Microsoft About To Release Internet Explorer 10 Platform Preview [Video]

Believe it or not, Microsoft is gearing up to launch the first platform preview of Internet Explorer 10, just a month after releasing Internet Explorer 9. Yes, this is the same company that took five years to move from Internet Explorer 6 to Internet Explorer 7, and three more years for the next update.

Spurred by declining market share, Microsoft intends on releasing platform previews at regular intervals until the beta stage is reached. Platform previews are solely meant for developers, and doesn’t include most of the user oriented features.

Microsoft will probably release the first platform preview of Internet Explorer 10 at the MIX11 keynote. Stay tuned to Techie Buzz for more updates. Microsoft has mistakenly released the Internet Explorer 10 video in advance. However, it was pulled down as I was updating this post. The first platform preview includes features like CSS 3 gradients, multi-column layouts, and grid Layouts. Microsoft has already updated the Internet Explorer Test Drive website. Here are snaps from the video that got pulled down by Microsoft.

Internet Explorer 10: CSS3 Gradients
Internet Explorer 10: CSS3 Multi-Column Layout
Internet Explorer 10: Full Hardware Acceleration

Update: Here’s the video, via WinRumors.

Firefox 5 Plans Revealed; Tech Enthusiasts Rip It Off

Disclosure: I use Google Chrome as my primary browser, Opera as secondary and Firefox as my third browser. I use IE9 too and have used various other browsers. In fact, when Netscape was around I used it pretty often (since Netscape 2) and have also been an early adopter of Firefox because of tabs and continued to use it pretty often until Google came out with Chrome.

A technology site Conceivably Tech came out with a new outlook that Mozilla has planned. According to them, it includes an inbuilt PDF viewer, a new Home Tab (ala and ), social sharing and more.

Mozilla Firefox

For the record, these are new features which 5 intends to build, but these are not new features at all and are already available in other browsers today. As I had posted earlier, Firefox 5 did want to add site specific features like Internet Explorer 9 has right now. All in all Mozilla is shunning innovation and does not have it’s mind in the right place and I frankly think that Firefox and Mozilla have seriously lost it.

Since Chrome came out in late 2008, each and every browser has just tried to mimic it, but most have failed miserably. This could be in my eyes only, but many browsers including Firefox have been doing nothing but mimicking the look and feel of Chrome and I have hardly found a compelling reason to switch from Chrome and go to another browser. I really don’t count the “new tab related features” Firefox 4 built in, because I know that several users including me don’t even care about it.

Chrome is fast, is fast, IE9 is fast, Opera 11 is fast. However, the fact remains that all these years you (Mozilla) promised to provide users with a alternative to Internet Explorer, which was a pain in the posterior and sucked. But somehow Microsoft took away the momentum from Firefox with IE, if not Chrome, and introduced a new feature in Internet Explorer 9, which Mozilla will be now calling “Social sharing” in Firefox 5.

Also Firefox is thinking about an inbuilt PDF viewer after Chrome already did it, and a new home tab that is similar to Google Chrome and Opera? Mozilla,  where is the innovation that kept you apart?

What happened to you Mozilla? Weren’t you the leader in browser innovation? Why did you slack off? Why did you create Firefox 3.0 all through 3.6 which hung my PC more often than any other software ever did? Why does Firefox eat so much memory that I find my 6GB rig an ancient model from 1980s?

I am not the only one to pan the next beauty from Mozilla. You might want to check out the comments on Slashdot and it is really not looking good. I will just post a apfew of the comments here and you shall get the general perception about Firefox:

Facebook? Twitter? Since when did Mozilla integrate commercial websites into their browser? Since integrating the Google search engine? Since AOL? This is why Netscape and Mozilla were originally kept separate. To keep the commercial bloat in the Netscape browser and allow the community to use Mozilla.

We need a security and functionality oriented fork ASAP. Performance matters also.

Nobody asked for changes to the interface. The interface to Firefox was never broken and nobody complained about it.

Nobody asked for the “awesome bar” or whatever the hell that is. If it improves productivity then fine, tabs make sense, but the majority of this shit is just gimmicks. Integrating the cloud makes sense but not when it’s specifically “facebook” and “twitter”, but to allow anyone to select anything and make it completely transparent and open. They are going commercial in a really bad sell out kind of way, and you can tell the developers I said it.

Why not just take the Chromium tree and figure out how to run Firefox extensions on there and just call that Firefox? Would save time and have much better memory use and performance. Firefox is basically converging on a Chrome clone with slightly worse performance and some dumb UI hacks that will end up largely unused/abandoned (like Panorama). Isn’t all this what the extension ecosystem is for? Why would a team that already is overwhelmed by the task of testing its product incorporate MORE features to test? My main issue with Firefox right now is not a lack of Facebook integration (-_-) but the obvious memory leakage in the released FF 4 with AdBlock/NoScript, which was present through the entire last half of the beta cycle. Mozilla has really wandered off the reservation here. I want a solid, fast browser that supports the great extensions that Mozilla didn’t write, and continues to support developments in the core web standards space. If I want Chrome or Flock, I’ll just download those, seriously.

For more on such beauties visit Slashdot. I am really disappointed with you Mozilla/Firefox. This does not make it any better.

Do Not Fool Me Add-On For Firefox Stops Websites From Fooling You on April Fool’s

Today is Fool’s Day and everyone is busy planning pranks on their colleagues and friends. However, more than that lot of big companies like Google, and Yahoo among others play pranks on unsuspecting users who visit their websites.\

Do Not Fool Me Firefox Add-on

The folks over at Mozilla know this problem and have launched a new add-on for which will tell websites not to fool you. Once you have installed this from here, you can visit the Advanced options  and select the checkbox next to "Tell web sites I do not want to be fooled".

On checking this, Mozilla will pass a special header to websites which will tell them that you should not be fooled. Pretty neat extension from Mozilla. They have also written more about it on their blog, so  you might want to head there to read about this extension.

P.S. If you fell for this, Mozilla pulled a fast one on you. Happy April Fool’s Day.

Open Links In Text Only Mode in Google Chrome

On my recent trip to CTIA 2011, I carried along the Cr-48 netbook from Google. On my way there I had to use the Verizon Wireless 3G service to read up news and other content.

Open Links In Text Mode

Now a 3G connection is not cheap, so I resorted to using mobile mode on most websites. This meant that I used as little bandwidth as I could. Now, there will be several other cases where you need to consume less bandwidth, and not all websites have an mobile interface so what do you do then?

If you use , there is an handy called Open links in text only mode created by Shankar Ganesh which will allow you to open webpages without any flash videos or ads.

The extension makes use of the site to strip down non-textual content from webpages and displays a clean version of it. It works on any link on a webpage through a right click menu option.

So if you have been wanting something to view webpages in plain text, head over to install the Open links in text only mode extension.

Google Chrome 12 Released to Dev Channel; Adds Experimental New Tab Page, Multi-Tab Select

Google Chrome 12 (v12.0.712.0) has made it to the development channel from the Canary Build. The new version adds a few new features to the browser and contains more behind the scenes updates and code refactoring.

One of the new features in 12 is called multi-tab select (Windows only). This feature allows you to select multiple tabs using the Ctrl button and perform actions on them like reloading all webpages or closing tabs among other things. I tried working with this feature but could not use it very well.


Another new feature available in this build is an experimental new tab page (through about:flags). The new experimental tab page adds a paged navigation for apps which will allow users to scroll through all the installed apps. It looks like it is more geared towards touch interfaces. However, this experimental new tab page is in its infancy stage and does not do much as of now.

Chrome 12 also has a new experimental feature called FPS counter which will display a page’s actual frame rate (FPS) when hardware acceleration is active. Other than that, the V8 engine has been updated to in all versions of the browser.

Update: Google Chrome 12 also reverts back the new logo that was introduced earlier and switches back to the older one.

Firefox 4 Downloaded 15.85 Million Times In 48 hours [Infographic]

Firefox 4 was released on March 22, 2011 and it created a record of sorts by being downloaded more than a million times in a few hours. Over 7 million copies of were downloaded in the first 24 hours. On the other hand, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 was downloaded 2.35 million times in the first 24 hours.


Mozilla has now released a new infographic which shows the amount of downloads that happened in the first 48 hours of launch and compares it with several different things including a trip to the moon.

For example, 4 was downloaded 15.85 million times in the first 48 hours. If each download were a mile, it would have been 33 round trips to the moon and back. It is also larger than the population of LOS Angeles which is the 12th largest city in the world.

There were 10,200 downloads made per minute at peak and 5,503 average downloads per minute. This mean that Firefox 4 was downloaded 91.7 times per second. This is definitely some cool stats. For the rest check the infographic embedded below.

Firefox 4 48 Hours Download Infographic

Currently the Firefox 4 download count stands at over 25.6 million. You can view live stats for FF4 downloads at

Update: Please note that the IE9 download numbers are only for , and Windows Server based PCs, whereas Firefox 4 numbers are for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.

Google Looks to Curb Chrome’s Ballooning Installer Size, Constitutes Task Force to Reverse the Bloat

Three years ago, Google shook up the browser world by announcing Chrome. Since then, it has gone on to redefine what we expect from a modern web browser. Even if you are not a Chrome user, you are probably reaping the benefits of the innovations introduced by Google. Almost all browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera and Safari, have adopted the minimalistic appearance introduced by Chrome.

Chrome, which started off as a bare-bones browser, has added a significant number of features to its repertoire over the past few years. However, the new features have come at a cost. As pointed out by Shankland, it has gone from being approximately 9 MB in version 1.0 to more than 26 MB in version 10.0.

Google Chrome Installer Size (Chart by Shankland)

Chrome is currently smaller than Safari, which is a 34 MB download, but is doing a lot worse than Firefox and Opera. Firefox 4 is a 12 MB download, while Opera 11.10 Beta measures in at just 9 MB.

The increase in broadband penetration around the world means that download size is less of an issue than it was three years back. However, it’s still an issue. Opera recently changed its installer, and stopped bundling Unite extensions to reduce the download size. The chief disadvantages of having a large binary size pointed out by Chrome Developer Ian Fette are:

1. We do distribution deals with Chrome, where we bundle Chrome with other products. These get difficult when our binary grows.
2. We see increased download failures / install dropoffs as the binary grows, especially in countries with poor bandwidth like India. India also happens to be a very good market for Chrome (we have good market share there and growing), so that’s also very problematic.

One way to tackle the problem of failed installations would be to provide an offline installer, instead of the web-installer that Google currently serves by default. The other way is, of course, to reduce the download size. Google has decided to take the second route. It has launched a new task force that will aggressively look at options to reduce the installation size. While the Windows edition of Chrome is the primary focus of attention, Chrome for other platforms should also benefit from this move.

It would be irresponsible to dub Chrome as a bloat. Nevertheless, it’s true that the installer is larger than I would have preferred. It’s heartening to see that Google jumping in before the ballooning binary size became a serious issue. What is your thought on Chrome? Has it become too bloated? Don’t forget to let us know.

Firefox 4 Officially Released, Crosses One Million Downloads Within Hours

After a dozen betas, and two release candidates, Mozilla has finally released the public build of Firefox 4. It took nearly a year to come, but now that it’s here, expect it to break all records. With well over five thousand downloads per minute, at the moment, Firefox seems well poised to go past the ten million mark. You can tack Firefox 4 downloads in realtime from

Firefox Although, several planned features were dropped from Firefox 4, as it struggled to stay on schedule, Firefox 4 is a meaty update, which boasts of some pretty significant enhancements.

The user interface has been refined to give the website higher priority. Tabs are now on top (as they should be), and the menu bar has been replaced with a single “Firefox” button.

Firefox 4 is significantly faster than its predecessors, courtesy of the new JagerMonkey JavaScript engine, and should be able to hold its own against the likes of Opera 11, Chrome 10 and Internet Explorer 9. Also new to this build is hardware (GPU) acceleration and WebGL support. Unfortunately, hardware acceleration is currently not supported in Linux. WebGL compatibility means that Firefox is ready to meet the demands of the new age, graphics intensive web-applications and games.

Other new features in Firefox 4 include in-built synchronization option, “Panaroma” tab organization, app tabs, multi-touch support, DNT (Do Not Track) header support, WebM video playback, crash protection for popular plug-ins (Flash, QuickTime, Silverlight etc.), HTML 5 parser, and open type fonts support. The full changelog for Firefox 4 is available here.


Firefox 4 for Windows, Mac and Linux is available in more than seventy languages from

Enable Firefox’s Open Existing Tab Feature in Google Chrome

has a lot of new features (Read Firefox 4 Beta Review | Read Firefox 4 RC Review) which are pretty good. One of the feature which improves tab management in 4 is the ability to switch to open tabs from the Awesome bar.


This feature allows you to type a URL or title of the page and jump to an open tab instead of opening a new tab. does not have this feature in the current stable version. However, if you are using the development version of Google Chrome or Canary Build of Chrome, you can enable this feature in the browser.

To enable the Open Existing Tab feature in development or Canary build version of Chrome, open a new tab and type about:flags and hit Enter. Now scroll down to the bottom of the page and Enable the feature Focus existing tab on open.

Once you have enabled this feature, Chrome will take you to an existing open tab instead of opening a new tab. This is definitely handy when you have several tabs open and don’t want to search for the tab you are looking for or open another unnecessary tab. Kudos to Mozilla for thinking of this feature.

Firefox “Do Not Track” Feature Punches Advertisers in the Gut

Firefox launched a do not track feature earlier in January. This feature allowed users to opt out of tracking of user behavior.

Advertisers used the tracked data to display relevant ads, based on browsing data. The feature was received quite well, though Mozilla admitted that the feature was far from perfect and it further required the tracking company to agree not to get involved in tracking the user once he/she opted out. In short, the feature was more of an agreement between the user and the tracking company, an agreement that was never going to happen.


Advertisers depend on the user’s browsing data for ad-relevance, and this feature can kill the current business model of advertisements. However, Mozilla CEO ¬†Gary Kovacs says,

It gives the user the opportunity to put their hand up and say, ‘Don’t track me. If our 450 million [users] put up their hands, someone’s going to listen: governments are going to listen, policy makers are going to listen, ad networks are going to listen.

Further, Kovacs justifies his view by saying,

We just want the user to know, and then choose. When I go to Netflix, I want a recommendation–I want it to track me.

However, what he says not is that Netflix is a service he is actively willing to use persistently, which is not the same with ads.