declined were invited to fill out a questionnaire, asking them to reveal why they didn’t want the latest software. The number one reason for not upgrading was the new location bar, and the fact that it delved into people’s bookmark collections to suggest sites as they typed. No fewer than 25% of Firefox 3 refuseniks cited this as the reason they wouldn’t upgrade. In fact, almost all of the people who provided feedback had tried Firefox 3, didn’t like what they saw, and headed back to Firefox 2.
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