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09 Jun 12 Google Readies Chrome for Windows 8 Metro


Coming soon to Windows 8 Preview: Google Chrome. Illustration: Webmonkey

Google is hard at work on a version of its Chrome browser that will work with Windows 8′s Metro environment. The Chromium blog recently announced that the next build of Chrome’s dev channel will run in both the Metro and desktop environments of Windows 8.

If you’d like to try it out a version of Chrome on Windows 8 once it’s available — most likely later today or perhaps over the weekend — you’ll need to switch over to the Chrome dev channel.

While Chrome will run in Windows 8′s Metro interface on desktop PCs, Google faces the same Microsoft platform restrictions Mozilla has spoken out against and as of now there will be no version of Chrome for WinRT, the version of Windows 8 designed to run on ARM processors.

Since WinRT is the most likely candidate for tablets that means any Windows 8 tablets will be Chrome-free.

Google has stopped short of being as vocal as Mozilla — which has called WinRT “a return to the digital dark ages. The Chromium blog merely notes that “Microsoft is not allowing browsers other than Internet Explorer on the platform,” though there is a link in that sentence to Mozilla’s original post decrying Microsoft’s restrictions.

The crux of Mozilla’s gripe — which Google seems to be tacitly endorsing as well — is that in Windows RT Microsoft gives its own Internet Explorer access to special APIs other web browsers can’t use.

Mozilla’s Asa Dotzler has previously pointed out that at least part of what makes this different than Apple’s iOS — which imposes similar restrictions on software — is that Microsoft still has binding agreements with the EU about browser choice on Windows, and Windows RT is still Windows.

It’s possible that Microsoft will change its mind about third-party web browsers on WinRT (or be legally compelled to change its mind) before any Windows 8 tablets arrive, but in the mean time at least you’ll soon be able to use Chrome with Windows 8 on desktop machines.

Article source: http://www.webmonkey.com/2012/06/google-readies-chrome-for-windows-8-metro/

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08 Jun 12 Google Readies Chrome for Windows 8 Metro


Coming soon to Windows 8 Preview: Google Chrome. Illustration: Webmonkey

Google is hard at work on a version of its Chrome browser that will work with Windows 8′s Metro environment. The Chromium blog recently announced that the next build of Chrome’s dev channel will run in both the Metro and desktop environments of Windows 8.

If you’d like to try it out a version of Chrome on Windows 8 once it’s available — most likely later today or perhaps over the weekend — you’ll need to switch over to the Chrome dev channel.

While Chrome will run in Windows 8′s Metro interface on desktop PCs, Google faces the same Microsoft platform restrictions Mozilla has spoken out against and as of now there will be no version of Chrome for WinRT, the version of Windows 8 designed to run on ARM processors.

Since WinRT is the most likely candidate for tablets that means any Windows 8 tablets will be Chrome-free.

Google has stopped short of being as vocal as Mozilla — which has called WinRT “a return to the digital dark ages. The Chromium blog merely notes that “Microsoft is not allowing browsers other than Internet Explorer on the platform,” though there is a link in that sentence to Mozilla’s original post decrying Microsoft’s restrictions.

The crux of Mozilla’s gripe — which Google seems to be tacitly endorsing as well — is that in Windows RT Microsoft gives its own Internet Explorer access to special APIs other web browsers can’t use.

Mozilla’s Asa Dotzler has previously pointed out that at least part of what makes this different than Apple’s iOS — which imposes similar restrictions on software — is that Microsoft still has binding agreements with the EU about browser choice on Windows, and Windows RT is still Windows.

It’s possible that Microsoft will change its mind about third-party web browsers on WinRT (or be legally compelled to change its mind) before any Windows 8 tablets arrive, but in the mean time at least you’ll soon be able to use Chrome with Windows 8 on desktop machines.

Article source: http://www.webmonkey.com/2012/06/google-readies-chrome-for-windows-8-metro/

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25 Apr 12 Microsoft, Pegatron Ink Patent Deal for Android, Chrome Devices


Microsoft has inked a patent licensing deal with Pegatron that covers Android- and Chrome-based devices.

The agreement means Pegatron can utilize technology covered by Microsoft patents for its Android- and Chrome-based e-readers, smartphones, and tablets.

“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Pegatron and proud of the continued success of our Android licensing program in resolving IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome devices in the marketplace,” Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Microsoft’s Intellectual Property Group, said in a statement. “With this agreement, Microsoft has now licensed four of the top five Taiwanese ODMs.”

Taiwan-based Pegatron manufactures its own products, but is also a supplier for well-known tech firms, like Apple.

Microsoft has previously signed patent licensing deals with companies like HTC, Samsung, Suanta, Copal Electronics, Wistron, and LG.

When the LG deal was announced in January, Gutierrez said that 70 percent of all Android smartphones sold in the U.S. were covered under Microsoft’s patent portfolio.

Microsoft holds patents relating to navigation and how websites display content; technology used on the Android and Chrome platforms.

Earlier this week, Microsoft and Facebook agreed to a deal that will see Microsoft license or sell many of the patents it picked up from AOL to Facebook for $550 million in cash.

Patent battles have made a number of headlines in recent years, as some of the top tech companies – from Apple and Samsung to Motorola and Microsoft – have gone after one another for patent infringement. Microsoft is currently battling Barnes Noble for violating its patents with its Nook line of e-readers. BN responded by accusing Microsoft of patent abuse, but an International Trade Commission (ITC) judge in January threw out Barnes Noble’s antitrust claims against Redmond.

In February, however, Microsoft filed a formal complaint with the European Commission accusing Google and Motorola Mobility of patent abuse, which eventually resulted in an EU investigation.

For more from Chloe, follow her on Twitter @ChloeAlbanesius.

For the top stories in tech, follow us on Twitter at @PCMag.

Article source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2403540,00.asp

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15 Mar 12 Opera, Google Chrome and Firefox commit to Windows 8 Metro browsers


Mozilla has kick-started development of a Metro-style version of Firefox for Windows 8, Google has committed to doing the same and Opera Software said yesterday that it’s looking into the matter.

Those three browser makers would be chasing Microsoft, which has a five-month head start, having already built several iterations of Internet Explorer 10 that run on both the Windows 8 traditional desktop and in the operating system’s new Metro touch-first user interface.

Mozilla, which first said a month ago that it would build a “proof-of-concept” edition of Firefox for Windows 8 Metro UI, recently revealed more details of the project.

According to Firefox engineer Brian Bondy, Mozilla began actual development of a Windows 8 browser last week.

‘Metro style enabled desktop browsers’

It turns out that Microsoft will allow hybrid desktop-Metro apps, but will limit that third category – after classic x86/64 Windows programs and Metro-only applications – to something the Redmond giant dubbed “Metro style enabled desktop browsers”.

“Firefox will fall into the third category, meaning you can run Firefox as a desktop application, and you can run it as a Metro application,” Bondy said.

Metro style enabled desktop browsers can run outside the normal Metro sandbox and have access to most classic Windows APIs (application programming interface), as well as the new WinRT API, the backbone of the Metro side of Windows 8 application development.

The category also gets an important pass from Microsoft: A Metro enabled desktop browser circumvents the Windows Store – the Microsoft-curated distribution channel for all Metro apps – and when installed on the Windows 8 classic desktop, simultaneously installs the Metro version.

The biggest caveat for a Metro enabled desktop browser is that only the default browser – which is set by the user – can run in the Metro UI.

Like Windows 7, Windows 8 will initially assign IE as the default browser.

Crossbreed browser

Mozilla’s work began months ago, after last September’s Build conference where Microsoft released the rough-edged Windows 8 Developer Preview. But programming was impossible until Microsoft provided documentation that described how to construct a crossbreed browser.

That documentation was published at the February 29 launch of Windows 8 Consumer Preview, putting IE’s rivals at a five-month disadvantage (download Word document). Bondy also said the whitepaper “lacked quite a bit of information” and that Mozilla developers had to fill in the gaps by hacking the Windows 8 registry.

Mozilla has only a rough timeline for Firefox on Windows 8. The proof-of-concept of Firefox for Metro is currently slated to ship alongside Firefox 14, which has a launch date of July 17. From there, Mozilla will work through its normal progression of alpha and beta versions before shipping final code.

Asa Dotzler, director of Firefox, said in a reply to questions that he does not expect Mozilla will ship a final version of a Metro style enabled Firefox in time to make the launch of Windows 8.

Microsoft has not yet disclosed a ship date for Windows 8, but most analysts anticipate the operating system will debut in the fourth quarter.

Chrome for Metro

In a comment he posted last week on ZDNet’s “The Ed Bott Report” blog, Dotzler was more specific about timing. “I do not anticipate that we will get beyond a late stage Beta this year,” Dotzler said.

Today, Dotzler confirmed that, “This is an accurate picture of our current thinking…, but that may change as we progress.”

Google also said it would build a Metro-enabled version of its Chrome browser for Windows 8, but did not spell out a development timeline.

“Our goal is to be able to offer our users a speedy, simple, secure Chrome experience across all platforms, which includes both the desktop and Metro versions of Windows 8,” a Google spokesman said. “To that end we’re in the process of building a Metro version of Chrome along with improving desktop Chrome in Windows 8, such as adding enhanced touch support.”

Norwegian browser maker Opera Software stopped just short of making the same promise.

“We can’t comment on any specifics yet, other than we are currently looking into Windows 8,” said an Opera spokesman yesterday. “The new OS and the Metro UI offers an interesting new platform and we know users will want to run Opera on it.”

Antitrust concerns

Apple does not comment on future products, but it’s unlikely the company will rush to support Windows 8: Although Apple launched Safari for Windows nearly five years ago, almost all Safari users run it on Mac OS X.

Al Hilwa, an analyst with IDC, applauded Microsoft for letting other browser developers compete on Windows 8′s Metro UI. But he acknowledged that it may have been motivated by antitrust concerns.

“Given the history of Microsoft’s travails with DOJ and EU, it is smart for them to open up the browser environment,” said Hilwa, referring to the scrutiny Microsoft has faced from regulators in the US and the European Union. “A higher level of openness may prove to be an important point of differentiation for Windows 8 compared to Apple’s platform.”

In 2009, Microsoft agreed to offer a browser choice ballot in Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 to European users after Opera complained to EU’s antitrust commission that Microsoft was using Windows’ dominance to shield Internet Explorer from competition.

The ballot offers users download links for other browsers.

Article source: http://rss.feedsportal.com/c/270/f/470440/s/1d76767a/l/0Lnews0Btechworld0N0Capplications0C33446460Copera0Egoogle0Echrome0Efirefox0Ecommit0Ewindows0E80Emetro0Ebrowsers0C0Dolo0Frss/story01.htm

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