It seems as though Microsoft is making some very interesting moves with its upcoming release of Windows 10 S, which is a more restricted version of the full Windows 10 for the education market, something Microsoft is looking to combat Google's Chromebook/Chrome OS combo with.
Microsoft is placing restrictions on the software you're allowed to install with Windows 10 S, with one of those caveats being that the software will only be available on the Windows Store - meaning no third-party browsers. This means we won't be seeing Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera, or Safari on Windows 10 S, ever.
Why this matters: This is a strong move by Microsoft, and it's something that would've been heavily criticized years ago as anti-competitive but the game has changed. Google is now a powerhouse in the education market and is eating into Microsoft's once dominant business, and could lead to Microsoft already envisioning a future of full Windows releases being more locked down to specific software or ecosystems.
We all know just how much CPU and especially RAM that Chrome can eat up, but Google promises that Chrome 57's background tabs will be limited to an average CPU load of just 1%, on a single CPU core.
Google explains the throttling method that they've used on background tabs on their Developers website, with Google pushing every background tab into its own time budget (in seconds), with specific CPU time for the tab to complete its process - and is limited to just 10 seconds, freeing up CPU cycles. The company does note that the regeneration code can be shifted around, as they take in more data about how background tabs are throttled.
If you're like me - right now, you've got a background tab playing music through Google Play Music, so there will be some exceptions to background tab throttling in order to see those tabs not crashing or not functioning properly.
Google Chrome has received some performance improvements applied, with help from Microsoft and its PGO technology that makes Chrome's startup time around 17% faster. Chrome now loads web pages 6% faster and is 15% faster with new tab loading times.
Microsoft's PGO technology is 'Profile Guided Optimization', which measures just how users use the application, and then with this data in-hand it will re-compile an application that focuses on optimizing the most-used functions. Another feature of PGO is that it speeds apps up by keeping the most-used functions inside of the CPU's fast instruction cache.
Google took to the Chromium Blog, explaining in a new article called 'Making Chrome on Windows faster with PGO'. The team added: "To gather this data, the nightly build process now produces a special version of Chrome that tracks how often functions are used. PGO then optimizes those high-use functions for speed, in some cases increasing the binary size of those functions. To balance out that increase, PGO also optimizes less-used functions with smaller, though slightly slower code. These trade-offs result in higher overall performance, and a smaller overall code footprint".
Google is celebrating Halloween with a special Doodle - an amusing browser game.
The game seems simple - a player controls a cat that needs to defeat ghosts by drawing the symbol hovering over their heads. But, as the game progresses, the ghosts appear faster, in more numbers and the symbols get more complicated to draw.
The game includes five levels set in school environments: the library, cafeteria, classroom, gym, and the building's rooftop, each with their own boss.
Google won't be releasing Chrome 55 until December 6, but there will be pre-release code released earlier if you want to try it between now and then.
Google is celebrating its 18th birthday today (feeling old yet?) with an appropriate Google Doodle full of balloons. Google's birthday varied during the years, but September 27th is its official birthday since 2006.
Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were Ph.D. students at Stanford University, California. Their goal was to "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful". 18 years ago Google's headquarters was in the garage of Susan Wojcicki, Larry's and Sergey's friend, and today Google is situated in Mountain View with over 57,000 employees.
In the 18 years of existence, Google has become one of the biggest companies in the world and our daily lives are unimaginable without it.
Two months after the news Opera's browser business would be sold to Chinese firms, the company's eponymous browser now offers a built-in virtual private network (VPN) service. Available in beta form since April, it goes public today, making it the first major browser to do so.
VPNs allow one greater privacy and security while granting access to region restricted content. Opera cites surveys where users who declined to use one typically did so to avoid difficulty and subscription fees, so it appears their aim is to eliminate both barriers.
Mozilla is experimenting with integrating the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine into its Firefox browser. What this means is anytime you hit a dead page, the browser will automatically detect it and offer up a link to an archived version. At least, in theory: the feature (dubbed "No More 404s") is in the early stages and doesn't always detect pages and sometimes there is no archived version available.
After extensive planning and development, multi-process Firefox (aka Electrolysis or e10s) is here with Firefox 48. The jist of it is this: web content and browser interface processes are now separate, so if a page is hogging resources, your tabs, buttons, and menus will no longer lock up.
E10s is rolling out slowly; to check if it's enabled for you, type about:support into the address bar and check the line that says 'Multiprocess Windows.' If it says '1/1 (Enabled by default', you're good to go.
The awesome bar also gets significantly more useful with the 48 release: many more suggestions, each showing more information now show up when you begin to type in the bar.
Microsoft has claimed that its Edge browser is the only one out of the four big browsers on the market that can handle 1080p playback of Netflix content, and according to PCWorld, the claims are true.
The three other browsers - Chrome, Firefox, and Opera - are all capped at 720p. Using the "secret Netflix menus" (press Ctrl+Alt+Shift+D) will display the resolution and bitrate of the Netflix content on your PC, and Microsoft is right - the others are capped at 720p while Edge ramps up to 1080p. The Windows 10 Netflix app renders Netflix at 1080p as well.
Considering that the PC is one of the most powerful platforms in the world, it's a strange thing to see that the PC doesn't support 1080p playback of Netflix, let alone 4K playback. Le sigh.