Opera 10: Impressive!

Opera took version 10 out of beta and now has launched it officially. I’m blogging this post using Opera 10 and it has been impressive. So impressive that I’ve since been using three browsers since its release. (The other two I’m using are Firefox and Chrome)

First, Opera seems to operate faster than Chrome and Firefox. Opera 10 definitely trumps Chrome in the Javascript execution department (at least from the sites I’m visiting). I also like the visual tabs feature where the tabs actually show a preview of the web page it’s showing. This is a big help for someone like me who doesn’t like to keep that many tabs open (around 10-12 tabs). I do wish you can change the font size of the address bar though.

On a final note, web designers may want to get this update as to have design get tested on as Opera is one of the browsers that is the most standards-compliant. 🙂

Mozilla Labs Design Challenge Summer 09 Best in Class

A couple of months ago, I blogged about the Mozilla Labs Design Challenge Summer 09. This was Mozilla Labs’ sponsored competition that aimed to reinvent and reimagine the tabs in browsers.

The competition raised the question : Reinventing Tabs in the Browser – How can we create, navigate and manage multiple web sites within the same browser instance?” And several groups heeded the call and proposed solutions. Here are the very interesting design submissions that got the Best in Class:

There was also a People’s Choice award and it was given to CubeZilla.

Among the Best in Class awardees, I personally like the Wave Concept. Here’s the video of the presentation of the Wave Concept:

Wave Concept from Darby Thomas on Vimeo.

Looks very interesting and I like the preview aspect of it. It’s like a remix version of tabs and the “Speed Dial” feature in Chrome and Opera. 😀

Internet Explorer Losing Ground

Asa Dotzler recently pointed out that since October 2004, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has been losing market share to Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari and Google Chrome (yeah, Google Chrome). Here’s graph from Mr. Dotzler’s post:

From the data, you can see the steady decline of Internet Explorer’s share from a high of 90% to somewhere below 70%. 20 percent in five years is not a drastic slide, but I think it’s alarming nonetheless. On the other had, Firefox has broken through the 20% ceiling and Safari approaching 10%. Google Chrome is the little browser that could with 1%.

If this trend continues, we may see Firefox and Internet Explorer having an almost even split in two to three years. Barring any significant moves from the browser makers, Firefox would be the preferred browser in half a decade.

If the estimate is that one in five people are using Firefox, one in ten people are using Safari and one in a hundred people are using Chrome, I could infer that browser users are slowly “out-growing” the default browser offering in Windows and more people are buying Macs. Could this mean that the online experience delivered by Internet Explorer is getting to people?

In any case, this is a good trend for Web Standards as the data is moving in a faforable direction.

Microsoft Office Live Doesn’t Work with Google Chrome

I was exploring ways of transferring my office-related work online and I stumbled upon Microsoft Office Live, the online version of the very popular application suite. I was using Google Chrome that time.

After I clicked the “Sign Up Free” button at the home page, I was brought to this web page:

MS Office Live Screenshot
MS Office Live Screenshot

The error page displayed:

To use Microsoft Office Live, your computer must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 or 7, running on Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 or Windows Vista. You can downloadInternet Explorerfrom the Windows Internet Explorer page.
  • Mozilla Firefox running on Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, or Mac OS X 10.2.x and later. You can download Firefox from theFirefox download page.

Bummer.

The One Thing about Google Chrome I’m Annoyed With…

…Is the way it keeps on insisting on the Google search engine that’s associated with my geographic location.

I’ve been using Google Chrome as my default browser and I’ve been observing that whenever I search for something via the address bar, it will go to Google.com.ph, the Google search engine that’s geared for the Philippines.

The thing is, I’ve set my preferences time and time again to switch to the default Google.com page with my preferred number of returned search results.

Is this a bug or Google’s way of “doing what’s best” for my search. 😡

Google Launches Chrome, Web Browser

Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle! Google finally launches its own web browser.

Dubbed as Google Chrome, the web browser is the long-anticipated software that will go up against Microsoft‘s Internet Explorer, Mozilla‘s Firefox and Opera‘s web browser. (I can hear the collective groans from those respective camps)

According to the Google Blog, Google decided to launch the browser because they “believe [they] can add value for users and, at the same time, help drive innovation on the web.” Google also launched a comic book to highlight the features of Google Chrome as well as educate the general public on the philosophies behind the design of the application.

I’m all for a browser that will release IE’s chokehold on the browser market, but this move gives Mozilla and Opera the impetus to really come up with nice value added features in order to keep their market share. Google will be happy to launch the product in Beta then gradually lure users into their fold, while creating improvements on Google Chrome of course. From my analysis, the biggest eventual losers of market share will be Internet Explorer and Firefox.

Mozilla Ubiquity: Hacking the Web User Experience

Mozilla Labs announced the alpha prototype launch of Ubiquity, a plugin that essentially adds some depth to the user experience in using the web. Here’s the video of the demo for Mozilla Labs’ Ubiquity:


Ubiquity for Firefox from Aza Raskin on Vimeo.

If you watched the video, you see that the Mozilla firefox plugin is introducing a novel way of interacting with Web 2.0 applications. It links together a pseudo-programming langauge based on natural human language in creating little mashups in your email, calendar, or even with Twitter and Wikipedia.

I see the potential of this new way of interaction because it will pave the way for voice commands in browsing. Imagine, if I find something inersting on the web, I could just select the URL utter “Twitter this!” and the url will be converted into a TinyURL URL and, Voila!, that’s my new Twitter status.

I mentioned before that participation will be a success factor websites, and this plugin will help websites “talk” to the Web 2.0 apps.