5 things to know about IE9

Software giant Microsoft has launched the latest version of its browser, Internet Explorer 9 (IE9), in India. Unveiled at TechEd India 2011, Microsoft claims that Internet Explorer 9 uses full capabilities of Windows and enables a Web that is faster, cleaner and more trusted by default.

The IE9 launch comes at a time when the race to capture browser markets share is heating up. The browser market is becoming increasingly competitive with an increasing number of devices going online every day. According to one report, when all versions of browsers are taken together, Internet Explorer leads the pack with 45% market share.

Available for download in 30 languages, the latest version of Microsoft Web browser reportedly tallied 2.3 million downloads on its first day of release.

Here’s looking into all that’s new in Microsoft’s latest browser.

Speed

Internet Explorer 9 claims to be much faster than its predecessor.

According to Microsoft, IE9’s new graphic capabilities boost the browsers’ performance. This means high-definition videos can now run smooth, graphics would be clearer and responsive and colours will be more clear, claims Microsoft.

Hardware-accelerated text, video, and graphics speed up performance and make websites perform like programmes that are installed on the computer.
The latest version of the Internet Explorer has all several design changes. The back button has gone larger, the address bar and search box are combined into one address bar, and the multiple menus from previous versions of Internet Explorer are consolidated into a single menu.
The Pinned Sites feature in IE allows users to get their favourite sites directly from the Windows taskbar without having to open the browser first.

To pin a site a user just needs to click the icon on the left of the Web address in One Box, or the tab for the website, or the website’s icon on the New Tab page, and then drag it to the taskbar.

Once a site is pinned, it shows up as its own thumbnail, separate from Internet Explorer.

The latest version of Microsoft IE comes with One Box which has the functionality of combined search and Address bar.

One Box allows users to either navigate to a website or start a search from one place. With this, users can start typing a Web address and AutoComplete helps them get to the websites quickly.

And with the integrated search functionality, users don’t have to remember the full web address.

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Microsoft partners with 29 websites in India to promote Internet Explorer 9

BANGALORE: Vying for a larger share of the browser market, Microsoft India has partnered with 29 of the most popular websites in India.

The company, which recently launched its latest browser Internet Explorer 9, has partnered with websites like the group buying website SnapDeal, e-commerce site Flipkart, online booking site BookMyShow , Photovault , ESPNCricinfo , Kotak Bank , PhotoVault, Naukri , Rediff SongBuzz, Reliance Global Call, Sameer Belvalkar’s FrozenFrames.com, Sify, and Zapak Games.

Globally, Microsoft has partnered with over 250 top websites and global brands that have created new experiences to show off the capabilities of Internet Explorer 9. Microsoft India unveiled the new browser at TechEd India 2011, an annual IT conference organised by Microsoft India.

The launch of Internet Explorer 9 came at a time when the race to capture browser markets share is heating up. The browser market is becoming increasingly competitive with an increasing number of devices going online every day. According to one report, when all versions of browsers are taken together, Internet Explorer leads the pack with 45% market share.

Microsoft Said to Plan Windows for Tablets Release in 2012

Microsoft
Corp ., the world’s largest software
maker , won ’t release a competitor to
Apple Inc. and Google Inc. ’s tablet
operating systems until the 2012 back –
to- school season , people with
knowledge of the plans said.
Public testing of a new version of
Windows with partners and
customers will begin at the end of this
year , said the people , who declined to
be identified because the plans
haven ’t been disclosed publicly.
Microsoft needs to update its
Windows 7 operating system with
programs more tailored to the touch
screens, size and battery life of tablet
computers to win a place in the
surging market for the devices . The
longer it takes Microsoft to release its
operating system , the more time
Apple and Google have to strengthen
their hold on the market .
“ If 2011 is the year of the tablet wars ,
Microsoft will be awfully late suiting
up for that battle, ” said Michael
Gartenberg, a New Jersey-based
analyst for research firm Gartner Inc .
“ It ’s not a good position to be in.”
Gartenberg said a 2012 debut for
Microsoft would likely put it up against
a third -generation iPad from Apple
and second and third versions of
devices based on Google ’s Android
system . Hewlett-Packard Co. and
Research In Motion Ltd will probably
also release second -generation
tablets by then, he said.
Mark Martin , a Microsoft spokesman,
declined to comment.
Competition Revving Up
Competition among tablet makers is
growing , with more than 100 new
designs entering the market this year,
according to In- Stat. The market for
tablets will grow to 118 million units
by 2015, the Scottsdale , Arizona- based
consulting firm said in a report today.
Apple introduced its second iPad
version yesterday — less than a year
after the original went on sale. Apple
sold 14.8 million units of the first iPad
through December .
“ Battle lines are being drawn , land is
being grabbed, users are being
evangelized and spending money, ”
Gartenberg said.
Timelines for new versions of
Windows often shift as the company
develops and tests the product.
Windows Vista came out more than
two years late , while the current
version , Windows 7 , was a few
months early.
In response to the iPad ’s popularity,
Microsoft in January said it would
make a version of the next Windows
software that works on ARM Holdings
Plc technology for the first time.
That technology , the basis of chips
made by Qualcomm Inc. , Texas
Instruments Inc . and Nvidia Corp .,
dominates smartphones and is in
tablets that run Google ’s Android
operating system . Motorola Mobility
Holdings Inc . and Samsung
Electronics Co . have used ARM -based
chips in tablets to take on the iPad .
PC Forecast
Gartner sliced its forecast today for
shipments of personal computers this
year , citing higher demand for PC
alternatives, such as tablets . Computer
makers will ship 387 . 8 million units
this year, an increase of 10 .5 percent
from last year , Gartner said. That’s
down from an earlier projection for a
15 .9 percent increase in 2011 .
Microsoft’s operating systems power
more than 90 percent of the world’s
personal computers . Apple has more
than 90 percent of the tablet market ,
Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs said
yesterday.
Microsoft rose 12 cents to $ 26. 20 at 4
p .m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock
Market trading . The stock has lost 6.1% this year.

Apple Vs Microsoft: war of apps store rages on

Apple and Microsoft are still kicking
lumps out of each other in a
trademark dispute over the term “ App
Store“ . Apple wants to nab the
trademark while Microsoft objects that
it’s a generic term. It ’s not pretty.
Check out a sample from the latest
salvo from Apple…
“…Misrosoft, missing the forst for the
trees, does not base its motion on a
comprehensive evaluation of how the
relevant public understands the term
APP STORE as a whole . What it offers
instead are out -of- context and
misleading snippets of material
printed by its outside counsel from
the internet and allegations regarding
how the public allegedly interprets the
constituent parts of the term APP
STORE, i.e ., ‘app’ and ’store .’”
Apple goes on to attack Microsoft for
hypocrisy and notes that the
Redmond team holds trademarks for
Windows (along with other common
words like … well… Word ) . The battle is
continuing with a decision due from
the US Patent and Trademark Office at
some point . Right now , it seems like
Apple has a lock on the term App
Store but should it be allowed to own
the term? Hit the comments and let
us know …

Apple poised to beat Microsoft’s quarterly profits for first time in 20 years

Microsoft is expected to report lower profits than last year as PC market growth stalls, making it almost certain that Apple’s latest $6 billion earnings record will exceed Microsoft’s for the first time since 1990.

Microsoft is expected to report $5.93 billion over the winter quarter, according to a report by Reuters, although it’s possible the company could post a blowout quarter that exceeds the street’s expectations.

Just two years ago, Microsoft was posting twice the quarterly profits of Apple. Over the last few years however, Apple has established new markets in smartphones and with the iPad, two product segments Microsoft has failed to execute in.

The report cited Tim Bajarin, president of tech research firm Creative Strategies, as saying, “Microsoft is still a juggernaut in the PC business; Windows-based machines are still selling over 300 million a year. But they missed the smartphone revolution, and even though they were the first to really push the tablet, Apple basically redesigned it and left Microsoft in the dust.”

Windows Phone fails to connect

Last year, Microsoft scrambled to scuttle Windows Mobile 6 and the mobile software marketplace for that platform that it had just finished, in order to launch an entirely new, incompatible mobile platform based on more modern technology, with an easy to use touch interface rather than a windowing interface requiring a keypad or stylus to navigate.

An interim product, launched with Verizon under the brand KIN, failed miserably. However, even sales of Windows Phone 7 have been disappointing, with even LG, one of Microsoft’s leading WP7 licensees, referring to sales as “less than we expected.”

LG’s marketing strategy and planning team director James Choi observed that “for tech guys like us it might be a little bit boring after a week or two, but there are certain segments that it really appeals to. We strongly feel that it has a strong potential even though the first push wasn’t what everyone expected.”

Even Microsoft’s developers took a dim view of the platform, with Justin James observing, “unless you consider Windows Phone 7 to be a ‘must do’ platform for development (which is quite unlikely), I suggest that you think of Windows Phone 7 development as a hobby or a learning experience rather than a source of revenue until the App Hub issues are sorted out.”

In December Microsoft tried to frame sales of Windows Phone 7 as flatteringly as possible, referring to “phone manufacturer sales,” defined as “phones being bought and stocked by mobile operators and retailers on their way to customers,” as having reached a milestone of 1.5 million units, and saying this was “inline with our expectations.”

That number was actually barely enough to fill Microsoft’s well developed global channel. One reseller reported that the new WP7 models “are by and large generic phones from well known manufacturers, and in most cases an almost identical model is available from the same manufacturer with Android, and given the choice people seem to be picking Android.”

Windows tablets flop

Hot on the heels of failed launch of last year’s Slate PC initiative with HP, Microsoft killed the vaporware Courier project that many hoped would take on the iPad.

This year, the company promised to start over again, two years from now, with a version of Windows capable of running on the efficient chips of the ARM Architecture, just like last year’s iPad and other Android tablet products hitting the market.

“I wish they did this [switch to ARM] two years ago, it’s something they should have thought of,” said Sid Parakh, analyst at McAdams Wright Ragen. “But it is a long game. The question becomes: Is the iPad a cannibalization of Microsoft’s existing products, or an added component of consumer electronics spending? I’m sure it’s a mix of both.”

PC growth slower than predicted

Microsoft’s bread and butter, the PC market, was up globally only 3.1 percent in the winter quarter, and US sales actually contracted by 6.6 percent according to figures reported by Gartner. Over all of 2010, PC shipments were up just 13.8 percent world wide, much lower than Gartner’s original forecast for 2010 calling for 19.2 percent growth.

In addition to slow PC sales, Apple’s iPad has increasing eaten into both consumer and enterprise PC demand, with Apple selling more than 7.3 million in the winter quarter and over 14 million in 2010. This year, Apple is expected to sell as many as 40 million of the devices, largely at the expense of Windows PCs.

Apple’s iPad sales are already distorting the component markets for RAM and hard drives, and clearly slowing sales of conventional PCs, even as IDC and Gartner scramble to hide iPads behind the newly invented “media tablet” market to avoid direct comparisons to other tablet products and to PCs.

If iPads were counted as PCs, Apple would be the number one PC maker in the US with 24 percent of the market. Microsoft hasn’t really faced a PC market that wasn’t completely monopolized by Windows since the days before Windows, when it was earning less than Apple, a position it now appears to be in again.

Apple’s iPad 2, iPhone 5 Will Allow Mobile Payments

Apple’s iPad 2 and iPhone 5 will include technology for wireless mobile payments, according to a new report from Bloomberg.

Apple will enable the iPad 2 and iPhone 5 to make wireless purchases, according to an online report. Richard Doherty, director of consulting firm Envisioneering Group, told Bloomberg Jan. 25 that the next-generation iPad and iPhone will feature payment technology leveraging NFC (near field communication), which allows close-range wireless communication between devices. Apple arch-rival Google has already included NFC capability in its Android 2.3 build, available on smartphones such as the Samsung Nexus S. Doherty used unnamed “engineers who are working on hardware for the Apple project” as his source, according to paraphrasing in the Bloomberg report, and suggested the payment service would begin “as early as mid-2011.” In theory, the next iPad and iPhone could tap an owner’s bank or credit-card account directly, allowing purchases with a single tap or swipe of the device. If Apple indeed introduces a mobile-payment service based on NFC, it would have tech-world competition besides Google: Research In Motion co-CEO Jim Balsillie recently suggested that his company was considering NFC technology for its own products.  Apple itself remains predictably closed-lipped about any upcoming products. If it follows past years’ product launch dates, however, the next-generation iPad will make its debut in April, with the new iPhone following in June or July. Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ recent leave of absence, reportedly for health reasons, means that some other executive—most likely COO Tim Cook, who continues to run the company’s day-to-day operations in his boss’s absence—will conduct the actual unveiling of both products. In any case, rumors are flying fast and furious about the possible new features in Apple’s upcoming products. In a Jan. 12 posting, for example, the blog Boy Genius Report suggested that the next version of the iPad will lack a home button, and instead rely on multi-touch gestures to navigate the home screen. Meanwhile, a small debate has erupted over whether the iPad 2 or even iPad 3 will feature the company’s proprietary high-resolution Retina Display.   “I think the DigiTimes story probably got the resolution right, but the iPad version wrong,” IDC research manager Tom Mainelli reportedly told PC World, referencing a Jan. 20 article in DigiTimes suggesting the iPad 2’s resolution would be 2048 x 1536. “Our sources say Apple has requested that manufacturers begin work on displays with that resolution for iPad 3.” NFC technology, along with new hardware additions, would possibly help Apple blunt increased competition from other manufacturers intent on breaking into the tablet market. RIM is planning to release a 7-inch tablet, the PlayBook, and companies such as Motorola have Android-based tablets slated to hit store shelves over the next several quarters.  

Microsoft Releases WebMatrix Web Publishing Tool

Microsoft Windows logo Microsoft on Thursday released a new Web development workbench called WebMatrix, which integrates with other free, open-source Web development and management tools, such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and Umbraco.
The key feature is that WebMatrix houses the Web server, database, and programming framework in one organized space. While the free, downloadable tool is designed to make building and publishing Web sites easy for beginners, it still requires some understanding of programming (HTML, XML, CSS, ASP.NET, JavaScript) in order to take advantage of its full potential. Still, the rich code editor and database editor, as shown in the tutorial videos and articles, seem clear and robust in ways that could ease the learning curve.
The small, embedded database that’s included is SQL Server Compact, which sits in the same place as the user’s Web site code and content, making it simple to copy the file over to the Web server to publish.
WebMatrix also offers tips for search engine optimization and SEO reports, Web server management, and publishing via FTP, FTPS, and WebDeploy. It’s available for download in nine languages.