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16 Dec 12 James Love: Google’s New Chrome Operating System


Yesterday I received a Samsung laptop computer running Google’s Chrome OS. This is the new $249 Chromebook with an SSD drive, 2 gigs of RAM, an 11.6 inch 1366 x 768 pixels screen, and the 1.7 GHz Exynos 5200 processor. The laptop weighs 2.4 pounds and has a nice usable keyboard and a well implemented trackpad. There is also the option of a model with 2 years of 3G (limited) data from Verizon, for just $329. Both of the new Samsung models* are chronically sold out and hard to find (some resellers are getting $100 to $150 over the suggested retail price). While the Samsung hardware is surprisingly nice for the money, the real story is the new Google OS.

What Google has done with Chrome OS is to create a serious mass market operating system for desktop computers, from Linux. It is surprising that this has taken so long to happen, and also somewhat surprising that Google has positioned the OS as something for small screen computers mostly on the cloud, when the OS could easily be implemented (and maybe it will) for a wider range of devices and uses. The immediate impact will to make it hard to justify buying the 11.6 inch Mac Air, which starts at $999. But the OS is good enough to make much larger inroads into the desktop computing market. It is more than a thin client, with enough off-line functionality to make most users happy, and the early Chromebooks show that it is possible to have very tight integration between the Linux software and hardware.

I have been using several different desktop and laptop computers, mostly running the Ubuntu distribution of Linux, and also occasionally using a computer running the Apple OSX or Microsoft’s Windows. As much as I like Ubuntu, it seems unlikely to make serious inroads into the Apple or Microsoft desktop OS markets, at least for the foreseeable future. But the Chrome OS is unlike any other desktop Linux distribution. It makes the Apple OSX seem complicated, and anyone, and I mean anyone, can pick one up and use it right away.

I like having an 11.6 to 13 inch computer for travel, and its nice to have something that is light (a real “laptop”) and fits in the space for economy seats on an airplane or in the cramped space you have at a conference, and which has a good battery life. But I would also like to see this OS implemented in a 14 or 15 inch ultrabook hardware configuration, with a bit more hefty processor and more ram and diskspace. When that happens, both Apple and Microsoft will have to deal with some big changes in their business models.

* There some other hardware options from Samsung and Acer, including a new $199 laptop from Acer and a Samsung Chromebox, which requires external monitors and keyboard.


Follow James Love on Twitter:

www.twitter.com/jamie_love

Article source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-love/googles-new-chrome-operat_b_2283349.html

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07 Jun 12 Google teases upcoming release of Metro-enabled Chrome browser


Ed Bott is a freelance technical journalist and book author. All work that Ed does is on a contractual basis.

Since 1994, Ed has written more than 25 books about Microsoft Windows and Office. Along with various co-authors, Ed is completely responsible for the content of the books he writes. As a key part of his contractual relationship with publishers, he gives them permission to print and distribute the content he writes and to pay him a royalty based on the actual sales of those books. Ed’s books written prior to fall 2011 have been distributed by Que Publishing (a division of Pearson Education) and by Microsoft Press. As of November 2011, Ed is a partner in the independent publishing company Fair Trade Digital Exchange, which exclusively publishes his books.

On occasion, Ed accepts consulting assignments. In recent years, he has worked as an expert witness in cases where his experience and knowledge of Microsoft and Microsoft Windows have been useful. In each such case, his compensation is on an hourly basis, and he is hired as a witness, not an advocate.

Ed does not own stock or have any other financial interest in Microsoft or any other software company. He owns 500 shares of stock in EMC Corporation, which was purchased before the company’s acquisition of VMware. In addition, he owns 350 shares of stock in Intel Corporation, purchased more than two years ago. All stocks are held in retirement accounts for long-term growth.

Ed does not accept gifts from companies he covers. All hardware products he writes about are purchased with his own funds or are review units covered under formal loan agreements and are returned after the review is complete.

Article source: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/google-teases-upcoming-release-of-metro-enabled-chrome-browser/5071

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04 Jun 12 Nokia: Android phones have major patent issues


“Both companies have their own intellectual property rights portfolios and strategies and operate independently.”

He also said that some Android devices had “significant (intellectual property) infringement issues” relating to Nokia’s patents.

Google, in a formal complaint to the European Commission, said Microsoft and Nokia had transferred 1,200 patents to MOSAID, a so-called “patent troll” which makes money by taking legal action over patent infringements.

Nokia and Microsoft cooperate on smartphones that compete with Google’s Android devices. The Finnish phone maker shifted from its own Symbian software in favor of Microsoft Windows in February 2011.

Google’s accusations highlight current cut-throat competition in the mobile phone business where companies, including Nokia, are fighting to assert intellectual property rights over wireless technologies.

Nokia’s patents have become valuable and stable assets for the company, particularly at a time when falling handset sales and a loss of market share threaten its future.

Nokia has already sued Android device makers HTC and ViewSonic for infringing its patents and is expected to go after others.

Nokia already earns 500 million euros ($618.22 million) a year from its patent royalties in key areas of mobile telephony and some analysts have said a more determined application of its patent rights could boost its income by hundreds more millions of euros a year.

Microsoft said earlier that Google’s complaint about antitrust in the smartphone industry was a “desperate tactic” from a company that controls more than 95 per cent of mobile search and advertising.

Article source: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-06-01/telecom/31957815_1_nokia-and-microsoft-nokia-spokesman-mark-durrant-google-s-android

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11 Apr 12 Google Chrome OS Busts Out Of Browser With New Interface


Google is giving Chrome OS a new look. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Google is giving Chrome OS a makeover, revamping its browser-based OS look a lot more like classic desktop operating systems such as Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS X.

On Monday, as it does every six weeks, the company released a new test version of the OS, and this includes a new user interface called Aura. As it stands, Chrome OS behaves very much like a single browser window. But with Aura, you can open multiple, overlapping windows as you would on a classic desktop OS.

“Our vision with Chrome OS is to provide a user experience that gets better every 6 weeks,” a Google spokesman tells Wired. “One of the areas we’ve thought a lot about is the desktop and windows manager environment, and creating a simpler, more intuitive experience for our users.”

With Chrome OS, the browser was essentially the only local application. All other apps and data sat into the browser. Google first released the operating system in May of last year, offering it on “Chromebook” laptops manufactured by Acer and Samsung. The laptops were originally envisioned as consumer devices, but at some point before their release, Google decided they should be sold to corporations as well. Because the OS is contained in a browser, Google says, it’s more secure than traditional OSes, and it can be updated over the wire. For those two reasons, the company believes its ideal for businesses.

“There’s not a whole lot to manage, the operating system is so lightweight,” Zeus Kerravala, a senior vice president at market research outfit the Yankee Group and a Chromebook user, told us last year. “You don’t have to deal with Windows service packs, which is like installing a new OS. You don’t have to deal with security patches. And with everything stored in the cloud, you don’t have to worry about backup.”

But the laptops are limited — and, at about $450 a pop, relatively expensive. Google has not released official sales figures for the devices.

In addition to offering adjustable, overlapping Windows, the new Chrome OS alpha also offers a taskbar and an app launcher are reminiscent of Windows Taskbar and Apple’s LauchPad, judging from screenshots posted to the net. Under the hood, Google says, it has also improved Chrome’s media players, and it has added a recovery tool for rebuilding the OS when it’s damaged.

The Chromebooks manufactured by Acer and Samsung are they only models that can run the new release. Prior to the release of these notebooks, Google offered a beta laptop known as the Cr-48, and this will not the new alpha. But Google engineer Orit Mazor said that the company is not killing support for the Cr-48. She said that Google that Chrome OS version 19 is skipping Cr-48 “due to platform considerations” and that the company would bring the laptop 48 “back onto the release train” after the version 19.

Article source: http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/04/google-chrome-microsoft-apple/

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11 Apr 12 Google gives Chrome OS a less alienating interface


The biggest change to the new Chrome OS interface is the ability to have multiple browser windows, each movable and resizable. Previously, the windows had only a full-screen view.

The biggest change to the new Chrome OS interface is the ability to have multiple browser windows, each movable and resizable. Previously, the windows had only a full-screen view. And across the bottom is a task bar with shortcuts and system status details.

(Credit:
screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET)

In the computing world right now, there are two general ways to show windows on a screen: with the window taking up the entire screen, as on smartphones and
tablets; or with resizable, overlapping windows, as on personal computer OSes.

Until yesterday, Google’s browser-based operating system, Chrome OS, fell into the former camp. Users had no choice but to see browser pages and run browser apps at the full size of the screen. That changed with a new window manager that debuted with Chrome OS 19.0.1048.17, released in a developer build.

With the Chromebook notebooks that are the sole way of getting Chrome OS today, being limited to full-screen pages isn’t a big deal: the laptop screen isn’t that big, so it’s useful to see as much as you can, and the tabs across the top provide an obvious way to switch among browser windows.

But evidently Google wanted the Chrome OS to be more like Microsoft Windows and Apple’s
Mac OS X. That’s smart, given how many people are familiar with those operating systems and how weird Chrome OS can feel when you first try it. For a look at some of the features, check the slideshow showing the new Chrome OS look.

Chrome OS gets a new — but familiar — look

And happily for people like me who want our maximum-sized windows, it’s largely optional.

The new interface comes through two Chrome OS projects, Aura and Ash, according to Chrome interface leader Ben Goodger. Aura provides the hardware-accelerated graphics engine, and Ash runs on top of of that, controlling the windows themselves.

The new look
The update adds several features:

• The ability to show smaller browser windows, each with its own set of tabs, in front of a desktop screen background. These smaller windows can be overlapped like traditional windows, and the tab strip at the top is translucent to show a bit of windows underneath. As the work continues, you can expect translucent apps and blurred translucency, too.

• A list of shortcuts a la OS X’s dock or Windows’ task bar that shows across the bottom of the screen when smaller windows are showing. The task bar also absorbs the status items such as the clock and battery state icon that had been in the upper right corner. This task bar disappears when the browser window is maximized but reappears if you slide your mouse pointer down to the bottom of the screen.

• Browser tabs can be torn off of the tab strip and their windows dragged to new positions on the screen or merged with the tab strip of another window. Each window gets a rectangle in the upper right that toggles between maximized and smaller-screen, and windows can be resized by dragging any edge, a la Windows for decades and Mac OS X since Lion.

• Clicking on an icon in the task bar shows a grid of icons for the apps and bookmarks you have installed, rather like OS X’s Launchpad or the apps button on
Android. These are the same items that would otherwise appear in Chrome OS’s new-tab page, which now shows frequently used pages when you click the new-tab button or type Ctrl-T.

Maximized windows are good
Overall, the user interface is probably more familiar to average users, but I’m not a fan of the new window modes for the most part. I’m already a maximum-screen kind of guy for the most part, unless I’m using a really big monitor.

There are areas in which I see the new UI as useful, though.

First, for bigger screens, where windows don’t need to be run maximized, it could be very handy. And don’t forget that Google wants to bring Chrome OS beyond just its initial Chromebook incarnation, and that Chrome OS can support external monitors.

Second, it can be nice for intentionally small windows. For example, the Chrome OS “view background pages” command now invokes a small separate window on its own rather than a small window against a big empty browser tab that takes up the whole screen.

Third, the new app icon grid is handy. The new-tab page didn’t hold enough icons, so this does better.

Last, Chrome OS now can show off background images on your desktop. This might be nice for some people, but for me it’s just as useless as on any other OS. It’s like having a beautiful tablecloth for a table that’s always completely covered with other stuff. Maybe your computing habits are different, but when I want to look at photos — which is often — I look at them full screen in some dedicated software, not at whatever parts of them aren’t behind icons, gadgets, and windows.

Traditional UIs are changing
What I find most interesting about the new Chrome OS interface is that Google has chosen to go with a conventional interface at a time when those conventions are changing.

The iPad is one case in point, where full-screen apps are the only apps, and people don’t seem to have a big problem with it.

The bigger uncertainty is Windows 8′s Metro interface, for which apps are full screen only unless you’re pulling in one of those thin-strip second apps along the side.

So arguably, the rising star of full-screen apps means that Google is anchoring itself into the past with Chrome OS. Although I’m a full-screen fan, it’s probably smartest for Google to adapt to prevailing customs in this case. Chrome OS already is different enough that it’s best to preserve any familiarity that can be preserved.

A diagram of how the parts of Chrome OSs user interface fit together.

A diagram of how the parts of Chrome OS’s user interface fit together.

(Credit:
Google)

Article source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-57411748-2/google-gives-chrome-os-a-less-alienating-interface/?part=rss&subj=software&tag=title

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11 Apr 12 Google Chrome OS Busts Out Of Browser With New Interface


Google is giving Chrome OS a new look. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Google is giving Chrome OS a makeover, revamping its browser-based OS look a lot more like classic desktop operating systems such as Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS X.

On Monday, as it does every six weeks, the company released a new test version of the OS, and this includes a new user interface called Aura. As it stands, Chrome OS behaves very much like a single browser window. But with Aura, you can open multiple, overlapping windows as you would on a classic desktop OS.

“Our vision with Chrome OS is to provide a user experience that gets better every 6 weeks,” a Google spokesman tells Wired. “One of the areas we’ve thought a lot about is the desktop and windows manager environment, and creating a simpler, more intuitive experience for our users.”

With Chrome OS, the browser was essentially the only local application. All other apps and data sat into the browser. Google first released the operating system in May of last year, offering it on “Chromebook” laptops manufactured by Acer and Samsung. The laptops were originally envisioned as consumer devices, but at some point before their release, Google decided they should be sold to corporations as well. Because the OS is contained in a browser, Google says, it’s more secure than traditional OSes, and it can be updated over the wire. For those two reasons, the company believes its ideal for businesses.

“There’s not a whole lot to manage, the operating system is so lightweight,” Zeus Kerravala, a senior vice president at market research outfit the Yankee Group and a Chromebook user, told us last year. “You don’t have to deal with Windows service packs, which is like installing a new OS. You don’t have to deal with security patches. And with everything stored in the cloud, you don’t have to worry about backup.”

But the laptops are limited — and, at about $450 a pop, relatively expensive. Google has not released official sales figures for the devices.

In addition to offering adjustable, overlapping Windows, the new Chrome OS alpha also offers a taskbar and an app launcher are reminiscent of Windows Taskbar and Apple’s LauchPad, judging from screenshots posted to the net. Under the hood, Google says, it has also improved Chrome’s media players, and it has added a recovery tool for rebuilding the OS when it’s damaged.

The Chromebooks manufactured by Acer and Samsung are they only models that can run the new release. Prior to the release of these notebooks, Google offered a beta laptop known as the Cr-48, and this will not the new alpha. But Google engineer Orit Mazor said that the company is not killing support for the Cr-48. She said that Google that Chrome OS version 19 is skipping Cr-48 “due to platform considerations” and that the company would bring the laptop 48 “back onto the release train” after the version 19.

Article source: http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/04/google-chrome-microsoft-apple/

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10 Apr 12 Google gives Chrome OS a less alienating interface


The biggest change to the new Chrome OS interface is the ability to have multiple browser windows, each movable and resizable. Previously, the windows had only a full-screen view.

The biggest change to the new Chrome OS interface is the ability to have multiple browser windows, each movable and resizable. Previously, the windows had only a full-screen view. And across the bottom is a task bar with shortcuts and system status details.

(Credit:
screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET)

In the computing world right now, there are two general ways to show windows on a screen: with the window taking up the entire screen, as on smartphones and
tablets; or with resizable, overlapping windows, as on personal computer OSes.

Until yesterday, Google’s browser-based operating system, Chrome OS, fell into the former camp. Users had no choice but to see browser pages and run browser apps at the full size of the screen. That changed with a new window manager that debuted with Chrome OS 19.0.1048.17, released in a developer build.

With the Chromebook notebooks that are the sole way of getting Chrome OS today, being limited to full-screen pages isn’t a big deal: the laptop screen isn’t that big, so it’s useful to see as much as you can, and the tabs across the top provide an obvious way to switch among browser windows.

But evidently Google wanted the Chrome OS to be more like Microsoft Windows and Apple’s
Mac OS X. That’s smart, given how many people are familiar with those operating systems and how weird Chrome OS can feel when you first try it. For a look at some of the features, check the slideshow showing the new Chrome OS look.

Chrome OS gets a new — but familiar — look

And happily for people like me who want our maximum-sized windows, it’s largely optional.

The new interface comes through two Chrome OS projects, Aura and Ash, according to Chrome interface leader Ben Goodger. Aura provides the hardware-accelerated graphics engine, and Ash runs on top of of that, controlling the windows themselves.

The new look
The update adds several features:

• The ability to show smaller browser windows, each with its own set of tabs, in front of a desktop screen background. These smaller windows can be overlapped like traditional windows, and the tab strip at the top is translucent to show a bit of windows underneath. As the work continues, you can expect translucent apps and blurred translucency, too.

• A list of shortcuts a la OS X’s dock or Windows’ task bar that shows across the bottom of the screen when smaller windows are showing. The task bar also absorbs the status items such as the clock and battery state icon that had been in the upper right corner. This task bar disappears when the browser window is maximized but reappears if you slide your mouse pointer down to the bottom of the screen.

• Browser tabs can be torn off of the tab strip and their windows dragged to new positions on the screen or merged with the tab strip of another window. Each window gets a rectangle in the upper right that toggles between maximized and smaller-screen, and windows can be resized by dragging any edge, a la Windows for decades and Mac OS X since Lion.

• Clicking on an icon in the task bar shows a grid of icons for the apps and bookmarks you have installed, rather like OS X’s Launchpad or the apps button on
Android. These are the same items that would otherwise appear in Chrome OS’s new-tab page, which now shows frequently used pages when you click the new-tab button or type Ctrl-T.

Maximized windows are good
Overall, the user interface is probably more familiar to average users, but I’m not a fan of the new window modes for the most part. I’m already a maximum-screen kind of guy for the most part, unless I’m using a really big monitor.

There are areas in which I see the new UI as useful, though.

First, for bigger screens, where windows don’t need to be run maximized, it could be very handy. And don’t forget that Google wants to bring Chrome OS beyond just its initial Chromebook incarnation, and that Chrome OS can support external monitors.

Second, it can be nice for intentionally small windows. For example, the Chrome OS “view background pages” command now invokes a small separate window on its own rather than a small window against a big empty browser tab that takes up the whole screen.

Third, the new app icon grid is handy. The new-tab page didn’t hold enough icons, so this does better.

Last, Chrome OS now can show off background images on your desktop. This might be nice for some people, but for me it’s just as useless as on any other OS. It’s like having a beautiful tablecloth for a table that’s always completely covered with other stuff. Maybe your computing habits are different, but when I want to look at photos — which is often — I look at them full screen in some dedicated software, not at whatever parts of them aren’t behind icons, gadgets, and windows.

Traditional UIs are changing
What I find most interesting about the new Chrome OS interface is that Google has chosen to go with a conventional interface at a time when those conventions are changing.

The iPad is one case in point, where full-screen apps are the only apps, and people don’t seem to have a big problem with it.

The bigger uncertainty is Windows 8′s Metro interface, for which apps are full screen only unless you’re pulling in one of those thin-strip second apps along the side.

So arguably, the rising star of full-screen apps means that Google is anchoring itself into the past with Chrome OS. Although I’m a full-screen fan, it’s probably smartest for Google to adapt to prevailing customs in this case. Chrome OS already is different enough that it’s best to preserve any familiarity that can be preserved.

A diagram of how the parts of Chrome OSs user interface fit together.

A diagram of how the parts of Chrome OS’s user interface fit together.

(Credit:
Google)

Article source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-57411748-2/google-gives-chrome-os-a-less-alienating-interface/

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28 Mar 12 Google I/O 2012: 10 Things Developers Can Expect at the Show


When the Goolge
I/O conference first started
, the company had an exceedingly difficult time
getting developers to join the event. It appeared that they wanted to see how
it would go before they would commit. But in 2011, the event’s tickets sold out
in no time. And this year, they hit a new sell-out record, exhausting the
supply of tickets in just 20 minutes. The excitement surrounding the I/O
Conference has hit a tipping point.

Google plans to hold the event on
June 27 during a three-day period. Google hasn’t said what it will discuss, but
the event is usually a good way to learn about the future of Google’s many
services, including Android, Chrome, and even Google TV. In other words, it’s a
major event that just about anyone who cares about the Google developer world
will want to learn more about.

Realizing that this has become a must-see event, it’s time to look at some of
the possible developments and announcements to expect at Google I/O 2012.

1. Android stats galore

Google is very much like Apple in that it likes to talk
about mobile statistics as often as possible. So, at Google I/O, expect the search giant to take the stage
and discuss everything from daily Android activations to devices sold
worldwide. Providing Android stats is a key component in making Apple look bad.

2. A new Android version

In the past, Google has used Google I/O to discuss the
latest and greatest Android flavors. At this year’s event, expect the same.
After all, Google I/O is the place where the search giant has all the attention
of media outlets and developers. Why wouldn’t it discuss the future of Android?

3. A new Chrome OS

Remember Chrome OS? It’s the operating system that was
supposed to take on Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS X. Well, it’s still
available and still running on Chromebooks, but it’s been largely ignored. At Google I/O, expect the search company to bring it back
to the forefront and discuss how it might be used in the coming years.

4. Android Market developer discussions

One of the central elements of Android’s success has been
its ability to attract developers. And the fact that Google I/O sold out in
just 20 minutes shows how excited developers are to create apps for the
company’s operating systems. So, expect lots of discussions on apps and the
Android Market, as a whole.

5. Security will take center stage

Security is undoubtedly the biggest issue facing Android right now. And Google knows it. So, at Google I/O,
expect the search giant to discuss security and the ways in which it plans to
safeguard its many operating systems. To neglect security would be a huge
mistake on Google’s part.

6. The future of Google TV

At Google I/O 2011, Google TV made a comeback, as the search
company discussed how it would attempt to appeal to customers in the living
room. Since then, however, Google TV has been all but ignored, making some
wonder if it should be discontinued. With rumors of Apple launching a
television this year, however, discontinuing Google TV seems unlikely, making
it increasingly likely the platform will be on display at Google I/O.

7. Expect search to play a role

It wouldn’t be a Google-related event if the search company
didn’t discuss, well, search. From Android to Chrome OS to Google TV, search
plays a crucial role in all the services that might take center stage at Google
I/O. Google would be remiss to not discuss it.

8. Google+, anyone?

Online services outside of search have become quite
important to Google as of late. And more recently, Google+ has arguably become
its most important online consideration next to search. Realizing that, expect for Google to discuss its social network and talk up app development for it. As
Facebook has proven, social apps can mean big business — and Google wants a
part of that business.

9. A Google-branded smartphone and tablet

Although much of the discussion surrounding Google I/O will
relate to development, there’s also a good chance that the search giant will
show off a smartphone and tablet under its personally branded Nexus line. The
Nexus strategy worked brilliantly in the smartphone space, but Google hasn’t
followed the same path in tablets. The time has come for it to do just that.
And Google I/O might be the place to do it.

10. An all-out assault on Microsoft

Lastly, expect Google to take aim at Microsoft at the Google
I/O Conference. Since its inception, Google has hated everything about Microsoft.
Now, the search giant is starting to chip away at Microsoft’s defenses,
including Windows. Expect a rather significant chunk of Google I/O to continue
that work.

Follow Don Reisinger on Twitter by clicking here



Article source: http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Mobile-and-Wireless/Google-IO-2012-10-Things-Developers-Can-Expect-at-the-Show-180794/

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05 Jan 12 Could Chrome overtake IE in browser wars?



Google Chrome's success has hurt Mozilla's Firefox, another alternative to Microsoft's Explorer.

(CNN) — A month ago, Google’s three-year effort to push its Web browser, Chrome, took a major step when analysts said it had passed Mozilla’s Firefox to become the second-most popular tool of its kind on the Internet.

Today, that climb continues and has some tech observers wondering whether Chrome could do the unthinkable and topple perennial leader Internet Explorer from atop the browser rankings.

According to Web analytics firm StatCounter, the most popular version of Google’s browser, Chrome 15, edged out Internet Explorer 8 in early December to become the world’s most used edition of a browser. (For those keeping score, the totals were 23.6% of worldwide browser usage compared to IE8′s 23.5%.)

When all versions are considered, Chrome accounted for more than 27% of all worldwide browser use at the beginning of December, an increase of about 1.5% over the previous month. That’s compared to about 37% for Internet Explorer, which dropped 2% from November, according to StatCounter.

Now in third place, Firefox remained mostly steady with about 25% of the browser market. Trailing far behind is Apple’s Safari, with about 6%.


First ever look inside Google New York

The numbers can vary in the browser race depending on who is counting. Web surveying firm Net Applications still has Explorer at 52%, Firefox at 22% and Chrome at 19%. But that represents a 10-point drop by Explorer since 2010, while Chrome use more than doubled and Firefox remained flat.

Gartner analyst David Mitchell Smith thinks Chrome has gathered momentum because it is a strong product.

“People like it because it’s fast,” he said. “Google has done a nice job advertising it recently, so that’s increased awareness.”

Since its rollout, reviews have been generally positive about Chrome. While some call it a work in progress, many have praised its features and speed.

“Super-fast browsing performance, now with hardware acceleration. Excellent security through sandboxing and malware warnings. Instant site prediction and loading,” PCMag wrote in a review of Chrome 15, giving it 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. The review also praised it for strong support for the emerging HTML5 coding system amd built-in Flash player, while dinging it for still not being compatible with a handful of sites.

Smith also said people are more aware than ever that they have a choice of browsers. Internet Explorer has been the dominant browser for more than a decade, at least in large part because it comes installed on Windows machines.

“This was happening even more so when there was a real big difference between what you could get from someone else and what Explorer was,” he said. “Now, that’s not the case. Explorer 9 is pretty competitive with the other browsers, so maybe there’s not as much need to go away from it.”

StatCounter CEO Aodhan Cullen attributed at least part of Chrome’s rise to its increased use among businesses.

“Google announced Chrome for business exactly a year ago and IT administrators appear to have embraced it in a remarkably short time,” he said.

Chrome use already had overtaken Explorer on weekends, when personal use presumably trumps office use, since October. But Chrome 15 became the more popular from Monday to Friday on December 5, he said.

Microsoft, putting a positive spin on the numbers, emphasized that Explorer’s latest (and generally well-received) version, IE9, is rapidly gaining ground as use of IE8 drops. IE9 was released in March.

(To its credit, Microsoft is also celebrating the demise of Internet Explorer 6. Widely reviled by Web developers and many users from the start, use of that version dropped below 1% in the United States last month, with Microsoft spokesman Roger Capriotti writing on the Windows blog that the company is breaking out the champagne and “as eager as anyone to see it go away.”)

The statistics Microsoft used on its blog, which showed Chrome use mostly flat, only looked at browser usage on Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system.

The rise of Chrome comes as Google has expanded beyond its core product — its search engine — into such areas as mobile operating systems (Android) and social networking (Google Plus). Chrome has been a high point for Google in what has developed into a two-front clash of tech titans with Microsoft.

While Google tries to erode Explorer’s browser share, Microsoft is taking aim at Google’s longtime dominance in search. Launched in 2009, Microsoft’s Bing has tried to make Web search a true two-way race.

And while Google’s stranglehold on that market is still strong, Bing has chipped away. In December, Bing captured about 15% of the search market, compared to 61% for Google, according to Experian Hitwise.

One victim of Google’s success (not to mention deep pockets) has been Firefox, long a favored browser among tech-savvy types.

“They (Mozilla) were not coming out with a lot of releases and new features for some time,” Smith said. “They’ve really tried to change that in the last year, but perceptions got made during that time frame.

“They were the ones that were the sole recipient of the browser change — they were the alternative browser for most — but now they have to split that role with Google.”

Whether Chrome’s rise will continue remains to be seen, he said. Web users only tend to seek out a new browser if the one in front of them is lacking, and Internet Explorer appears to have stemmed that tide somewhat.

“Three or four years ago, if you wanted tabs, you had to go to another browser. If you wanted something fast you had to go to another browser,” Smith said. “That’s not the case any more.”






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Article source: http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/04/tech/web/google-chrome-browser/index.html?eref=rss_tech

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05 Jan 12 Could Chrome overtake Internet Explorer in the browser wars?



Google Chrome's success has hurt Mozilla's Firefox, another alternative to Microsoft's Explorer.

(CNN) — A month ago, Google’s three-year effort to push its Web browser, Chrome, took a major step when analysts said it had passed Mozilla’s Firefox to become the second-most popular tool of its kind on the Internet.

Today, that climb continues and has some tech observers wondering whether Chrome could do the unthinkable and topple perennial leader Internet Explorer from atop the browser rankings.

According to Web analytics firm StatCounter, the most popular version of Google’s browser, Chrome 15, edged out Internet Explorer 8 in early December to become the world’s most used edition of a browser. (For those keeping score, the totals were 23.6% of worldwide browser usage compared to IE8′s 23.5%.)

When all versions are considered, Chrome accounted for more than 27% of all worldwide browser use at the beginning of December, an increase of about 1.5% over the previous month. That’s compared to about 37% for Internet Explorer, which dropped 2% from November, according to StatCounter.

Now in third place, Firefox remained mostly steady with about 25% of the browser market. Trailing far behind is Apple’s Safari, with about 6%.


First ever look inside Google New York

The numbers can vary in the browser race depending on who is counting. Web surveying firm Net Applications still has Explorer at 52%, Firefox at 22% and Chrome at 19%. But that represents a 10-point drop by Explorer since 2010, while Chrome use more than doubled and Firefox remained flat.

Gartner analyst David Mitchell Smith thinks Chrome has gathered momentum because it is a strong product.

“People like it because it’s fast,” he said. “Google has done a nice job advertising it recently, so that’s increased awareness.”

Since its rollout, reviews have been generally positive about Chrome. While some call it a work in progress, many have praised its features and speed.

“Super-fast browsing performance, now with hardware acceleration. Excellent security through sandboxing and malware warnings. Instant site prediction and loading,” PCMag wrote in a review of Chrome 15, giving it 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. The review also praised it for strong support for the emerging HTML5 coding system amd built-in Flash player, while dinging it for still not being compatible with a handful of sites.

Smith also said people are more aware than ever that they have a choice of browsers. Internet Explorer has been the dominant browser for more than a decade, at least in large part because it comes installed on Windows machines.

“This was happening even more so when there was a real big difference between what you could get from someone else and what Explorer was,” he said. “Now, that’s not the case. Explorer 9 is pretty competitive with the other browsers, so maybe there’s not as much need to go away from it.”

StatCounter CEO Aodhan Cullen attributed at least part of Chrome’s rise to its increased use among businesses.

“Google announced Chrome for business exactly a year ago and IT administrators appear to have embraced it in a remarkably short time,” he said.

Chrome use already had overtaken Explorer on weekends, when personal use presumably trumps office use, since October. But Chrome 15 became the more popular from Monday to Friday on December 5, he said.

Microsoft, putting a positive spin on the numbers, emphasized that Explorer’s latest (and generally well-received) version, IE9, is rapidly gaining ground as use of IE8 drops. IE9 was released in March.

(To its credit, Microsoft is also celebrating the demise of Internet Explorer 6. Widely reviled by Web developers and many users from the start, use of that version dropped below 1% in the United States last month, with Microsoft spokesman Roger Capriotti writing on the Windows blog that the company is breaking out the champagne and “as eager as anyone to see it go away.”)

The statistics Microsoft used on its blog, which showed Chrome use mostly flat, only looked at browser usage on Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system.

The rise of Chrome comes as Google has expanded beyond its core product — its search engine — into such areas as mobile operating systems (Android) and social networking (Google Plus). Chrome has been a high point for Google in what has developed into a two-front clash of tech titans with Microsoft.

While Google tries to erode Explorer’s browser share, Microsoft is taking aim at Google’s longtime dominance in search. Launched in 2009, Microsoft’s Bing has tried to make Web search a true two-way race.

And while Google’s stranglehold on that market is still strong, Bing has chipped away. In December, Bing captured about 15% of the search market, compared to 61% for Google, according to Experian Hitwise.

One victim of Google’s success (not to mention deep pockets) has been Firefox, long a favored browser among tech-savvy types.

“They (Mozilla) were not coming out with a lot of releases and new features for some time,” Smith said. “They’ve really tried to change that in the last year, but perceptions got made during that time frame.

“They were the ones that were the sole recipient of the browser change — they were the alternative browser for most — but now they have to split that role with Google.”

Whether Chrome’s rise will continue remains to be seen, he said. Web users only tend to seek out a new browser if the one in front of them is lacking, and Internet Explorer appears to have stemmed that tide somewhat.

“Three or four years ago, if you wanted tabs, you had to go to another browser. If you wanted something fast you had to go to another browser,” Smith said. “That’s not the case any more.”






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Article source: http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/04/tech/web/google-chrome-browser/index.html

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