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08 May 12 Chrome beats IE for a weekend


Chrome beats IE for a weekend

Google creeps up on leisure time browsing crown

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Fresh from knocking off Microsoft’s Internet Explorer as the web’s most-used browser for a single day in March, Google’s Chrome browser has now claimed more users than Redmond’s HTML-cruncher for a whole weekend.

Data gathered by StatCounter shows Chrome has enjoyed a day of dominance on most weekends since its March ascendancy. On May 5th and 6th, however, it opened a gap over IE. Sunday the 6th even saw Chrome take a lead of nearly three percent.

Chrome beats IE for a whole weekend

IE still rules on weekdays, when use of the browser surges, presumably thanks to corporate drones diligent workers returning to the locked-down world of enterprise IT. But IE’s days as the market leader may even be numbered in those environments, as Microsoft has recently announced SharePoint and Microsoft CRM will support other browsers. That move will mean workplaces have fewer reasons to insist on IE as the corporate standard. ®

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Article source: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/05/08/chrome_beats_ie_again/

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14 Apr 12 Why Facebook needs to build a browser


Microsoft is getting its ass kicked by Google.

(Credit:
Screenshot by Ben Parr/CNET)

Sometime in the next 12 months, Google Chrome will become the world’s most popular browser, knocking Microsoft’s Internet Explorer off the mountain it has ruled for more than a decade.

This fact should scare the pants off of Facebook.

In July 2008, IE controlled 68.5 percent of the market, according to Statcounter, while Chrome wasn’t even on the market. Now Microsoft’s browser is down to 34.8 percent market share while Chrome controls 30.9 percent of total browser usage. Chrome has grown by a percentage point the last few months, while IE has dropped by around the same amount.

It’s only a matter of time until Google dominates the browser market.

Now you may be asking yourselves: why should Facebook care about the fate of the browser market? Facebook’s a social network, not a desktop software company — why do the browser wars matter?

The answer lies in Google’s ambitious plans for Google+, the company’s “social spine.” It’s no secret that Facebook and Google are at war, and that Google would love to take the wind out of Facebook’s sails. Nothing less than control of the Web (and billions in ad dollars) is at stake.

Google+ as a standalone product hasn’t made a dent in Facebook’s growth, though. Google+ may have 170+ million users, but Facebook is still on track for the IPO of the decade.

Google+ wasn’t designed as a standalone product, however. It was made to augment and unify all of Google’s products. Google wants to become Voltron — each separate piece (Gmail, Chrome,
Android, Google Search, and so on) is strong on its own, but combined it’s unstoppable. That’s why Google launched Search + Your World, and that’s why Google+ integration in Chrome is inevitable.

Google wants to become Voltron.

(Credit:
Toei Animation)

Think about that for a moment. In a single update, Google could turn Chrome into its own version of Rockmelt — it would be a social browser that puts Google+ in front of users before they even have a chance to type Facebook.com in the address bar.

Don’t think Google will do it? It’s already started releasing extensions that integrate Google+ into Chrome. I suspect that these extensions are just precursors to their eventual integration into Chrome.

Facebook may be king of the Web right now, but the browser is still the gateway users must pass through to access the Web. Facebook can’t allow Google to control how 30.9 percent of its users access its Web site, especially as its ally (and investor) Microsoft continues to falter in the browser wars.

Facebook could try to counter Chrome with Facebook integration in IE, but it wouldn’t be the game-changing move Facebook needs to put Google on the defensive. The only way Facebook can knock Google off its feet is to build its own browser and use its massive reach to promote it.

The next battle in the war for dominance over the Web is going to be waged at the browser level. The only question is whether Facebook will take up the fight before it’s too late.

Article source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-33617_3-57414140-276/why-facebook-needs-to-build-a-browser/

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06 Apr 12 Chrome: Fastest on Macs, Favorite on Weekends?


Browser statistics are not unlike weather forecasts on TV: If you don’t like what you hear, change the channel–or wait a day–and the story will likely change.

chromeCase in point: Hard on the heels of Net Applications’ report earlier this week suggesting that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has finally reversed its recent downward market-share trend–and that Google’s Chrome is now losing ground–rival StatCounter presents a very different picture.

In fact, continuing on Chrome’s one-day reign as market-share leader one Sunday last month, StatCounter’s data now suggests that Chrome is emerging as something of a weekend favorite, while Internet Explorer continues to dominate during the week–albeit less markedly than before.

‘The Trend Is Undeniable’

“Whether Chrome can take the lead in the browser wars in the long term remains to be seen, however the trend towards Chrome usage at weekends is undeniable,” wrote StatCounter CEO Aodhan Cullen in a blog post last month, when the research firm first noted the trend. “At weekends, when people are free to choose what browser to use, many of them are selecting Chrome in preference to IE.”

That trend now appears to be continuing. This past Sunday, for instance, Chrome held a 32.52 percent share of the worldwide browser market, while IE accounted for 32.48–before jumping up again to 35.03 percent on Monday.

StatCounter dataChrome’s popularity spikes on weekends, StatCounter data suggests (Click image to enlarge.)While Net Applications reports that Chrome’s share has decreased from 18.94 percent in January to 18.57 percent in March, StatCounter’s corresponding data shows an increase from 28.4 percent to 30.87 percent over the same period.

One key thing to keep in mind, of course, is that StatCounter doesn’t weight its data on a country-by-country basis, the way Net Applications does. Another key difference is that Net Applications recently adjusted its data to account for Chrome’s prerendering of pages–potentially accounting for the recent reported drop in Chrome’s share–while StatCounter has not done the same.

Microsoft, not surprisingly, supports Net Applications’ approach.

Loading Pages in Just 2.4 Seconds

Speed is another key aspect of the browser wars, of course, and on Thursday some new data emerged there as well.

Specifically, SaaS-based cloud application performance management provider Relic reported that Chrome 13 on Mac offered the fastest overall browsing experience in its recent tests–loading pages in just 2.4 seconds on average–while IE 9 surpassed Chrome on Windows platforms with a 3-second average speed, compared with Chrome’s 3.5 seconds.

The global average for page load speed is 5.5 seconds, Relic added, representing only a slight improvement over the 6 seconds it reported last year.

Rapid Adoption

Google’s Chrome 18, which debuted late last month, is designed to offer a speed boost, particularly in graphics-intensive applications.

After less than a week on the market, 33 percent of all Google Chrome users were already on version 18, according to research firm Chitika, which attributes that rapid adoption to Chrome’s auto-updating process.

More than 80 percent of Chrome users are now on one of the two most recent versions of the browser, Chitika adds.

Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/253281/chrome_fastest_on_macs_favorite_on_weekends.html

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05 Apr 12 Chrome: Fastest on Macs, Favorite on Weekends?


Browser statistics are not unlike weather forecasts on TV: If you don’t like what you hear, change the channel–or wait a day–and the story will likely change.

chromeCase in point: Hard on the heels of Net Applications’ report earlier this week suggesting that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has finally reversed its recent downward market-share trend–and that Google’s Chrome is now losing ground–rival StatCounter presents a very different picture.

In fact, continuing on Chrome’s one-day reign as market-share leader one Sunday last month, StatCounter’s data now suggests that Chrome is emerging as something of a weekend favorite, while Internet Explorer continues to dominate during the week–albeit less markedly than before.

‘The Trend Is Undeniable’

“Whether Chrome can take the lead in the browser wars in the long term remains to be seen, however the trend towards Chrome usage at weekends is undeniable,” wrote StatCounter CEO Aodhan Cullen in a blog post last month, when the research firm first noted the trend. “At weekends, when people are free to choose what browser to use, many of them are selecting Chrome in preference to IE.”

That trend now appears to be continuing. This past Sunday, for instance, Chrome held a 32.52 percent share of the worldwide browser market, while IE accounted for 32.48–before jumping up again to 35.03 percent on Monday.

StatCounter dataChrome’s popularity spikes on weekends, StatCounter data suggests (Click image to enlarge.)While Net Applications reports that Chrome’s share has decreased from 18.94 percent in January to 18.57 percent in March, StatCounter’s corresponding data shows an increase from 28.4 percent to 30.87 percent over the same period.

One key thing to keep in mind, of course, is that StatCounter doesn’t weight its data on a country-by-country basis, the way Net Applications does. Another key difference is that Net Applications recently adjusted its data to account for Chrome’s prerendering of pages–potentially accounting for the recent reported drop in Chrome’s share–while StatCounter has not done the same.

Microsoft, not surprisingly, supports Net Applications’ approach.

Loading Pages in Just 2.4 Seconds

Speed is another key aspect of the browser wars, of course, and on Thursday some new data emerged there as well.

Specifically, SaaS-based cloud application performance management provider Relic reported that Chrome 13 on Mac offered the fastest overall browsing experience in its recent tests–loading pages in just 2.4 seconds on average–while IE 9 surpassed Chrome on Windows platforms with a 3-second average speed, compared with Chrome’s 3.5 seconds.

The global average for page load speed is 5.5 seconds, Relic added, representing only a slight improvement over the 6 seconds it reported last year.

Rapid Adoption

Google’s Chrome 18, which debuted late last month, is designed to offer a speed boost, particularly in graphics-intensive applications.

After less than a week on the market, 33 percent of all Google Chrome users were already on version 18, according to research firm Chitika, which attributes that rapid adoption to Chrome’s auto-updating process.

More than 80 percent of Chrome users are now on one of the two most recent versions of the browser, Chitika adds.

Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/253281/chrome_fastest_on_macs_favorite_on_weekends.html

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05 Apr 12 Mass. company study finds Google Chrome has poorest security


A recent study released by iViZ Security, a testing service for Web applications founded by Bikash Barai and Nilanjan De, reported that, of the major Web browsers, Chrome had the most “critical vulnerabilities” with 152. Mozilla Firefox followed with 68 “critical vulnerabilities,” followed by Microsoft Internet Explorer (31) and Apple Safari (29).

The findings were part of a report titled “Security Comparison of Browsers: An Independent Report” that came as a result of in-depth analysis carried out by iViZ research labs covering all major browsers.

“Almost everybody uses browser for Web-surfing, social-networking and doing financial transactions over the Web. Perhaps that’s why Web browsers are most frequently targeted by hackers,” said Barai, CEO of iViZ. “There have been two reports out on a similar topic in past few months, but they were funded by different browser vendors and not surprisingly the vendor who funded the study came out on top. So at iViZ, we decided to independently check the vulnerabilities discovered in popular browsers.”

Summarizing the report, Jitendra Chauhan, who headed the research, said: “The vulnerabilities discovered should not be the sole judgment criteria. There are a multiple factors like security architecture, ease of exploitation, impact of vulnerability, window of exposure and several others. [For example] Chrome has an innovative security architecture with sandboxing capability that mitigates risk of direct code execution. This report highlights some of the interesting facts about browser security.”

Headquartered in Sudbury, Mass., iViZ Security provides a cloud-based penetration testing service for Web applications. Unlike scanners which lack in quality and consultants who are expensive, iViZ delivers consultant grade quality testing in a software-as-a-service based, cost-effective, subscription model, the company said.

The company has more than 300 customers.

Co-founder De, serves as iViZ chief scientific officer and director.

Article source: http://www.indusbusinessjournal.com/ME2/dirmod.asp?sid=&nm=&type=Publishing&mod=Publications%3A%3AArticle&mid=8F3A7027421841978F18BE895F87F791&tier=4&id=90D7F74294A2453CAC7ADCFFFBF8DB17

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01 Apr 12 Google Claims Latest Chrome is Speedier


Google last week patched nine vulnerabilities in Chrome and boosted the speed and reach of the browser’s hardware acceleration with the launch of version 18.

According to the company, Chrome 18 enables accelerated Canvas 2D on Windows and Mac machines with compatible graphics processor units (GPUs), and expands support for the WebGL 3D standard to older systems.

Canvas 2D acceleration has been part of earlier builds of Chrome, but this is the first time that Google has turned it on in a “stable” version of the browser.

Google last refreshed Chrome seven weeks ago on Feb. 8. 2012. Google generates an update to its stable channel about every six to eight weeks, a slightly more flexible schedule than rival Mozilla’s strict every-six-weeks tempo.

Three of the nine vulnerabilities patched today were rated “high,” the second-most dire ranking in Google’s threat system. Five were marked “medium” and one was tagged “low.”

Google paid $4000 in bounties to six researchers for reporting the same number of bugs, and handed another $8,000 to four investigators who uncovered flaws that were patched by Google engineers before Chrome 18 made it to its final milestone. The three remaining vulnerabilities in the nine were uncovered by Google’s own security team.

The search firm has paid more than $210,000 to outside researchers from its bug bounty and hacking challenge accounts this year. The latter, dubbed “Pwnium,” laid out $120,000 to two researchers at the CanSecWest security conference earlier this month.

Chrome 18 also included the new Adobe Flash Player 11.2, which featured patches for two critical vulnerabilities in the popular media software. Chrome is the only browser to bundle Flash Player.

Flash Player 11.2′s most prominent feature — a new background update mechanism for Windows PCs — is not applicable to the version integrated with Chrome, since the browser uses its own silent update service to deliver fixes for the oft-exploited and -repaired plug-in.

Per its usual practice, Google blocked access to its bug tracking database for the just-patched vulnerabilities to prevent outsiders from gleaning information that could be used to build exploits.

The enabling of hardware-accelerated Canvas 2D — a function within HTML5 — will speed up rendering in Web applications, including games, Google said in a blog post Wednesday.

And WebGL support has been extended to systems with older GPUs and drivers in Chrome 18, said Google, courtesy of a licensing arrangement with Canadian company TransGaming, whose SwiftShader software rasterizer kicks in on machines not able to use WebGL, such as PCs running Windows XP.

Adobe also licenses SwiftShader.

Chrome 18 users can enter “chrome://gpu” in the address bar — sans the quotation marks — to see a summary of what hardware acceleration standards their PC or Mac supports.

Chrome Stays in Third Place

Internet metrics company Net Applications said earlier this month that Chrome accounted for 18.9 percent of all browsers used in February, keeping it in third place behind Firefox (with 20.9 percent) and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (52.8 percent).

Rival measurement company StatCounter, however, currently puts Chrome at 30.8 percent for March so far, with IE at 34.8 percent and Firefox at 25 percent.

On two days this month — both Sundays, when more people are likely to use their home computers than a work machine — StatCounter’s numbers showed Chrome’s share was higher than IE’s .

Microsoft has disputed StatCounter’s claim , arguing that the Irish analytics firm’s data is inaccurate because it doesn’t account for the sparse numbers from countries like China, and doesn’t eliminate the “pre-rendered” pages Chrome loads but that a user may never view.

Chrome 18 can be downloaded for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux from Google’s website. Users running the browser will be updated automatically through its silent service.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer , on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg’s RSS feed . His email address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

See more by Gregg Keizer on Computerworld.com .

Read more about browsers in Computerworld’s Browsers Topic Center.

Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/252907/google_claims_latest_chrome_is_speedier.html

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31 Mar 12 Google Claims Latest Chrome is Speedier


Google last week patched nine vulnerabilities in Chrome and boosted the speed and reach of the browser’s hardware acceleration with the launch of version 18.

According to the company, Chrome 18 enables accelerated Canvas 2D on Windows and Mac machines with compatible graphics processor units (GPUs), and expands support for the WebGL 3D standard to older systems.

Canvas 2D acceleration has been part of earlier builds of Chrome, but this is the first time that Google has turned it on in a “stable” version of the browser.

Google last refreshed Chrome seven weeks ago on Feb. 8. 2012. Google generates an update to its stable channel about every six to eight weeks, a slightly more flexible schedule than rival Mozilla’s strict every-six-weeks tempo.

Three of the nine vulnerabilities patched today were rated “high,” the second-most dire ranking in Google’s threat system. Five were marked “medium” and one was tagged “low.”

Google paid $4000 in bounties to six researchers for reporting the same number of bugs, and handed another $8,000 to four investigators who uncovered flaws that were patched by Google engineers before Chrome 18 made it to its final milestone. The three remaining vulnerabilities in the nine were uncovered by Google’s own security team.

The search firm has paid more than $210,000 to outside researchers from its bug bounty and hacking challenge accounts this year. The latter, dubbed “Pwnium,” laid out $120,000 to two researchers at the CanSecWest security conference earlier this month.

Chrome 18 also included the new Adobe Flash Player 11.2, which featured patches for two critical vulnerabilities in the popular media software. Chrome is the only browser to bundle Flash Player.

Flash Player 11.2′s most prominent feature — a new background update mechanism for Windows PCs — is not applicable to the version integrated with Chrome, since the browser uses its own silent update service to deliver fixes for the oft-exploited and -repaired plug-in.

Per its usual practice, Google blocked access to its bug tracking database for the just-patched vulnerabilities to prevent outsiders from gleaning information that could be used to build exploits.

The enabling of hardware-accelerated Canvas 2D — a function within HTML5 — will speed up rendering in Web applications, including games, Google said in a blog post Wednesday.

And WebGL support has been extended to systems with older GPUs and drivers in Chrome 18, said Google, courtesy of a licensing arrangement with Canadian company TransGaming, whose SwiftShader software rasterizer kicks in on machines not able to use WebGL, such as PCs running Windows XP.

Adobe also licenses SwiftShader.

Chrome 18 users can enter “chrome://gpu” in the address bar — sans the quotation marks — to see a summary of what hardware acceleration standards their PC or Mac supports.

Chrome Stays in Third Place

Internet metrics company Net Applications said earlier this month that Chrome accounted for 18.9 percent of all browsers used in February, keeping it in third place behind Firefox (with 20.9 percent) and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (52.8 percent).

Rival measurement company StatCounter, however, currently puts Chrome at 30.8 percent for March so far, with IE at 34.8 percent and Firefox at 25 percent.

On two days this month — both Sundays, when more people are likely to use their home computers than a work machine — StatCounter’s numbers showed Chrome’s share was higher than IE’s .

Microsoft has disputed StatCounter’s claim , arguing that the Irish analytics firm’s data is inaccurate because it doesn’t account for the sparse numbers from countries like China, and doesn’t eliminate the “pre-rendered” pages Chrome loads but that a user may never view.

Chrome 18 can be downloaded for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux from Google’s website. Users running the browser will be updated automatically through its silent service.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer , on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg’s RSS feed . His email address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

See more by Gregg Keizer on Computerworld.com .

Read more about browsers in Computerworld’s Browsers Topic Center.

Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/252907/google_claims_latest_chrome_is_speedier.html

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14 Mar 12 Google Chrome to Get a Metro-Style Look for Windows 8


Windows 8 is shaping up to be a new battleground for the browser wars, with Google confirming plans for a Metro-style version of Chrome.

An unnamed Google representative revealed the company’s plans to Mashable. The official said Chrome for Windows 8 will be based off the existing desktop browser, as opposed to the Android version of Chrome. Google will improve touch support on the desktop side, but will also build a Metro version for the tablet-friendly side of Windows 8.

“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,” the Google representative said. Google hasn’t announced any features for Windows 8 Chrome.

Google Chrome to Get a Metro-Style Look for Windows 8This week, Mozilla revealed plans to bring its Firefox browser to Windows 8. In a blog post, Mozilla engineer Brian Bondy explained that browsers can have special privileges in Windows 8. Technically, they’re desktop apps, but they can also include a Metro-style version that runs within Windows 8′s touch-optimized interface. To use the Metro-style app, users must set the browser as the default in Windows 8.

Although Microsoft and Google have become rivals in recent years, Google can’t afford to ignore Windows 8. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 10 serves as the default browser, with Bing as its search engine, which means Google could lose a lot of its bread and butter search business if Windows 8′s Metro interface proves popular. In Windows 8, Chrome’s goal will be the same as it’s always been: Keep users hooked on Google Search.

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Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/251747/google_chrome_to_get_a_metrostyle_look_for_windows_8.html

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06 Mar 12 Google fixes 14 Chrome bugs before hackathon


Google pushed out another update to its Chrome Web browser Sunday, fixing 14 holes three days before Chrome’s trial by fire in an annual hacking competition.

The latest version, 17.0.963.65, fixes errors with cursors, backgrounds and plug-ins not loading, as well as issues with copying and pasting text and using touch controls on websites, according to the official Chrome blog.

It also pushes out the latest version of Adobe Flash Player, which ought to restore functionality to the “Plants vs. Zombies” app that’s been unusable since the last Chrome update in mid-February.

As is customary with Chrome updates, Google will be paying the finder of each patched flaw $1,000. But this update brought added prizes — three of the four people who found the latest round of bugs have been so prolific recently that Google’s giving each of them an extra $10,000 just for being “awesome” and bringing “significant pain” to bugs.

“We have always reserved the right to arbitrarily reward sustained, extraordinary contributions. In this instance, we’re dropping a surprise bonus,” wrote Jason Kersey of the Chrome team on the blog posting. “We reserve the right to do so again and reserve the right to do so on a more regular basis!”

On Wednesday, several teams and individuals will begin the three-day Pwn2Own hackathon at the CanSecWest security conference in Vancouver, B.C., trying to crack the most recent versions of Apple’s Safari, Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Internet Explorer. All will be running on fully patched versions of Windows 7 or Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.

Chrome has made it through the last two Pwn2Own contests unblemished.

© 2012 SecurityNewsDaily. All rights reserved

Article source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46633321/ns/technology_and_science-security/

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