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IE holds rival browsers at bay

For Microsoft's Internet Explorer team, stasis is bliss.

In February's worldwide usage statistics, IE largely held at bay its top challengers, Mozilla's Firefox and Google's Chrome, according to Net Applications' latest measurements. IE has done so for a few months now, a big improvement for Microsoft compared to years of losing share.

IE dipped from 53.0 percent of global usage in January to 52.8 percent in February among desktop browsers; Firefox and Chrome stayed level at 20.9 percent and 18.9 percent, respectively. Safari popped up a notch from 4.9 percent to … Read more

Microsoft: Google bypassed IE privacy settings too

In the wake of reports that Google had sidestepped privacy settings in Apple's Safari browser, Microsoft announced today it had discovered that the Web giant had done the same with Internet Explorer.

"When the IE team heard that Google had bypassed user privacy settings on Safari, we asked ourselves a simple question: is Google circumventing the privacy preferences of Internet Explorer users too?" IE executive Dean Hachamovitch wrote in a blog post this morning. "We've discovered the answer is yes: Google is employing similar methods to get around the default privacy protections in IE and … Read more

Microsoft denounces Google for bypassing Safari privacy settings

Microsoft is clearly looking for any ammunition it can find to criticize Google and win over Internet users.

Today, Microsoft seized on a Wall Street Journal report that Google sidestepped privacy settings in Apple's Safari browser to track Internet users. The Journal story said the search giant and other ad companies used special code to get around Safari's privacy controls in order to track users on computers and mobile devices.

"Apparently, Google has been able to track users of Apple's Safari browser while they surf the web on their Apple iPhones, iPads and Macs," Ryan … Read more

IE fends off rivals, but absent from mobile battlefield

Internet Explorer staved off rival browsers on personal computers in the first month of 2012, but a new battlefield is emerging where Microsoft has virtually no presence today: mobile.

Among personal computers, IE reclaimed a chunk the global browser usage, rising from 51.9 percent in December to 53 percent in January, according to new statistics from Net Applications.

However, while browsing with desktops and laptops dominates, mobile devices are catching up. Smartphones and tablets accounted for an all-time high of 8.8 percent of browsing in January, up from 7.7 percent the month earlier.

And on mobile, Microsoft'… Read more

Microsoft: The Web is better without plug-ins

Microsoft began distancing itself from browser plug-ins last year starting with Internet Explorer on Windows 8's Metro interface, but it spoke more definitively today: plug-ins are bad for the Web.

"Metro-style IE runs plug-in free to improve battery life as well as security, reliability, and privacy for consumers," said John Hrvatin, Internet Explorer program manager lead, in a blog post. "A plug-in free Web benefits consumers and developers and we all take part in the transition."

The upcoming IE10 browser doesn't just run in Metro, Microsoft's next-generation, touch-centric interface geared for tablets and … Read more

Ion seeks to save IE6 users from themselves

While many are cheering the impending death of Internet Explorer 6, including Microsoft itself, large businesses aren't. Replacing corporate apps built for IE6 could cost tens of millions of dollars, and that's where Browsium's new Ion browser add-on comes in.

Originally known as UniBrows, Ion ditched Browsium's locked-down, more secure IE6 engine, once engineers realized that it wasn't necessary. Ion utilizes a merged IE8-and-IE9 engine to enable corporations to run their proprietary sites and apps without having to deal with complications like sluggishness from virtualization.

Gary Schare, president and chief operating officer of Browsium, explained … Read more

What IE6's slow death says about us

Usage of Internet Explorer 6 has dropped below 1 percent. Microsoft and security pros everywhere are happy about IE6's demise.

Microsoft has some shtick about the whole IE6 death meme, but it's worth asking why this decrepit browser lasted as long as it did. In many respects, IE6's slow death--it was like watching paint dry--says a lot about the enterprise, which is one reason the browser stuck around as long as it did.

Here are some thoughts on the meaning behind IE6's end:

• Corporations moved at a glacial pace. Yes Virginia, you still can get a … Read more

How to bookmark all open browser tabs at once

Browser tabs are a wonderful convenience that allow you to browse the Internet without cluttering up your desktop.

Another great, but often overlooked convenience, is being able to bookmark all open tabs at the same time. Maybe you've been researching something on the Internet for hours and have several tabs open, but need to stop for the day. What do you do? Leave your browser up and your computer on until you come back? Bookmark each tab individually? Nah.

Here's how to bookmark all open browser tabs at once:

Chrome Right-click on a tab and select "Bookmark … Read more

New IE10 test version pushes Web standards--and Windows 8

Microsoft released its fourth "platform preview" of Internet Explorer 10 today, adding a collection of new features to what's shaping up to be a surprisingly feisty browser.

The new version supports a number of new features detailed in a blog post by Rob Mauceri, program manager of the IE group. Among the features are support for JavaScript typed arrays, which lets Web apps handle raw data such as files better, and HTML5 video features such as the ability to link to a specific time in a video and to add captions.

"These foundational capabilities are what … Read more

A worthy cause: Update Your Parents' Browser Day

Perhaps you have a hard time getting behind National Parfait Day or Dress Spotty Day.

Here's a worthy cause for today, though: Update Your Parents' Browser Day.

The Atlantic's Alexis Madrigal came up with it as a constructive pasttime for the day after Thanksgiving, when many folks are visiting their folks at home.

If you can't persuade your parents to drop Internet Explorer 6 because YouTube will stop working, "wait until they slip into a tryptophan-induced coma and then sneak into the den," Madrigal suggests.

I'd throw protection against security vulnerabilities into the upgrade … Read more