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Microsoft has just made available the first release candidate (RC1) of Internet Explorer 8 which brings some interesting new features such as web slices and Accelerator as well as a bunch of security related enhancements. It can be installed on both 32-bit variants of XP and Vista as well as Windows Server.
IE8 focused on how people really use the web. Consumers want a browser that makes the tasks they do every day faster and easier. The activities people spend their time on define real-world performance: navigating to websites, working with tabs, searching, keeping track of changing information (like traffic or an auction), and using the information from one site with another (as in getting a map).
Everyone wants a trustworthy browser that keeps them in control and protects their safety. Developers want great developer tools, great interoperability, and a powerful platform that enables them to innovate. For some people, accessibility is crucial; for some organizations, policy, administration, and deployment are essential.
BBC News have their take on it and talk about whether or not IE8 has the goods to win back the hearts of many users who felt the need to switch to an alternative such as Firefox in the past.
If you'd like to give it a shot, you can find it for download here.
Internet Explorer 8 is the next browser from Microsoft. I will come packaged with Window 7 and is available as a standalone BETA (BETA2) or part of Windows 7 BETA1.
This Beta has been out for sometime (I installed it last year in November). And not much has changed. I still get the odd lockup as well as some render issues when I leave a window minimized for too long. You would think by now we would know what the next step is.
Well you need wait no longer. Dean Hachamovitch, General Manager, Internet Explorer has posted on the IE 8 Blog about what is to come.
Unfortunately it is not really anything.
He says that now is the time to download and install IE8 Beta 2 and test it out. There will be one more public release in Q1 2009 (as a release candidate) and follow up with the final and many patches after that.
Read more here
We will release one more public update of IE8 in the first quarter of 2009, and then follow that up with the final release. Our next public release of IE (typically called a "release candidate") indicates the end of the beta period. We want the technical community of people and organizations interested in web browsers to take this update as a strong signal that IE8 is effectively complete and done. They should expect the final product to behave as this update does. We want them to test their sites and services with IE8, make any changes they feel are necessary for the best possible customer experience using IE8, and report any critical issues (e.g., issues impacting robustness, security, backwards compatibility, or completeness with respect to planned standards work). Our plan is to deliver the final product after listening for feedback about critical issues.
We will be very selective about what changes we make between the next update and final release. We will act on the most critical issues. We will be super clear about product changes we make between the update and the final release.
The call to action now for the technical community is to download beta 2 (if you haven't already) and let us know about your experience. Next, please prepare for final testing with public update so you can let us know - quickly, loudly, and clearly - if you find absolutely critical issues with it before the release of the final product.
Google has finally taken the wraps off of Chrome its brand new browser.
This release is sure to cause a stir on the internet as people line up grab the final version of another Google Product.
I know of many in the...um shadier side of the internet that are also eagerly awaiting the masses to have this new Google toy.
Read more at TechConnect Magazine.
As recently confirmed but a lot sooner than we expected, Google's speedy browser, Chrome has now officially shed its beta skin with the release of its 188.8.131.52 version. According to its maker, this fifteenth Chrome release features:
- Better stability and performance of plug-ins (particularly video).
- Bookmark manager and privacy controls. It's now easier to switch between another browser and Google Chrome with the bookmark import and export features, and we added a new simple way to manage large numbers of bookmarks, too.
Firefox users and those sick of wrestling with IE will be glad to know Mozilla has released its second beta build of Firefox 3.1 which introduces a host of new tweaks, general speed increases and fixes.
The most notable changes include :-
- Added a new Private Browsing Mode.
- Added functions to make it easy to clear recent history by time as well as remove all traces of a website.
- New support for web worker threads.
- Improvements to the Gecko layout engine, including speculative parsing for faster content rendering.
- Removed the new tab-switching behavior based on feedback from users
To download the latest beta, head over here.
S3, a onetime top runner in the GPU game, has announced another release in their Chrome series GPUs.
The new GPU line (Chrome 500) features optimizations for BluRay and HD movie playback, 7.1 sound output, DX 10.1 and OpenGL 3.0 support as well as GPGPU processing capability.
Read the full Press Release here.
Today's PC users are demanding more application processing power than ever before as HD video and graphics accelerate the user experience. With the Chrome 500 Series, you can enjoy Hi-Def Blu-ray movies and watch bonus features with Picture-in-Picture while enjoying 8 channels of high fidelity audio with the S3 Graphics' built-in Dolby® 7.1 digital surround sound processor. DirectX, OpenGL, and GPGPU applications can be efficiently processed with programmable shader cores to speed-up 3D and non-gaming functions.
Add-in cards featuring the first graphics accelerators from the new Chrome 500 series, the Chrome 530 GT, are available now on S3 Graphics GStore online retail outlet.
Google has released a beta version of its Chrome web browser to the world and you can grab it here.
You can find out what sets Chrome apart from other browsers by visiting the product homepage. It has a bunch of videos discussing features such as the improved tab page, application shortcuts, dynamic tabs, crash control, incognito mode, safe browsing, instant bookmarks and more.
Below is a video from the development team on the thinking and features behind Google Chrome.
Techgage has also published a close look at their thoughts on Chrome and is well worth the read.
In March this year S3 Graphics released its Chrome 430 GT graphics card and it was designed to take on the ATI Radeon HD 4850 and it managed to do rather well in most of the tests we performed, which you can read here.
S3 are back again now with the 65nm and PCI Express 2.0 based Chrome 440 GTX graphics card which has been released today. It will sell for $69 USD and should be available to buy soon through S3 Graphics' retail affiliate.
You can think of it as the bigger brother of the 430 GT and it now comes with HDMI output which was one of the biggest letdowns of the 430 GT that we mentioned in our review. These cards are cheap, offer DX10.1 support, provide HD playback at 1080p with the ChromotionHD 2.0 Video Engine. That enables hardware acceleration for H.264, MPEG-4, VC-1, WMV-HD and AVS and for dual-stream (PIP) Blu-ray playback.
It won't knock your socks off when it comes to gaming performance but if it can beat out an HD 4850 when we test it next month, it will begin to get into the territory where it could be used for playing even current games at lower settings.
You can find out more detailed information over at the S3 Graphics product website, which is right here.
S3 Graphics' Chrome 430 GT graphics card is a hard product to actually buy at the moment but that hasn't stopped a couple of Chinese websites finding them from the underground and putting the new $60 DX10.1 card through its paces.
One website tested it against AMD's HD 3450 (which costs roughly the same), previous generation HD 2400 PRO and GeForce 8400GS in a range of games and resolutions. The 430 GT manages to beat them all hands down under 3DMark06 with a fair lead but, under Far Cry, the HD 3450 manages to take back the lead slightly. This may suggest that the driver of the 430 GT is not quite up to scratch and possible future releases could make the card perform better. However, under Serious Sam 2, Company of Heroes, Call of Juarez and World in Conflict it manages to win each time.
It doesn't win by much and the frame rates are less than impressive and what we wouldn't call playable in the latest gaming titles, but it does show S3 Graphics is still in the game. You can check out the translated articles by Google from Chinese to English here and here for more details.
Mozilla has released the latest developer preview of Firefox 3 which is Beta 5 and it comes with a staggering 750 fixes from the previously released beta.
It is said to improve stability and web compatibility, provide platform and user interface enhancements, and results in the fastest Firefox ever. Many of these improvements were based on community feedback from the previous beta.
Firefox 3 is based on the Gecko 1.9 Web rendering platform, which has been under development for the past 32 months. Building on the previous release, Gecko 1.9 has more than 12,000 updates including some major re-architecting to provide improved performance, stability, rendering correctness, and code simplification and sustainability. Firefox 3 has been built on top of this new platform resulting in a more secure, easier to use, more personal product with a lot more under the hood to offer website and Firefox add-on developers.
If you like trying out BETA software, head on over and download it (in many different languages) while it's hot!
S3 Graphics today announced its new graphics card into the US market, the 65nm based Chrome 430 GT.
Before you get too excited, it won't contend with the latest bad boys from Nvidia and AMD but it does offer DX10.1 support at only $60 USD. It includes 256MB onboard DDR2 memory and using its ChromotionHD Video Technology it has hardware acceleration for H.264, MPEG-4, VC-1, WMV-HD and AVS at 1080p meaning it should playback Blu-ray movies just fine.
It has a core clock speed of 625MHz and its 256MB DDR2 memory works on a 64-bit memory bus at 500MHz. It works using a PCI Express Gen 2 x16 interface and its DVI port is HDCP compliant. It is just a mega shame it does not include a HDMI port as for just $60 USD, it would be a very attractive card for a new HTPC box.
As far as performance goes and as you can see from the image above, S3 claim that it will beat AMD's Radeon HD 3450 and Nvidia GeForce 8400GS under 3DMark06 Vista by quite a margin.