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Firefox in Warp Zone, Updated to Version 7.0

A little over a month after releasing Firefox 6.0, and quickly following it up with two minor updates (6.0.1 and 6.0.2), Mozilla released its next "major" version, Firefox 7.0 into the release channel. It is now clear that Mozilla Firefox is playing catch-up with other popular web-browsers in some sort of a version number game. The three year old Google Chrome is already into version 14, with version 16 already in the dev channel.

While Firefox users will not be in for a different user interface (it's bad to drastically change it from time to time), Firefox 7 does seem to come with several under-the-hood changes. To begin with, the Windows version features a brand-new rendering back-end that speeds up Canvas, a tweaked Sync system that instantly syncs changes to bookmarks and saved passwords, support for text-overflow: ellipsis, compliance with the Web Timing specification, WebSocket protocol updated from version 7 to 8, and improved support for MathML. The only UI change is that the protocol of the page loaded is hidden. The full URL will be copied when you copy the address in the bar. Firefox 7 is launched for all platforms it's available in: Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android.
DOWNLOAD: Mozilla Firefox 7

Google to Acquire Motorola Mobility

Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: MMI) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Google will acquire Motorola Mobility for $40.00 per share in cash, or a total of about $12.5 billion, a premium of 63% to the closing price of Motorola Mobility shares on Friday, August 12, 2011. The transaction was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies.

The acquisition of Motorola Mobility, a dedicated Android partner, will enable Google to supercharge the Android ecosystem and will enhance competition in mobile computing. Motorola Mobility will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. Google will run Motorola Mobility as a separate business.

Larry Page, CEO of Google, said, “Motorola Mobility’s total commitment to Android has created a natural fit for our two companies. Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers. I look forward to welcoming Motorolans to our family of Googlers.”

Acer Debuts AC700 Chromebook

Acer America today debuts the Acer AC700 its first Chromebook in the United States and its first product running Google's Chrome-based operating system. The Acer AC700 ultraportable delivers blazing boot times and instant access to the Internet.

The first in a planned line of products that will utilize Google's Chrome operating system, the Acer AC700 Chromebook is ideal for savvy mobile consumers, educational institutions, and business people that spend most of their time on the Internet for cloud computing such as using web-based email, uploading photos to sites like Flickr and Picasa, and keeping up-to-date on the latest news and events. The new Acer AC700 provides WiFi connectivity, a sleek thin and light form factor, long battery life and excellent HD playback.

ViewSonic Delivers the Best of Both Worlds with Availability of its ViewPad 10 Tablet

ViewSonic Corp., a leading global provider of computing, consumer electronics and communications solutions, today announced North American availability of the ViewPad 10. Giving users a choice between Windows 7 and Google Android within the same device, this 10.1” dual-boot tablet is ideal for maximizing business productivity alongside entertainment.

“The lines of professional and personal life are blurring, which creates a need for devices that are suited for both sides,” said Adam Hanin, vice president of marketing for ViewSonic Americas. “The ViewPad 10 delivers just that by enabling users to merge business productivity with personal enjoyment anywhere, anytime. We are proud of our 10-year tablet history and are dedicated to further extending our tablet product portfolio to meet every individual need.”

Internet Explorer 9 Final Launches on the 14th

After subjecting itself to the dark ages as Mozilla Firefox, and later Google Chrome started eating into its market-share, Microsoft's Internet Explorer team released version 9 of its [then] iconic browser, which actually kept up with current standards in terms of speed, features, and functionality. Internet Explorer 9 stable will be released to web on March 14, 2011.

MSIE 9 made its first public release in September 2010, in the form of a functional beta, and was fed by the occasional stability updates. It later assumed the form of the first Release Candidate in early February 2011, with a slightly tweaked user-interface. Once it achieves a stable build status, it will be updated regularly under Microsoft's cumulative security updates. Internet Explorer 9 is an "omnibox"-styled, tabbed, multi-process web-browser. Each tab and running ActiveX plugin runs in its own process. The browser is up to date in terms of standards including HTML5, packs a fast Javascript engine, and uses GPU hardware acceleration to draw web-page contents.Source: Windows Team Blog

Microsoft Expediting Windows 8 Tablet Launch to January 2012

Tablet PCs came and went, but "tablets" as a category began with the Apple iPad. Merely weeks after its launch, the rattled PC OEM industry announced plans for their tablets, some being ARM-based and driven by Google's touch-phone optimized Android OS, and some using x86 processors and Windows 7. Unfortunately, Windows 7 based tablets aren't cutting it in the market, and the problem is with the user-interface (UI) itself. While Windows 7 has a touchscreen/pen software framework, its UI is more PC-like. Menu items, buttons with applications, are not very optimized for a comfortable touch-only input device.

Hence, Microsoft seems to be expediting the release of Windows 8 for Tablets, and the software giant plans to do that as early as by CES 2012. Only the tablet version of Windows 8 will be released then, not the PC version.

ViewSonic Unveils ViewPad 7, World's First 7'' Android Tablet

The ViewPad 7 is a world's first 7" Android 2.2 (Froyo) tablet with phone functionality, multi-tasking capabilities and front and back-facing cameras, VGA and 3MP, resolutions respectively. Within a lightweight, pocket-sized design, this device is ideal for anyone who needs a mobile connection to the world via email and video and wants to enjoy a wide-range of applications.

With full 3G and phone functionality, a full size SIM card slot and integrated Bluetooth connectivity the ViewPad 7 will support instant messaging, text/mms messaging, VOIP and standard voice calls all in a single device. It features an easy to use familiar interface with a G-sensor that reorients the screen depending on how the device is held and access to the Google Android app store featuring over 100,000 applications.

Firefox to Get Direct2D Rendering, Out of Process Plugins

The most popular alternative to Internet Explorer, Firefox, may get an overhaul of its feature-set that could make its performance a lot more competitive with that of Google Chrome. Firefox may finally embrace out of process plugins, and a new rendering engine that makes use of Microsoft Direct2D, with which it can offload a big chunk of rendering to the GPU. While this may not speed up page load times for the bandwidth-constrained, it will certainly make the browser more responsive, especially as web-page complexity grows with new technologies such as HTML5.

As of now, the inclusion of GPU-accelerated rendering is only slated to be in the form of an alpha release, which could make it to a stable release around an year's time, and not part of Gecko's next release, version 1.9.3. A stable Firefox based on Gecko 1.9.3 will be released only by October. Developers hope that the next release of Gecko will be able to include GPU-accelerated rendering. The other major feature addition is out-of-process plugins. Not to be confused with multi-process rendering, out-of-process plugins feature runs plugins such as Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat, Sun Java, Microsoft Silverlight, etc., in processes separate from the browser's main process. So in case there is an erratic page element, it could be ended without crashing the entire browser. Developers aim to have a stable release with this feature by the end of this quarter on both Windows and Linux, with a Mac release a little later.Source: Softpedia

Google Releases Chrome Beta for Linux and Mac

Google's slim and swift web-browser Chrome has been ported to Linux and Mac, at last, and a public beta release has been published. The beta version continues to use the version scheme of the latest developer channel release for Windows, with version 4.0.249.30 being the latest. It supports nearly all features of the Windows version, including sandboxed multi-process rendering for multiple browser tabs, among other features. Sadly, the team isn't ready with browser plugin support, with the Linux version not being able to use the Netscape compatible browswer plugins such as Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader, Java, and others which other browsers such as Firefox and Opera are able to use. To download Google Chrome beta for Linux, visit this page. For Google Chrome beta for Mac, visit this page.

Gates Downplays Chrome OS

Google's recent announcement of the Chrome OS, a web-oriented operating system that aims to use practicality and speed as its USPs, created more than just a few waves in the IT world. The firm later added that Chrome was going to be a free software, and has the support of some of the biggest names in the industry. At the receiving end of a potential competitor both in the operating system and cloud computing businesses, undoubtedly is Microsoft.

In an interview with CNet's Ina Fried, Bill Gates took the liberty of commenting on this development and implied that the waves Chrome OS created, are but in a teacup. "There's many, many forms of Linux operating systems out there and packaged in different ways and booted in different ways," Gates said, "In some ways I am surprised people are acting like there's something new. I mean, you've got Android running on Netbooks. It's got a browser in it," he added.

Industry Majors Support Chrome OS, Free Software in the Making

A day into its announcement, Google's ambitious new venture, the Chrome operating system, is receiving support from some of the biggest players in the IT industry. The company also confirmed that Chrome OS will be a free of charge software, requiring no purchase of license to use it. To ensure the OS gets adequate momentum, Google is working with the likes of HP, Acer, Lenovo, ASUS, Toshiba, Texas Instruments and Qualcomm (some of the most relevant names in the netbook industry). The company also detailed about the developer support it plans to spread, with possible pre-release versions towards the end of the year. To the consumer, this means that major computer manufacturers could sell netbooks with Chrome OS preinstalled, with seamless support for their hardware. Early community software development will ensure a good selection of software for the netbook by the time the OS becomes release-grade, ready to be shipped with millions of netbooks.Source: Google

Google Announces Ambitious Chrome OS

Nearly nine months after launching the Chrome web-browser, which took the browser market by storm at least as far as pure-performance goes, with a conservative figure of 30 million active users, internet giant Google announced that it embarked on the ambitious-sounding Google OS project. The core ideology behind an OS of its own, is that it wants to focus on the web-connected era, which it feels current operating-systems are too dated and archaic in design. Of course it's not going to cater to a PC enthusiast, but the larger mass of internet and productivity users who will soon be using more web-based applications, and staying online and connected in general.

According to Google, its OS will be a light-weight, open-source, which will initially be targeted at netbooks and nettops. What's more interesting, is that it like POSIX-derivatives, it does not stick to one machine architecture. The OS will be available for both x86 and ARM. This opens up a lot of opportunity for consumer electronics companies working on ARM-based netbooks and MIDs. "Simplicity, speed, and security" will be the top design targets of the OS. Under the hood, Google OS will make use of a highly-customised Linux kernel. Google encourages its developer base to code web-applications, not exactly Linux apps, so the focus of its developer community remains on something that will work on any OS with a web-browser, and the developers get to cater to the largest base of target-consumers.

Google Chrome 2.0 Reaches Stable Status

Eight months after Google's own attempts at a web browser were first launched, they have now announced on the Google Chrome Blog that the latest beta which was released in March, has reached a stable stage, by which they can now release it to the general public. If you're already using Google Chrome, you'll be automatically updated to this new version soon. Otherwise you can grab the latest version at google.com/chrome

MSI to Showcase Android-based Netbook at Computex 2009

Reporter DigiTimes is leading us to believe that MSI is to showcase an Android-based netbook at Computex 2009. The report cites the Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN) as primary source. Android is a Google project for a software stack for mobile devices that includes an operating system, middleware and key applications. Based on Linux kernel, the OS is open source and is still not widely aknowledged because of the absence of widespread working ultra-portables. Hopefully, MSI will change this once a working Android-based netbook is released. Other reports claim that HP, Dell, ASUS, Acer, and others also have already been seen experimenting with Android netbooks.Source: DigiTimes

ASUS to Experiment with Android Powered Eee PC Netbooks

According to a Bloomberg report, ASUS is to embed a third operating system in its low-cost netbooks, currently known as the Eee PC. When Eee PC first appeared it was powered by a Linux distribution, after that Eee PCs were upgraded to Microsoft's Windows, and now the company is said to prepare an Eee PC version that will run Google Inc.’s free Android operating system. Samson Hu, head of the Taipei-based ASUSTeK Eee PC division, said in an interview yesterday that the manufacturer has already allocated engineers to develop an Android-based netbook and eventually by the year's end the final product may start selling. No other details were disclosed during the interview. Google introduced Android back in 2007 as a software system for mobile phones. Android is based on a Linux platform, meaning that it is open-source operating system that's completely free and can be upgraded in any way. Although designed for mobiles, the OS can be adapted for netbook-style products too, Google claims.Source: Bloomberg

Google Launches the Internet Bus in India

Google has launched what is essentially a mobile internet cafe called the Internet Bus, to go around India providing poorer people, experience and education in using the internet. Using a high speed connection via what appears to be satellite, the vehicle has the words "Explore the World of the Internet" along the sides, it has not been cheaply done either. The whole vehicle appears to be a custom build, with large flat screen monitors, custom stands and lots of pretty lights. It has been said by the source, that the amount of people in India who are officially below the poverty line, is nearly as much as the total population of the USA. A video advertisement has also surfaced on YouTube, which you can find here.

Source: Alien Babel Tech

Google Chrome Sheds Its Beta Status

Thursday Google removed the beta status of its new web browser, Chrome. This is a surprisingly fast 100 days after its roll out in September, especially for Google whose popular "gmail" still retains beta status. Google is confident that Chrome is read for prime time since it has fewer bugs, is more secure and runs faster than it did three months ago. While Chrome still only claims about 1 percent of the browser market share it is hoped that since the browser is no longer in the beta stages it will be adopted by more users who are leery of the beta title and the negative connotations that come with it.Source: The New York Times

Happy 10th Birthday Google

On September 7th we celebrate the birthday of Google. Ten years ago in 1998 Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google Inc. a designation that has now become a synonym for the world's most famous Internet search engine. Initially having only two employees, now Google has nearly 20,000 workers and a $150 billion market value. At the moment Google is still on top of all internet search pages, and without a doubt can be considered an Internet icon, everybody knows about Google even our grandparents. If there's something you can't find, just Google it! Once again, Happy 10th Birthday Google. There're a few sites below that have covered the occasion:

NYTimes | Wired | BBC | ZDNet

Google Chrome Claims 1% Market-Share in Just 9 Hours

On September the 3rd, Google released a beta version of its upcoming Chrome web-browser software. The beta was released at 3:02 PM EDT and it captured 0.5% of the browser market share in just 2 hours of release. What's more, by the end of 9 hours since launch, the browser had already captured 1% of the market. Net Applications found that value to fluctuate but the browser currently is looking above the 1% mark. Data was collected studying the browser's ID:
Official Build 1583
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US) AppleWebKit/525.13 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/0.2.149.27 Safari/525.13
The numbers are mind-boggling. Considering there are about 1.46 Billion internet users, 1% should take at least 14 million users to keep that value. In other terms, the number of times Chrome beta may have been downloaded looks threatening to Mozilla. It wouldn't be too far sighted to think Google Chrome could challenge Mozilla's world record when (or if) a stable release does come out (G-Mail is still beta). The browser has received a largely positive response albeit issues concerning its privacy policy, where irregularities were noted. All in all, Google did manage to make heads turn.Source: TG Daily

Google Plans a Web-browser, To be called Google Chrome

Google plans to launch its very own web-browser software in competition to Microsoft Internet Explorer called Google Chrome. The new browser according to entries at the official Google blog suggest the driving force behind the browser is to provide value-added features to its users, at the same time, help drive innovation on the web. It is claimed that the browser is tailored to give the most out of common tasks on the internet as a web-browser has become a very significant component of the connected PC.

The browser designed to be streamlined and simple for you to accomplish tasks quickly and easily by offering enhanced address-bar features and other elements that are very different from those on other browsers. The product will be open-source. Says the blog post "To most people, it isn't the browser that matters. It's only a tool to run the important stuff -- the pages, sites and applications that make up the web. Like the classic Google homepage, Google Chrome is clean and fast. It gets out of your way and gets you where you want to go."

Google released a comic book explaining its design approach towards the web-browser, it can be read here. Under the hood, Google claims the browser to have what it takes to run complex web-applications any by keeping each browser tab in its "sandbox", the probability of a web-application crash on one tab affecting other tabs is eradicated. A beta version of this browser software would be released in over 100 countries tomorrow, September the 2nd.
Sources: The Wall Street Journal, Official Google Blog

Intel Reportedly Gains SSD Orders from Google

Digitimes reports that Intel gained SSD orders from Google for some of their US servers according to unspecified sources. The widespread integration of NAND flash memory will likely quicken the price drop of consumer SSDs.
Google plans to switch some of its servers over to solid-state drive-based (SSD-based) storage supplied by Intel in order to lower electricity consumption, according to sources at memory makers. The more power efficient SSDs will be installed at severs at Google's US headquarters. Intel will supply flash chips and Marvell the corresponding controller ICs, the sources detailed. Shipments are slated for late second quarter, they added. With the increasing use of SSDs in server applications, a shortage for 16Gb and 32Gb NAND flash chips could become a possibility, the sources commented.
Source: DigiTimes

Intel, Google, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks Form New Company

Clearwire Corporation and Sprint Nextel Corporation today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement to combine their next generation wireless broadband businesses to form a new wireless communications company. The new company, which will be named Clearwire, will be focused on expediting the deployment of the first nationwide mobile WiMAX network to provide a true mobile broadband experience for consumers, small businesses, medium and large enterprises, public safety organizations and educational institutions.

Yahoo And Google To Move Ahead On Partnership

The trial Yahoo has been conducting to display Google ads in its search results has been judged a success, according to sources close to the companies, and Yahoo is set to move ahead on the partnership with its one-time biggest rival in an attempt to stave off Microsoft’s $42 billion takeover offer. We mentioned on Monday that an alliance between Yahoo and Google could receive heavy criticism from US and EU competition regulators, both companies are now working on a solution. Perhaps such a solution would be to only allow Google to serve ads in certain categories or regions. Even though this would limit the cash flow boost to Yahoo, the company would still come out significantly richer in the end, perhaps by as much as $500 million a year. Yahoo is also in talks with AOL over a merger to further increase its cash flow.Source: Tom's guide
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