Jun 28, 2011

As Mozilla Disses the Enterprise, Google Chrome Steps Into the Breach

Mozilla evangelist Aza Dotzler drew a line in the sand  this week, saying that the company hasn't been concerned with the business community's complaints about its Firefox Web browser, and it shouldn't ever be. But IT administrators who winced at those words may have a new ally in Google's Chrome development team.

As popular as Firefox is with their users, businesses have been decrying Mozilla's typical, rapid-fire schedule of updates to the browser. They claim that the frenzied schedule poses a challenge for testing and deploying Firefox updates throughout an organization, particularly ones that may be supporting thousands of clients running Firefox, or those that have many custom in-house Web apps.

Even worse by enterprise lights, after only three weeks of release, Mozilla has declared Firefox 4 support end-of-lifed with the release of Firefox 5.

"Tying Firefox product development to an organizational process we do not control would make it difficult for us to continue to innovate for our users and the betterment of the Web," said another key spokesman, Mozilla channel manager Kev Needham.

While Mozilla reiterates that business organizations' interests are not critical to Firefox's development, Google is taking great lengths to reassure that same audience about its commitment to commercial customers. Glenn Wilson, product manager of Chrome for Business said that although Google's browser has just as rapid of an update process as Firefox (updates are pushed out every six weeks), the Chrome team is focused on achieving a balance between security updates and compatibility.

"We have been listening to admins and they have been helping drive a road map," Wilson said recently. For Google, adoption of Chrome in the enterprise, schools and government "is a priority," he added.

That priority takes shape in several native capabilities intended to make Chrome more appealing to IT. One such feature included is support for Group Policy. Although Google's Chrome team only supports the current version of Chrome, with Group Policy integration, administrators can delay updating until a newer version of Chrome is fully tested to ensure compatibility with custom Web apps or other browser-based software.

This way, in the event an update does break a critical piece of software, admins can say, "Don't update until we can find out what's going on," Wilson said.

System administrators can also manage usage of extensions for Chrome through Group Policy. There are several policy templates that Google offers for Chrome to help with the management and customization of Chrome settings in a corporate environment.

Another big feature for business users is an MSI installer, which allows IT to roll out Chrome using standard deployment methods.

Google also offers another tool to alleviate pain points for business—the Google Chrome Frame. It's a plug-in that delivers Chrome's Open Web technology and JaveScript engine to IE. Organizations who want to hold off on auto-updating Chrome can do so and still offer managed Chrome Frame to their users.

Additionally, Google Apps users can call Google for Chrome support, if needed.

In contrast to Mozilla, Google seems focused on not alienating businesses and a big reason for that is its continued push for Google Chrome OS. During the All Things Digital D9 conference in April, Rajen Sheth, a group product manager and business manager at Google, put it bluntly, "My mission is to bring Chrome to business and to ask how we make it something that can reshape the enterprise desktop."

Google is banking on its business customers' love for Chrome to naturally morph into love for Chrome OS. That's not a bad bet.

Source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2387704,00.asp

Jun 23, 2011

Mozilla retires Firefox 4 from security support


Upgrade to Firefox 5 to get patches, says company, but add-on compatibility issues may make some users hesitate Firefox 5 was Mozilla's decision to retire Firefox 4, the browser it shipped just three months ago. As part of Tuesday's Firefox 5 release, Mozilla spelled out vulnerabilities it had patched in that edition and in 2010's Firefox 3.6, but it made no mention of any bugs fixed in Firefox 4.

That's because Firefox 4 has reached what Mozilla calls EOL, for "end of life," for vulnerability patches. Although the move may have caught users by surprise, the decision to stop supporting Firefox 4 with security updates has been discussed by Mozilla's developers and managers for weeks.

A mozilla.dev.planning mailing list thread that started May 17 evolved into a back-and-forth about the rapid-release schedule and its impact on Firefox 4. Christian Legnitto, the Firefox release manager, put it most succinctly in a May 25 message. "Firefox 5 will be the security update for Firefox 4," Legnitto said. As Mozilla had said earlier, that means Firefox 4.0.1 -- shipped in late April to fix eight flaws -- was the one and only security update for Firefox 4.

Mozilla is essentially taking another page from Google Chrome's playbook. Google only outlines the patches it has applied to the current "stable" build, the most polished form of Chrome that is analogous to Mozilla's final releases. Google does not patch the flaws in earlier editions, primarily because it automatically updates the browser in the background, ensuing that virtually all users are running the most secure version.

Mozilla doesn't yet conduct automatic updates, but it has changed how upgrades to a new version are offered to Firefox users. "[For earlier major upgrades] we popped up a window asking people to opt in (major update offer)," said Legnitto in another message on the same thread. "For 4.0.1, users will need to opt out (minor update offer, like point/security releases)." Mozilla expects the opt-out approach will get more users onto the newest edition faster.

On Tuesday, Firefox 4 users started seeing the upgrade offer for Firefox 5 when a pop-up appeared reading: "A security and stability update for Firefox is available. It is strongly suggested that you apply this update for Firefox as soon as possible."In the offer, the default action was "Update Firefox." Only by clicking the "Ask Later" button or by closing the pop-up can users decline the upgrade. But some Firefox 4 users may want to opt out of the upgrade, even though that leaves them at risk to exploits of already patched bugs. One traditional area of concern is add-on compatibility, a pain point known to longtime Firefox users when they've moved from one version number to the next.

Mozilla page
Mozilla has retired Firefox 4 from security support, and is prompting users to upgrade to the new Firefox 5.

Source: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9217837/Mozilla_retires_Firefox_4_from_security_support

Jun 17, 2011

Mozilla Firefox 5 almost out the door

Firefox logoFirefox fans looking for a nice tasty update to their favorite web browser have something to look forward to next week. Mozilla released the Firefox 5 RC (Release Candidate) version of the browser yesterday (this is the step after beta and before the final release), and announced that it has plans to release the final version of the browser next week – assuming no major bugs are found or overhauls need to be done, which is usually the case.
In case you haven’t been keeping up with the Firefox nightly builds/beta, here is a list of features that have been added to the RC version of Firefox 5:
  • Added support for CSS animations;
  • The Do-Not-Track header preference has been moved to increase discoverability;
  • Improved canvas, JavaScript, memory, and networking performance;
  • Improved standards support for HTML5, XHR, MathML, SMIL and canvas;
  • Improved spell-checking for some locales;
  • Improved desktop environment integration for Linux users;
  • WebGL content can no longer load cross-domain textures;
  • Background tabs have setTimeout and setInterval clamped to 1000ms to improve performance; and
  • The Firefox development channel switcher introduced in previous Firefox Beta updates has been removed.
If you thought – it’s only been a few months since the release of Firefox 4; Firefox 6 and 7 is expected to be released by the end of the year as well. It looks like Mozilla is doing a pretty good job of matching Google’s development cycle for its Chrome browser.

New Source: http://www.ubergizmo.com/2011/06/mozilla-firefox-5-almost-out-the-door/

Jun 13, 2011

Mozilla Firefox Breaks World Record

Mozilla Firefox 3.0, the resurgent browser developer has come of age with its latest offering. The new browser has been downloaded well over 8 million times in 24 hours as against the developer's target of 5 million and has entered the Guinness Book of World Records for maximum number of downloads in a single day of download history. There was overwhelming support, both from the United States and the Euro zone with downloads in excess of 2.5 million apiece.

The response for the finished Mozilla browser is largely on account of meticulous care the foundation has taken in providing solutions to expert suggestions. The new version was delivered after three and half years of extensive research and development which included of six months of public testing. The highly mutated form of earlier versions of the browser is set to change the way users organize and search the sites, they frequent more often. Back in late 1990's, the Netscape, the first browser developer virtually lost out to Microsoft's Internet Explorer, but with the third avatar of Firefox, they are making an attempt to garner the past glory.

After America Online took over Netscape, they created a non-profit Mozilla Foundation in 2003. The first offering from them, the Firefox, itself was able to catch the imagination of the internet buffs. It is estimated, Firefox has 200 million users worldwide prior to the launch of the new version and the numbers are still growing rapidly. Millions of users had downloaded Firefox and started using the browser in lieu of the default browser Internet Explorer clearly indicates its user-friendliness and application.

The new Firefox 3.0 browser is faster than Firefox 2.0. The latest versions of Internet Explorer, which has 75% share among the web users and other leading browser developers including Opera and Safari do not match the speed rendered by the latest Firefox version. Like its earlier version, this too has added security features to expunge any misuse. It has in-built features to instantly detect phishing and malware forays. Moreover, one's computer's resources are less drained while navigating on the internet with Firefox 3.0.

Consequently, Microsoft also unveiled the public test version of the latest edition of Internet Explorer, version 8.0. So far Firefox 3.0 has no competitor in terms of effectiveness and efficiency to strike any comparison. But the fine tuned edition of Internet Explorer which is expected to be released by the end of this year may become a potential competitor in the e-space. It is learned that even Apple's Safari browser has shrugged off its previous image of providing surf solutions to its own devices, and would be extending its compatible browsing services to other devices as well.

Stiff challenges in future is likely to improve the efficiency of browsers especially the subsequent versions of Firefox, which already offers exploring of multiple tabs or windows, complex pages and lots of embedded content without crashing. The exciting response on the download of new version, the most customizable browser ever to hit the net will certainly prompt the Mozilla Foundation to improve on.

Source: http://goo.gl/SBEoO

Jun 3, 2011

Browser Comparison - Mozilla Firefox Vs Internet Explorer

IE version 9 was officially launched on 15th September 2010 with a lot of promising features and a magnitude of reengineering to give a fast, clean, secure, never before web experience. You can download IE9 Beta from the official website Beautyoftheweb

Web browsing or internet browsing constitutes almost over 80% of usage for a PC / Laptop users. Still it is one of the most compromised areas too. Browser crashes and slower loading time of graphic web pages are going to be things of the past with the latest IE in action. One of the most striking feature of IE 9 is that it puts content first. The screen space for the website is increased and browser controls reduced. So how does the experience get better?

1. Hardware acceleration: With the use of Microsoft DirectX technology in this browser, premium quality graphics will be displayed at ease.

2. HTML 5: Now enjoy Adobe Flash and Microsoft SilverLight without any need for plugins - thanks to HTML 5 supportable IE 9

3. JScript engine: The javascript engine used in IE9 is "Chakra" which compiles scripts on the fly that the running time is reduced

4. SVG: With SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) incorporated in IE9, the images and charts and maps will no more be pixilated in browser.

IE 9 has some very cool features over its previous version.

Single search/URL bar: With the unified search and URL bar, the browser has more space to display the page contents using lesser space for browser tools.

Pin websites to taskbar: If you liked the feature in windows 7 that allowed you to pin the frequently used applications to the taskbar, then you are going to love this new feature in IE9. You can now pin a website like an application to the task bar. Voila, you get to browser your favorite site just by a single click. Whats more, if the site had configured meta tags for jump list, you'll see them upon right clicking on the pinned icon.

Smart Security: The IE9 is smarter in identifying and memorizing your regular download types.The built-in download manager doesn't pop up annoying warning for your most common types of downloads (like winamp) unlike the smartscreen filters in the previous IE versions.

Tear off/Aero Snap tabs: Well, this is not new if you had experience with Firefox 4. I thought this was one feature that IE was missing with respect to tabbed browsing and now that's there too!

Source: http://goo.gl/KwR9I