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Today Microsoft made a pretty cool announcement at MX10. Normally an announcement about a new version of Internet Explorer would not be a big deal. However, this time we find that MS is going to give us some new features that just might make it a big deal. One of the first is new support for GPU accelerated HTML5 based graphics.
Of course the GPU acceleration will be another place that NVIDIA and AMD can argue, and any version of Internet Explorer (no matter how open) is sure to cause Anti-Trust rumblings somewhere. It will be an interesting time until this one is released
Netbooks are often purchased because of the low price of most machines in the category. One of the most expensive things on a netbook can be the operating system if Windows is used. Many manufactures look to reduce costs by going with an open source OS like Linux.
Samsung is reportedly working on a netbook that looks much like the Samsung N210 pictured above but runs the Google Chrome OS. The Chrome Os is free and open source. Samsung offers little detail on the machine at this point.
What we do know is that it will have 3G, WiFi, and a battery promising 12 hours of run time. Memory is expected to be 2GB with at least 64GB of storage. The CPU in the machine is a question; some expect the Snapdragon from Qualcomm running 1.5Mhz.
Mozilla's highly popular internet browser, Firefox has just seen a significant update, moving version 3.6 out of beta phase into final status.
One of the biggest improvements compared to 3.5's final/official build is a good boost on performance, said to be up to 20% faster, while 3.5 was already a large jump forward in performance from 3.0.
Of course, there are a large array of new features added into 3.6 as well. These include :-
Personas: Personalise the look of your Firefox by selecting new themes called Personas in a single click and without a restart
Plugin Updater: To keep you safe from potential security vulnerabilities, Firefox will now detect out of date plugins
Stability improvements: Firefox 3.6 significantly decreased crashes caused by third party software - all without sacrificing our extensibility in any way
Form Complete: When filling out an online form, Firefox suggests information for fields based on your common answers in similar field
Open Video and Audio: implementation of HTML 5 audio and video support, now video can be displayed full screen and supports poster frames
While Safari or Chrome still offers significantly better performance, Firefox is that perfect balance between maximum compatibility and performance. The download is freely and readily available now, weighing in at just under 8MB.
We all knew when Chrome sprang for the loins of Google that it was only a matter of time before the OS started to pop up in cheap netbooks and nettops all over the place. Google has plans for its own Chrome netbooks and the specs have been leaked for one of the first machines.
Google is said to be talking to a few sources to build the netbook and that options on the table will sell for under $300. As for specs, rumors have a 10.1-inch machine packing an ARM processor and the graphics handled by NVIDIA Tegra.
A multi touch panel is also rumored to be in the works along with a 64GB SSD, WiFi, 2GB of RAM and 3G connectivity. Bluetooth, Ethernet, a webcam, 4 and 6-cell batteries and optional GPS are also said to be coming. I don't see a SSD that large in a netbook selling for under $300 unless the other hardware is dirt cheap.
Not so long ago when Google announced its Chrome OS it was really a given that netbooks using the new OS would eventually hit the market. Google has always said it planned on working with manufacturers to ensure Chrome runs well on hardware.
Rumors are now circulating that Google will be pushing a Google branded Chrome OS netbook. Undoubtedly, it will work with a major hardware maker for the netbook as it did for the Nexus One.
Reports claim that Google has given one hardware maker a very specific RFP with detailed tech specifications and has begun talking about building it. TechCrunch figures the machine is aiming at a holiday 2010 launch.
FireFox lovers will be glad to know that soon they'll be able to use it on their mobile devices with support initially coming to Nokia's N900 and word that a Windows Mobile version is on the way for release sometime next year, as is a version to suit Google Android.
However, there's been nothing mentioned in the way of Apple's iPhone yet. But it's inevitable a port will be made to it in due course.
Google just finished introducing its progress with its upcoming Chrome OS that will come out in about one year.
We covered it with live blogging here.
But, what the? 45 seconds to boot up a computer? With Windows 7 and a modern system with an SSD, cut that down by a factor of about 5. Then they say that no data is stored on your computer, but then they contradict themselves in the presentation by saying data scored locally is encrypted. Rush job?
You decide - some strong features on the security site, updates and recovery though, that's for sure.
At 10:00am Pacfic Time (6 PM GMT) today. Google will announce an update to their Chrome OS in a live webcast. According to the infromation in the invite they will be covering the latest version and what has changed since we last heard from them. Chrome OS has been a highly debated subject ever since the first rumors surfaced. It should be fun to see what Google has planned and if it will indeed be an OS aimed only at the smart and netbook market or if it will be one that will suit a range of systems. Hopefully we will find that out today and also see how Google plans to distribute it.
We will be covering the event in as close to real time as we can get. Keep checking in here for updates as they happen (F5 will be your friend).
1:04 PM EST - We get to see the opening slides but it looks like Google is running a tad behind.
1:05 PM EST - and we are starting, they are saying there will be no launch today, that is about a year away...
1:06 PM EST - Chrome is just faster, they use Google Voice as an example... not sure about that one though.
1:08 PM EST - new announcements - Chrome for Mac, Chrome for Linux and Extension for Chrome coming in the next year.
1:09 PM EST - Chrome Extensions will be based on HTML and Java Script.
1:10pm EST - web OS apps should function like Desktop Apps.
1:12pm EST - Want Chrome OS to have the same capabilities as traditional Desktop OSes. Using HTML 5 to do this.
1:13pm EST - Making Web Apps work offline, web apps will be able to work as well as any desktop apps.
1:14PM EST - Claims that the trend shows the future is web applications, that every exciting app written recently is a web app (maybe he has not played Modern Warfare 2).
1:14pm EST - Chrome is focused on three things - Speed, Security and Simplicity.
1:16pm EST - Chrome OS is going to be a terminal like OS, everything on it will be a web app.
1:17pm EST - Data user with Chrome OS will be in the cloud. no word on if the issues with the "cloud" have been resolved. Admits that security is a hard problem, says that nothing can be completely secure. Runs completely in the browser security model.
1:19pm EST - System boot time is impressive! About 7 seconds from power on to desktop is about 10-12 seconds.
1:20PM EST - About a year ahead of schedule, demo is not final UI.
1:21PM EST - Says they had to "stop checking in code" to get the demo ready.
1:21PM EST - UI looks like the Chrome Browser right now, complete with tabs.
1:22PM EST - App menu..... hmmm, sounds like the start menu to me.
1:22PM EST - WOW, new names for old things - panels look a lot like windows just using the "always on top" tag.
1:23PM EST - All data in Chrome OS is in the cloud as a new file is created it is there already in your data store.
1:24pm EST - Expanding on the virtues of netbooks, same stuff we have heard before, though. Chess looks like a "lite" version of Chess in Vista and 7.
1:25pm EST - Chrome OS cna double as an e-book reader and acess Google Books. New "Windows" seem like Linux Desktops, but with a much slicker way to acess them.
1:26pm EST - Flash works on Chrome OS already! Shows YouTube working without any problems.
1:28pm EST - All web applications work in Chrome. And shows Windows Live working.
1:29pm EST - Connected a phone and showed how to browse images and video easily in Chrome OS - nice!
1:31pm EST - New guy on, missed name. Showing the difference between standard OS and Chrome.
1:32pm EST - Chrome looks like older RISC systems where the hardware contains some of the code needed to run the OS. New sryle of operating the OS. (See above).
1:34pm EST - Verify Boot looks like a great anti-piracy feature. I wonder how long that will take to crack? Updates use certificates to make sure the kernel is correct each time it is loaded or updated.
1:35pm EST - If there is an issue the system will reboot and reload a clean image (malware detection... system repairs itself).
1:35pm EST - System can be healed automatically.
1:36pm EST - MS found out about that problem the hard way. Primary attack vector for malware? is applications? Not sure about that one as most malware is vectored at browser plugins and the browser code (java and HTML).
1:37pm EST - Claiming that web apps cannot change settings, not a very true statement.
1:38pm EST - Secuity sandbox is a great feature, no changes are applied locally - all root file systems are read only. Web Apps are run in seperate security spaces (memory space segregated) and user data and identity encrypted.
1:40pm EST - Odd mention of local user data being encrypted. Especially after saying all user data stored on the cloud. UPDATE: Local user data is a cache location used to sync data to the cloud. Now it makes sense.
1:42pm EST - Trying to change the whole computer model. SSD only. High level overview of how Chrome OS will go to market. Certifying hardware at the vendor level... sounds very "mac" like.
1:44pm EST - Working for larger netbooks, they want more comfort for users.
1:45pm EST - Chrome OS is open as of today. Google will make the same code they are using available to external developers.
1:46pm EST - Queue the video. Sounds like an Apple ad. What is this?!
1:48pm EST - "A totally rethought out computer." Stop worrying, just use it.
1:48pm EST - Hmm... my system takes about 20 seconds to boot up, not 45 seconds. WOW, that last bit was VERY Apple like. Ah, and the missleading information comes out. We were told that there is a local cache of user data, that syncs between the cloud and the local device. So despite what the "ad" says there is data stored on the comptuer.
1:50pm EST - Q&A begins.
1:54pm EST - Q: Will you have an App store? A: Lot more details later in this area, concepts how to discover apps... Didn't answer fully. Maybe?
1:56pm EST - Working closely with hardware partners for high-quality hardware components complete with open source drivers to make sure they are compatible and will run Chrome OS properly.
1:56pm EST - Everything that works in Chrome works in Chrome OS including codecs, including adding hardware acceleration (CUDA for Chrome?)
2:02pm EST - Q: What is the size of the OS? A: Code size will change all the time, but working very hard to have great code stack.
2:03pm EST - Yep, they are focused on nettops and smart devices - not laptops and desktops.
2:04pm EST - Focused on 802.11n for connectivity.
2:07pm EST - Amazing... no native apps. All apps will be web apps (Apple tried that and failed).
2:09pm EST - Jailbroken Chrome OS? (hahaha!)
2:10pm EST - The important thing to remember, web based OSes are insecure at their root, because they have to phone home they open up the whole system to risk.
2:10pm EST - Interesting that Google chose to show an advertisement in the middle of a web briefing. Sort of like a badly done Apple event (with no Steve Jobs). The ad comes off with a very "Apple" like style, even the voice sounds like the guy from the "there's an app for that" commercials.
The ad made Chrome OS sound like it never needs to be updated (yet they told us that Chrome automatically updates) and says that people only use computers to get on the web. My guess is that they have not played a 3D Game in the last few years.
2:14pm EST - Currently no plan to implement extra ads into the OS. Apps will work as they do currently.
2:17pm EST - Next up is the claim that nothing is stored on the local computer; yet they say that user data is secured by encryption locally.
I wonder when they will bring out the PC guy?
Hi, I'm a PC
Hi, I'm a PC Runnning Chrome OS
2:18pm EST - Chrome looks a lot like the first version of the iPhone OS without the native apps. Steve jobs tried to keep apps "web" only, but that failed. To keep up with the underground third party app developers they had to open up to native apps. I wonder how long it will be until Chrome OS has to go that route.
I'd rather be kicked in the gonads than try and surf the net on my PS3. I just don't see the point of messing about with that when I can use my PC or netbook and get a better experience.
Perhaps if the PS3 browser was better I would use it more, but I doubt it. If I have to drag out a keyboard to really get the full benefit of web surfing, I am just going for my computer. Entering lots of text using the on screen keyboard should be considered as a torture method for suspected terrorists. If you like surfing the net on your PS3 (weird as you may be) a new rumor has popped up that claims Sony is looking to bring Firefox to the PS3.
That is really all the info we have. I guess that will be cool, I use Firefox and like it much better than IE but still you won't catch me surfing the net on the PS3 no matter what browser they offer.
Our Download of the Day today is Firefox 3.6 Beta 2.
The Web is all about innovation, and Firefox sets the pace with dozens of new features to deliver a faster, more secure and customizable Web browsing experience for all.
User Experience. The enhancements to Firefox provide the best possible browsing experience on the Web. The new Firefox smart location bar, affectionately known as the "Awesome Bar," learns as people use it, adapting to user preferences and offering better fitting matches over time.
Performance. Firefox is built on top of the powerful new Gecko platform, resulting in a safer, easier to use and more personal product.
Security. Firefox raises the bar for security. The new malware and phishing protection helps protect from viruses, worms, trojans and spyware to keep people safe on the Web.
Customization. Everyone uses the Web differently, and Firefox lets users customize their browser with more than 5,000 add-ons.
The latest version includes the following changes:
Changes in Version 3.6 Beta 2
- More than 190 bug fixes from the last beta to improve performance, stability, security and features.