Mozilla releases Fennec Firefox Mobile client to the masses

By on February 10, 2009 at 9:56 PM.

Mozilla releases Fennec Firefox Mobile client to the masses

Ask, and ask, and ask….and ye shall receive. Mozilla has finally unleashed a functional “Milestone Release” version of its Fennec mobile Firefox browser. Available immediately for anyone with an HTC Touch Pro. The release version is limited in several ways, most notably without support for soft keyboards, automatic version updating, and plugins, but everything else should work more or less as promised. This is exciting news for anyone that has been eagerly anticipating Mozilla’s official move into the mobile space, and hopefully marks the beginning of significant product development for something that will hopefully do to Pocket Internet Explorer/Opera Mini what the desktop version of Firefox has done to its Internet Explorer equivalent, i.e. render it obsolete. Anyone interested in taking the release for a test drive should hit the Read link for access to the CAB file, though we definitely recommend making a complete backup of your handset before proceeding too eagerly.

[Via WMExperts]

Read (Warning: CAB file)

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Internet Explorer market share continues to slide, Firefox still climbing

By on January 2, 2009 at 12:53 PM.

Internet Explorer market share continues to slide, Firefox still climbing

According to data from market research firm Net Applications, Microsoft’s web browser market share has dropped below 70 percent in the month of November. Yes, 70 percent is still an overwhelming majority but considering Internet Explorer is said to have peaked with close to 95 percent of the market, this new data represents yet another area where the scales are continuing to level out. Is the era of the Redmond behemoth finally coming to an end? Not any time soon of course, but Microsoft is indeed having its fortress walls slowly chipped away in nearly every major area of its business. Windows OS market share, Microsoft’s bread and butter, is at a 15-year low and MSN / Microsoft Live Search usage is hovering between 5 and 8 percent of the market, depending on whose numbers you look at. Internet Explorer represents yet another area where Redmond is faltering and Microsoft is showing no signs of movement that might slow the burn. Conversely, Mozilla’s Firefox jumped above 20 percent in November – the first time it has maintained a share over 20 percent for a full month since Net Applications began tracking relevant data.

[Via Silicon Alley Insider]

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The future of Fennec may make it a serious mobile browser contender

By on November 10, 2008 at 6:32 AM.

The future of Fennec may make it a serious mobile browser contender

The mobile browser wars are on. The competition is between Opera, Mobile IE, Safari, Chrome, and the Blackberry Browser. So far, even iPhone haters would agree, Safari has yet to be touched. It only makes sense that one of the most popular browsers out there, Firefox, and their creator, Mozilla, would want to jump in on the mobile browser battle. A few weeks ago, Fennec, Mozilla’s upcoming mobile browser, was released to some beta testers but was only available for the Nokia N810 Internet tablet. While the programmers testing it out found a lot of bugs, they also felt there is a lot of promise for Mozilla’s latest browser offering. Jay Sullivan, vice president of the mobile division at Mozilla, says the reports from testers were positive and that JavaScript performance was on par with the browsers on Android and the iPhone’s Safari.

If anyone knows how to make a browser powerful, but user-friendly, it’s Mozilla. Fennec is going to be no different in terms of their end goal for the mobile browser. First, they intend to use every last bit of screen real-estate to the browser, removing all controls, tabs, and buttons that would take away from the body of the page. Sullivan says they want to “give over the entire screen of the device to the Web content, removing all user-interface controls entirely.” How will a user navigate, you ask? Certain screen controls and finger swipes (for touchscreens) will activate the UI controls in a snap. If that isn’t cool enough for you, future versions may also include support for haptic feedback. While this is all cool and snazzy, Fennec has its work cut out because the others (Safari, Opera, Blackberry, Symbian) have established themselves and are still making progress. For more info on Fennec and what its future holds, hit the link!

Thanks, Chris!

[Via UnwiredView]

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Microsoft may not be “embracing” WebKit, but it’s “interesting”

By on November 7, 2008 at 1:18 PM.

Microsoft may not be “embracing” WebKit, but it’s “interesting”

Steve Ballmer has been all over the globe lately. First, he was in South Korea teaming up with LG for a future with Windows Mobile in LG smartphones. This week, he made his way to Australia with those loud, powerful and rather obnoxious words, “Developers, developers, developers!” But the excitement died down quickly when a student at Power to Developers event asked, “Why is IE still relevant and why is it worth spending money on rendering engines when there are open source ones available that can respond to changes in Web standards faster?” Ballmer’s response was that the question was “cheeky, but a good question, but cheeky”. Right, that’s when you know you’ve struck a nerve. After treating the crowd to his usual rant about looking to and anticipating the future, all Ballmer could really say about open-source browsers was that they are “interesting.” Very similar to his feelings about Google’s Android platform.

Open source is interesting. Apple has embraced Webkit and we may look at that, but we will continue to build extensions for IE 8.

So it looks like Microsoft is probably going there, but not all the way there. Catch the drift? Even then, if Microsoft were to show an iota of interest in open source engines like WebKit, it could be huge news for third-party developers and in turn, to end users. We’ll have to wait and see where Microsoft is going with this, but don’t go thinking they’re ready to open up and embrace open source quite yet.

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Google goes to war armed with a new web browser, Google Chrome

By on September 2, 2008 at 5:37 AM.

Google goes to war armed with a new web browser, Google Chrome

After single-handedly winning the online search wars, Google appears to be poised to now enter the browser wars. A comic book fashioned document has appeared online at the unofficial Google Blog, Blogoscoped. The 38 page scanned document details on open source browser project called, Google Chrome. It apparently will have many features of the most recent versions of Firefox, Opera, and even IE 8, including an incognito mode similar to IE 8′s InPrivate mode, tabbed browsing, and awesome Javascript support. Google confirmed the beta project on its blog and announced that it will launch the Windows XP version tomorrow in 100 countries.┬áThe whole comic book approach to introducing features is novel and throwing a new browser into the mix is just plain exciting; as long as Google remembers these three words, “No World Domination”. Look for a Mac OS X and Linux version in the near future.

UPDATE: It’s available today.

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Microsoft Confirms IE 8 ‘Pr0n Mode’, Real Name Slightly More Diplomatic

By on August 27, 2008 at 1:33 PM.

Microsoft Confirms IE 8 ‘Pr0n Mode’, Real Name Slightly More Diplomatic

Recent Internet Explorer 8 rumors being tossed around the Web loosely outlined what bloggers referred to as “porn mode”. Basically this new functionality would allow users to easily enable and disable a strict privacy policy, disallowing all cookies and disabling browsing history, search history, and form data / password memory. Microsoft has finally confirmed that the upcoming much needed update to their Web browser will indeed include a secretive browsing mode, though it seems to have opted to not go with the “porn mode” moniker despite its relevance. Andy Zeigler, Microsoft Program Manager, recently detailed what has been dubbed the “InPrivate” feature line within Microsoft’s upcoming eighth Internet Explorer version. Three new services combine to make up the InPrivate package; InPrivate Browsing, InPrivate Blocking and InPrivate Subscriptions. When enabled, these three components (along with an automatic history deletion feature) combine to ensure that you can go anywhere you want on the Web and no one will ever find out what a sick, twisted deviant you really are.

[Via The Register]

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