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Following on from October’s Web Browser Roundup, here’s what’s been happening in the world of the web browser since then…

  • Internet Explorer – IE10 for Windows 7 coming this month… sort of!
  • Chrome – v23 out now, and can increase your battery life by 25%?!
  • Firefox – Market share drops below 20% – tough times ahead!
  • Safari – Download links for Windows users buried
  • Opera – 12.10 out now.. and Opera Mobile 12.1 also available

Internet Explorer:
Internet Explorer 10
The buzz with Internet Explorer revolves right now revolves around IE10, and the growing anticipation for the eagerly awaited release of IE10 for Windows 7, which Microsoft have stated in a recent blog post will be available “mid-November“.

In fact, for a short period just before the launch of Windows 8, the download page for Internet Explorer 10 actually went live (although the download links contained therein were not live). Microsoft quickly pulled the download page within a matter of hours, and now at time of writing returns a “Page not found” error. However, we understand that when IE10 does become available for download it will be at this link

Great, you might think… however, there’s a catch… the upcoming release in “mid-November” is only going to be yet another “preview” version of IE10 with “final availability to follow as [they] collect developer and customer feedback”. Why they can’t just fully launch IE10 for Windows 7 users outright we don’t know! As there have already been several “developer preview” releases of IE10 for Windows 7 users going back well over a year, and of course IE10 is included as standard in Windows 8. You’d think that if there were any “issues” with IE10 these would have been identified and addressed by now! You’d also think there would be a real desire from the Internet Explorer team to get IE10 out, as Internet Explorer 9 is now quite literally years behind the current offerings from the other main browser developers (Mozilla, Google, Apple, and Opera Software). Come on Microsoft! Get your act together!

We’re keeping our eye on the wires, and as soon as IE10 is available for you Windows 7 users, we’ll let you know!

UPDATE: 12th November: We understand from Roger Capriotti, Product Marketing Director for IE that the “Preview” build of IE10 for Windows will be available from tomorrow (Tuesday 13th November) – Watch this space!!

UPDATE: 13th November: As predicted, Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 is now available

MIDAS is supported in Internet Explorer 8+ (v10+ recommended)

Google Chrome:
Chrome more popular than IE
Today, Google have released the latest update to their Chrome browser, which has now reached v23 (v23.0.1271.64 to be precise!). According to their blog one of the noticeable features in v23 is that this new release offers longer battery life when running their Chrome browser on your tablet/laptop – they claim it can extend your device’s battery life by up to 25%! …if these claims prove true, that’s some noticeable improvement! Thanks to Google Chrome’s auto-update feature, if your an existing Chrome user, your browser should silently automatically update to v23 very shortly!

Also, Google Chrome’s share of the browser market continues to grow at almost the same rate as Internet Explorer’s share declines… it remains to be seen what affect the wider availability of IE10 will have on this…

Google Chrome's share of the browser market continues to grow
Image via StatCounter

MIDAS is supported in Chrome 9+ (v23+ recommended)

Mozilla Firefox:
Firefox 16
Just after last month’s Web Browser Roundup, Mozilla released Firefox 16… only to withdraw it the following day due to a security vulnerability. This was promptly fixed, and Firefox 16.0.1 was released in its place.

Mozilla seem to be having a tough time of late, and their troubles continue…

Due to supposed “glitch” in the Browser Ballot screen that the EU forced Microsoft to show to users in the European Union in order to offer them a choice of browsers, it emerged that this screen wasn’t in fact shown to a large number of users. Whilst this “glitch” had subsequently been fixed, and the EU are set to fine Microsoft for their Mistake, Harvey Anderson, the Vice President of Business Affairs at Mozilla, has commented that “Firefox downloads saw a decrease of 63% to as low as 20,000 per day and increased by 150% to 50,000 per day after the fix was issued.“. In addition, he claims that Mozilla lost 6-9 million Firefox downloads during the 15 month period.

If that was bad enough for Mozilla, Back in 2007 they decided that they didn’t need to pay taxes for the revenue that comes from their partnership with Google search. Why? Because according to Mozilla, $66 million (out of $77 million) dollars were a form of “contributions” and therefore, should not be taxable.

Unfortunately, the US government took a different view and as a result, Mozilla will now be paying up a total of $1.5 million dollars (which is considerably less than they were expecting, having set aside $15 million over this matter)

But the bad news still keeps coming for Mozilla! A report from NetApplications for October 2012 now puts Firefox at less than a 20% share of the browser market. The slight, but ongoing, decline in Firefox’s user base is due mainly to its users switching to Google Chrome, which has seen a steady increase in market share since its launch in 2008. Many users feel that Chrome is faster and lighter on memory than Firefox. Certainly some recent builds of Firefox have been pretty memory intensive, however, Mozilla have made significant improvements in this area, and v16 onwards has a much smaller memory footprint that earlier versions.

MIDAS is supported in Firefox 4+ (v16+ recommended)

Safari:
Safari 5
It’s all quiet on the Safari front at the moment! Development on Apple’s web browser seems to take more a back seat to their hardware development, and so when there’s an upcoming product launch, such as the new iPad mini, other Apple-related news is harder to come by!

There’s still no news as to whether Apple will ever release another update for Safari for Windows users. currently Safari 6 is only available to iOS users, with 5.1.7 being the highest version of Safari that Windows users can update to (provided they have an earlier version of Safari already installed, as Apple have somewhat buried the download links for a fresh Safari Windows install deep within a KB article on their site! So, if you wish to download Safari 5.1.7 for Windows, here is the link)

MIDAS is supported in Safari 4+ (v5+ recommended)

Opera:
Opera 12
Development over at Opera Software continues at pace! Following 4 “release candidates” within just about as many days, today, Opera announced the release of Opera 12.10, which in their words contains “many updates and more bugfixes than I can count“. They also state that “This release is a recommended security update.“. The Opera browser is now quite impressive! It’s always had a small, but dedicated following, that’s never really grown much, but at the same time has also never shrunk. It’s also been around for a very very long time, in fact, it was first released 18 years ago in late 1994! So over the years, many people have tried it, and not really liked it for whatever reason. However, today, the Opera browser fast, sleek, modern browser that can easily give the other major browsers a run for their money!

One notable new feature in Opera 12.10 is support for a new “Fullscreen API” support. Previously the “Fullscreen API” has only been supported in Firefox 15+, Chrome 22+, Safari 5.1+… so now it comes to Opera 12.1+ too! (still no support in IE10 though at time of writing!). So what is this “Fullscreen API” and why bother mentioning it?

Basically, the “Fullscreen API” allows developers to make elements in a web page, such as a video, go completely “full screen” without having to use Flash or some other means. Whilst most browser can go a sort of “full screen” (usually by pressing F11), the address bar and some navigation buttons are usually still present. The relatively new “Fullscreen API” allows web pages to completely fill your screen with no toolbars/navigation buttons etc. We are currently implementing this API to allow you to use future versions of MIDAS in true “full screen” mode – which will mean there will be more space for displaying your bookings! …watch this space!

Did you know that Opera 12.10 is available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux… so if you’ve never tried Opera before, you’ve really no excuse!

Opera Mobile 12.1 for Android Phones is now also available, and if you’ve been following our blog, you’ll know that our website is now “tailored” to viewing on mobile devices. Currently, only Opera and Firefox offer mobile versions of their browsers, so if you have an android phone with an outdated browser, be sure to download Firefox or Opera Mobile for the best possible viewing experience!

MIDAS is supported in Opera 9+ (v12+ recommended)

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