Tag : Firefox

Firefox 4 tops 7 million downloads

Mozilla’s newly released Firefox 4 hit 5 million downloads its first day, and has already topped 7 million.  That’s way ahead of Microsoft’s recent rollout of IE9.  Microsoft may have shot themselves in the foot by not supporting Windows XP with IE9, thus limiting potential users.  Firefox and the soon-to-be-released Google Chrome 11 continue to support Windows XP.

Download Firefox 4 here

MAXA Cookie Manager Pro 5.0

It always amazes me how some people create a tool that makes things easier for people and then other BAD people come along and take advantage of that tool to benefit themselves.  Browser cookies were invented to make surfing simple HTML Web sites easier. A cookie can store any personal information you’ve given to a site, so you don’t have to enter it again when you click a different page on that site. Nosy webmasters have invented methods to steal your private information using cookies.   New cookie types that aren’t easily deleted have emerged. MAXA Cookie Manager Pro 5.0 ($35, direct, for two licenses) identifies and manages all types of cookies including the self-restoring “evercookie”. It protects your privacy and security, though the implementation is a little sloppy.

Cookies can also store preferences and other information that you’ve entered on a site, so you don’t have to enter that data again. The cookie itself is a simple text file that’s stored on your computer and that, in theory, is only accessed when you revisit the corresponding Website.   For example, the site can identify what browser you’re using, tell what page you linked from, and even get a rough idea of your physical location. Combining this data with any information you’ve actively shared, a site can find out quite a bit about you.

Given the possibility of inadvertently revealing private information, some users may be tempted to disable cookies entirely. Unfortunately, many perfectly valid Web sites just won’t work without cookies. Even when standard cookie handling is disabled, Web sites can utilize non-standard technology or browser-independent cookies. One researcher has created what he calls the “evercookie,” which stores data in multiple local repositories and uses this redundant storage to rebuild any deleted components. In the modern world, you can’t thoroughly control cookies using browser settings and manual deletion.  MAXA supports seven popular browsers: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Safari, and Chrome. On installation it ensures that the supported browsers are configured correctly for cookie management. It also checks settings for Flash, Silverlight, and Skype, all of which include cookie-like technologies.

During installation, the product lists several dozen popular Web sites and invites you to check off any that you use regularly. Checked sites are whitelisted automatically, meaning the product never meddles with their cookies. Naturally, you can edit or add to the whitelist at any time.  After installation, MAXA scans the computer for cookies of all kinds. When I ran it on the system I use for e-mail and editing, it turned up over 3,600 cookies. Most were ordinary browser cookies, but it found several examples of advanced-technology cookies specific to Internet Explorer and Firefox. It also found a few Silverlight-based cookies and a slew of Flash-based ones.

Top Reasons Why Internet Explorer 9 Will Remain The Most Used Browser – Is Microsoft Internet Explorer The Most Used Browser – Why IE 9 Is Better For The Enterprise | BVA IT Consulting Blog

It is still left to be determined but so far so good. BVA has seen a few problems with integration with third party custom applications as well as add-ins but for the most part this new browser is pretty good.  We have it in production with over 15 clients across different market segments and feel confident in the product.  What’s funny is that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer doesn’t get much love in the advanced IT Solutions industry. A lot of people complain and fault it for its security problems. They say it doesn’t work as well as competing browsers.  With the release of Internet Explorer 9, it’s becoming clearer that the chances of competing browsers like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox beating Microsoft’s latest browser anytime soon seem unrealistic and most likely not going to happen.  Internet Explorer 9 might be in its infancy, but this new browser edition ensures companies will stick with Microsoft. Here’s some documented reasons:

1. It’s much faster

Internet Explorer 8 and other previous versions of the software loaded Web pages very slowly. In fact, Google’s Chrome browser easily bested Internet Explorer in speed tests. But Internet Explorer 9 is quite fast, thanks to Microsoft’s decision to utilize the computer’s graphics processor. The result is a browser that for most companies will deliver the speed needed.

2. It’s taking aim at Chrome

Speaking of speed, it’s clear that Internet Explorer 9 is taking aim at Google Chrome. The browser has taken on a cleaner, Chrome-like look, making it easier to navigate. Plus, it has ditched the search box, in favor of a single box that allows users to input a Website’s address or search for content. And by improving Internet Explorer 9’s speed, it seems clearer than ever that Microsoft views Google as its top competitor in the browser market.

3. Security hasn’t mattered in the past

Internet Explorer 6, for example, is widely considered one of the most insecure browsers ever released. But as those security problems persisted, companies continued to stick with Internet Explorer. So, while security is commonly a reason Internet Explorer critics give to try to persuade companies to switch from Microsoft’s browser, it would seem that most companies haven’t cared in the past. And if Internet Explorer 9 still suffers from security problems, it’s unlikely that many companies will switch.

4. It’s a vastly improved design

Internet Explorer 9 will likely deliver a far better experience to the average employee. Whereas previous versions of the browser were difficult for novice users to perform basic tasks, the new and improved design in Internet Explorer 9 provides power for advanced users and simplicity for novices. That alone should make Internet Explorer 9 a fine choice for companies looking to improve their browser productivity.

5. Solutions still rely on it

As more Web-based solutions make their way to the enterprise, Internet Explorer becomes even more important. In fact, several products currently in use by companies rely upon Internet Explorer to work. That alone makes Internet Explorer relevant. And it will likely ensure that Internet Explorer 9 will be the browser of choice for companies going forward.

6. The competition can’t cut it

Google’s Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are outstanding browsers. For consumers, they are arguably a better option than anything Microsoft puts out. But the corporate world is a different space. And for most enterprise customers, Chrome and Firefox can’t match Internet Explorer 9 in compatibility with enterprise applications, especially custom corporate applications. They don’t deliver the same experience.

7. The download manager is vastly improved

Microsoft made a major update to its download manager in Internet Explorer 9. When a user attempts to download something from the Web, a new “reputation” feature kicks in. It evaluates the source of the download, and if it doesn’t have a solid reputation, the warnings related to the download are made abundantly clear.  It’s not a guaranteed security safeguard, but it should go a long way in making IT Managers feel more comfortable giving employees access to the browser.

8. It’s an extension of Windows 7

Although Internet Explorer 9 won’t work with Windows XP, it’s a vastly improved extension of Windows 7. In fact, users can “pin” sites to their taskbar, giving them easy access to pages in the future. Those pinned items also boast added functionality in some cases. It seems that Microsoft is attempting to make its browser a viable component in Windows’ functionality. That’s a good thing from an employee-productivity perspective.

9. Microsoft’s cloud vision works for now

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has been saying for months that his company views the cloud differently than some other firms. He seems to think that users are going to need a rich client, like Internet Explorer 9, to interact with the cloud, rather than a thin client. Some would disagree, but for now, Microsoft seems correct in that assumption. Internet Explorer 9 will work exceptionally well for a user’s cloud services. It will provide the kind of functionality most companies are looking for related to their cloud endeavors.

10. It’s a familiar experience

In the end, Internet Explorer 9 isn’t so drastically different that users won’t feel at home. In fact, the browser provides a familiar experience that most enterprise employees would feel comfortable with and that’s a good thing. It should help Internet Explorer 9 enjoy the kind of success that Microsoft hopes it will achieve.