Microsoft rolls out 'reliability' patch for Internet Explorer 11

Running Internet Explorer 11 in Windows 8.1? Microsoft has a new patch that promises to improve its reliability.

The patch is available through Windows Update for Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2 and through Microsoft's support site for 8.1 and Server 2012 R2. The description of the patch doesn't reveal what it does to improve reliability.

A Microsoft spokesman didn't add much to the description, telling CNET simply that "the update released today improves the performance and reliability of IE11 for our customers."

But Internet Explorer 11 … Read more

Microsoft pays out $28K to IE 11 exploit hunters

Microsoft recently launched a bounty-hunting program for researchers to find bugs, security flaws, and vulnerabilities in the preview version of Internet Explorer 11. And, now, a handful of hunters have come to claim their prize.

A total of six researchers have found 15 vulnerabilities within the preview version of Internet Explorer 11. And, Microsoft has paid them more than $28,000 to date.

Microsoft announced its month-long bug bounty program for IE 11 in June. The company's goal is to stamp out security vulnerabilities in its software as early on as possible. Microsoft offered researchers up to $11,000 … Read more

IE usage resurges in September, new stats report

It's comeback time for Internet Explorer, the browser that languished for years but now is showing renewed vigor in the market as Microsoft revamps it.

Months ago, Net Applications statistics showed IE gaining some ground as measured by daily use among individuals. Now, new data released from StatCounter, which uses a different methodology emphasizing page views, is confirming that rebound.

Net Applications measured IE usage on personal computers growing from 57.6 percent in August to 57.8 percent in September -- not a dramatic change for what it deems the most-used browser. StatCounter's methods put IE in … Read more

Microsoft claims massive speed boost in latest IE 11 build

Buoyed by the good news of market share growth in August for Internet Explorer, Microsoft is touting major improvements in the new Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7 Release Preview on Wednesday.

The virtual machine version of the IE 11 Release Preview will be available at later this week.

The IE 11 Release Preview, equivalent to the "release candidate" stage of the traditional software development cycle, is the last pre-release version of IE 11 before it becomes available to all Windows 7 owners. Roger Capriotti, IE's marketing director, would only say that the final version … Read more

Microsoft readies IE 11 for Windows 7, too

Browser aficionados and haters alike will be overjoyed that Microsoft is keeping its promise to keep the new Internet Explorer up-to-date on Windows 7 as well as Windows 8.

The Internet Explorer 11 Developer's Preview for Windows 7, which debuted on Thursday, introduces the most of the new features and functionality of the Windows 8.1 default browser.

Roger Capriotti, Microsoft's marketing director for Internet Explorer, said that, like IE 10 for Windows 7, IE 11 won't have the modern interface, but it will have performance benefits.

"We're faster than the folks at Chrome or … Read more

Rival mobile browsers chip away at Safari's lead

Safari, the top browser in terms of mobile usage, lost a little share to three rivals in June.

The Apple browser dropped from 60.0 percent of usage in May to 58.0 percent in June, still well ahead of competing browsers, according to statistics released by tracking firm Net Applications on Monday. Google's unbranded Android browser, in second place, also dipped, from 20.7 percent to 20.6 percent.

Picking up the slack were Opera Mini, which rose from 10.5 percent to 11.2 percent; Google's Chrome, which rose from 3.2 percent to 3.8 … Read more

Leak confirms WebGL, SPDY for IE11

If Internet Explorer 10 impressed you, you're going to love what we now expect from IE11 at Microsoft's Build conference on Wednesday.

Information leaked by a Microsoft Developer Network subscriber appears to confirm long-rumored details on what's going to be included in Internet Explorer 11.

The next major version of the browser, expected to arrive with Windows 8.1 later this year, will include support for many under-the-hood features that Firefox and Chrome already offer, and some that they don't.

According to, IE11 will include WebGL support, a standard originally from Mozilla that makes … Read more

Microsoft offers up a bounty for finding bugs in beta

Microsoft on Wednesday announced it will launch a "bug bounty" program, designed to stamp out security vulnerabilities in its software before and after its products are launched.

The software giant has previously offered as much as $250,000 for security vulnerabilities disclosed as part of its BlueHat prize during contests, but the company had yet to offer a long-term, ongoing bug bounty program to encourage researchers to find flaws in its products.

"This is the smartest thing we can do," Katie Moussouris, senior security strategist lead at Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC), told ZDNet on the … Read more

Chrome starts staking out mobile-browsing turf

The Android version of Chrome has begun carving a niche for itself in the mobile browsing market.

In May, usage of the mobile version of Google's browser on smartphones and tablets accounted for an all-time high of 3.2 percent, according to Net Applications' usage statistics. That figure may not sound like a lot, but the browser only crossed the 1 percent threshold in November 2012, and it's now surpassed Microsoft's IE at 2 percent of mobile browser usage.

At the same time, Google's unbranded Android browser, which predates Chrome, appears to be waning. Its usage … Read more

IE11, Windows Blue could support Google's SPDY protocol

Another tantalizing tidbit has emerged from last month's leaked IE11 build: the possibility that the next version of Internet Explorer could support Google's SPDY technology for faster browser-server communications.

It's not working yet, but SPDY "is being implemented," said Rafael Rivera of the Within Windows blog. Paul Thurrot of WinSuperSite also said SPDY is coming.

The SPDY support is at the operating system level, meaning that other software besides just IE11 could take advantage of it, Rivera said.

Microsoft declined to comment on the matter.

Google has rounded up several allies to standardize SPDY technology, … Read more