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Microsoft patches IE9 with new security update

Microsoft has released a new update for Internet Explorer 9 that aims to patch several outstanding security holes.

Available through Windows Update since Tuesday, the security update is rated critical by Microsoft, which means that people who have Windows Update set to "install updates automatically" will automatically receive it.

Users who haven't enabled that option are advised to install the update manually from Windows Update. IT administrators who support large organizations should also apply the update with whatever patch management software they use in-house.

The update targets eight vulnerabilities in IE9, some of which could let a … Read more

Microsoft page says IE more secure than rival browsers

A new Web page that tests browser security has crowned Internet Explorer 9 the most secure among the five major players. The only catch is that the page itself comes from Microsoft.

Dubbed "Your Browser Matters," the new page checks a browser to determine how well it fares against phishing attacks and other types of socially engineered malware. The page then assigns the browser a score based on a scale of 0 to 4.

Looking at the major browsers, Internet Explorer 9 received a perfect 4 out 4, while IE8 earned a 3. The latest versions of Firefox (… Read more

Adobe: Flash will flourish despite Windows 8

Microsoft just declared that browser plug-ins' best days are behind them, but Adobe is working hard to disprove the notion with its Flash Player.

Flash, the most widely used browser plug-in, will be barred from the new "Metro" version of Internet Explorer 10 that will ship with Windows 8, IE team leader Dean Hachamovitch announced last night during the company's Build conference. In response, Adobe pointed out that Flash will still work with the more traditional "desktop" interface--but also that the company has other plans for staying relevant.

"If you look a year out, … Read more

Microsoft joins the anti-Flash crowd with IE10

The first big blow to Flash was Apple's iOS. Now Adobe Systems' browser plug-in faces another major threat to its relevance: Microsoft has banned it and all other plug-ins from the "Metro" version of Internet Explorer 10.

Metro is the modern "touch-first" interface that plays a starring role in the radically new look of Windows 8, which Microsoft plans to release in 2012. Microsoft will ship the new OS with two versions of IE10, one for Metro and one a brushed-up version of the current Windows 7 interface. While the legacy version of IE10 will … Read more

IE10 wakes to the Web--and to Windows

IE9 left no doubt that Microsoft understood the importance of supporting modern Web standards. But IE10, updated yesterday with the third platform preview, is the vehicle delivering much of that support.

Microsoft fleshed out IE10's impressive list of new technologies at Microsoft's Build conference for developers. New items on the list such as Web Workers, Web Sockets, 3D Transforms, Application Cache, and IndexedDB are music to the ears of many Web developers who want to make rich, interactive Web sites.

But it's important for a much larger developer group, too: IE10 also is a key foundation for Windows 8 applications. … Read more

Tune up IE with PC Brother IE Care Free

PC Brother IE Care Free is a free cleaning and security app for Internet Explorer and your whole system. It cleans your browsing traces, checks your security settings, and fixes errors. It also checks your plug-ins and other associated software, letting you remove obsolete or unneeded files and programs.

IE Care's tabbed interface offers a nice balance between stylish and basic, and it's a bit more efficient than many similar free tools that, let's be frank, are designed to encourage you to upgrade to a paid version, typically one that offers more features. IE Care keeps the … Read more

Apple leads volatile mobile browser market

New statistics released today show a competitive volatility in the the mobile browser market absent from the slower-moving personal computer browser market.

Net Applications has long shown the total browser usage worldwide based on visits to a collection of Web sites using its analytics software. Now, though, it's separated PC browsing on desktops and laptops from mobile browsing on phones and tablets. With PCs, the story remains largely unchanged: Microsoft's Internet Explorer continues its gradual slide while Google's Chrome and Apple's Safari gradually rise.

But in the mobile market, there's a lot more jitter in … Read more

Lockdown-evading Chrome Frame exits beta

Google, after working for months on a version of its Chrome Frame that can sidestep PC lockdown constraints, has released the first stable version of the plug-in for Internet Explorer.

Chrome Frame embeds a version of Google's browser into older versions of Microsoft's browser. Chrome Frame shows Web pages using the Chrome engine when Web programmers have set a flag that the software checks for.

One problem with the approach is that the very people who most need the technology often are those who don't have enough administrative privileges to install a newer browser than, say, the … Read more

IE team pokes fun at rapid-release Firefox 6

Matching Firefox's new rapid-release development cycle, Microsoft's Internet Explorer team has downsized the traditional congratulatory cake it sends to its browser rival.

The new cake arrived last week to Mozilla upon shipment of Firefox 6. Jonathan Nightingale, director of Firefox engineering for Mozilla, posted a photo of the cake on Flickr.

Under the rapid-release program, new versions of the browser ship every six weeks, which means the change in features from the earlier version is correspondingly smaller. No doubt Microsoft--which is still using the big-change, infrequent-update approach with IE--was poking fun at the new release philosophy when it … Read more

Browser-based loan calculator

Web Loanalyzer is a free loan calculator written in HTML and JavaScript. It quickly analyzes a loan's parameters and explains in plain English how long it will take to pay the loan off, how much interest will be paid, and so on. We took a look at Web Loanalyzer Q1.

We extracted Web Loanalyzer's zipped program file and clicked it, which opened the calculator in our Web browser. Web Loanalyzer is locally hosted, so you don't need an active Internet connection to use it. The program's interface is small, about the size of two banner ads … Read more