Chrome and Safari Steal Users from Internet Explorer

Based on the 2010 reports from Netmarketshare.com, the web browsers from Google and Apple have slowly been stealing users from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. In the chart below, we can see the trends over the last year. (chart by CNET)

This may be partly due to the new browser ballot in Windows 7 that is required in Europe. However, even if that’s true, Microsoft still has no excuse for it’s falling browser marketshare. When the beta version of IE9 was released in February, no affect was seen on the marketshare. We’ll have to wait to see what happens when the finished version is released.

The gains by Chrome and Safari came at the expense of Internet Explorer‘s dropping percentage, which ended the year at 57%, after starting above 60%. Google’s Chrome browser gained almost 5 points in 2010 and ended with 10% of the market. Safari gained about 1.5 points and ended at about 6%. Firefox and Opera remained about the same at 23% and 2%.

The question that we think most interesting is What browsers do Techie Buzz readers use?. Here’s a chart from Keith showing our data.

The Techie Buzz chart shows more readers using Firefox than Internet Explorer. Chrome users are in third place, followed by Safari and Opera. If we can assume that most technology sites have similar stats, this doesn’t look good for Microsoft.

It appears that the more people know, the less they use Internet Explorer. Many people feel that the crucial advantage to using Firefox and Chrome is that they are more easily customized by using Addons and Extensions. Do you think Opera’s adoption of extensions will help them steal share from Microsoft?


Google Cr-48 Hacked To Run Windows 7 and Mac OS X

Google Cr-48, which is a pilot netbook running seems to be quite hackable. It provides users with an Easter egg in the form of developer mode and several eager developers and geeks have made use of it to do things the netbook was not supposed to do.

Windows 7 Running on Cr-48

Earlier, some geeks had managed to run Ubuntu on the device, however, here is something much more interesting. A users has managed to install and run both and Max OS X on the Chrome Cr-48 laptop.

Yes, the hardware specs and storage space might not be that great on the Cr-48, but it can definitely run these OS. Watch a video of the Google Cr-48 running Mac OS X below.

Click here if you can’t watch the video.

(Source: Engadget)

Best Social Web Browser For Twitter And Facebook

I use and a lot. In fact I spend more time than I would want to on those sites. Though I use for browsing Facebook and Twitter feeds, I feel a little bit of disconnect when the links I click open in a new browser window.

Layers Social Experience

I guess someone out there heard me, because I came across a really good for called Layers, which provides users with a connected Social web browsing experience. It is like the media integration Twitter has, but for everything and done in a better way.

Layers Social Web Browser

In a nutshell, Layers is a social web browser. It allows you to browse through your Facebook and Twitter feeds and allows you to preview links, videos and pictures without disconnecting you from the experience. In addition to that, it also allows you to like, comment and share content on Facebook and Retweet or reply to Twitter users from within their interface.

What Does Layers Do?

The Layers app for Google Chrome transforms the experience of surfing through the social web into an elegant, visual flow, providing users a beautiful way to get updates, view videos and share content.

  • Let it flow: See sites in a beautiful, flowing stream
  • Stop clicking.  Preview, and watch videos, maps and images in a single place
  • Connect. Watch what your friends are doing, saying and sharing on one channel
  • Discover. Find stuff you’ll love and related to stuff you already like
  • Stay up to date. Follow your favorite sites and blogs
  • Keep it simple. Get the most out of your social networks using only the options you need

As you can see, Layers tries to make the social experience better by providing you with a neat platform that rocks. In addition to adding Facebook and Twitter feeds you can also add RSS channels to layers and browse them within Layers. They are also planning to add support for so that you can read your feeds within Layers.

I have been using layers for less than a day now and totally love the experience. It is definitely one of the best I have seen and makes my social experience complete.

This is a highly recommended extension for anyone who has a Twitter or Facebook account and want to browse their feeds elegantly. Download Layers for Google Chrome.

Fed-up Of Jimmy Wales on Wikipedia? Here’s How To Get Rid Of Him

Wikipedia LogoWikipedia is no doubt one of the best resources for anyone looking to find more information about topics they are researching on. It is also the 5th largest site in the world, however, Wikipedia does not run ads and instead relies on donations from its users to run the huge database of articles it has.

At last count, Wikipedia has over 35 million articles in the English section and there are more documents in other languages too. That’s really good, however, in the past few months, users who visit the website are being shown a banner, which is an urgent appeal from Jimmy Wales, the Wikipedia founder on getting donations for the site.

jimmy_wales_wikipedia_appeal

Now showing this message is fine and many people including me have already donated to them. However, here is the problem, you will see this banner on every page you visit, no matter whether you have donated or not. This is making it quite annoying for users who have to visit Wikipedia everyday.

Are you fed-up too? Here are some ways to get rid of this Wikipedia message. On you can install the called Goodbye Jimmy Wales to get rid of this message. users can use the called Wikipedia Appeal Remover to get this done.

If you use or Internet Explorer, you can use a script to get rid of the Jimmy Wales Appeal, you will find the User scripts for the same here. Learn more on installing Greasemonkey scripts in Opera and IE.

Prevent Google Chrome From Closing When You Close The Last Tab

By default closes the window when the last tab has been closed. However, you can prevent it from happening using a which also does a lot more things.

chrome_toolbox_options

The Chrome Toolbox extension for Google Chrome adds a ton of features to the browser. It also provides a feature to stop Chrome from closing down when you close the last tab. To enable that feature install the extension and then click on it’s icon to display then menu and click on the "Options" link.

Disable Window Closing in Chrome

On the options page, select the checkbox next to "Don’t close current browser window when closing last tab, create a new tab instead." This will ensure that Chrome does not close the window when you close the last tab using the Ctrl + W hotkey, you can of course close the window by clicking on "x" symbol on the browser.

In addition to closing tabs Chrome Toolbox also provides you with several other features, including a confirmation before closing multiple tabs. Here are some more features of what Chrome Toolbox does:

  • Magnify any image on a web page, set it as your wallpaper, and view it in its original size
  • Drag any video on a web page (Flash and HTML5 video) out of the page in its own stand-alone window, closing the window puts it back to the original page, both with play state reservation
  • Customize tab behavior to close the tab on double click, to create a new tab on closing the last tab, and to always open a link in its own tab
  • Save and restore un-submitted form data, to avoid data loss caused by session expiration or a no-cache page setting
  • One shortcut to launch all predefined URLs (from your Bookmark Manager folder)
  • Learn, compare and contrast shortcuts in Chrome and other popular browsers.
  • Put your favorite Chrome functionalities in the drop down menu, reorder them in the way you like
  • Define Boss Key
  • Mute all tabs

Definitely worth downloading and using. Download Chrome Toolbox Extension.

What’s Lacking In Chrome OS Cr-48 Right Now? 100% Cloud Storage

I have been playing around with the new Cr-48 (check out pictures) for over a day now and I can tell you that I can live with it for a long time. However, before I do my full review of the experience, I have to talk about certain things that are lacking in the Cr-48 and in general.

Chrome OS Cr-48 Netbook

One of the important things I have missed is the password sync, of course it should come out soon, so I will not delve much into it right now, however Chrome OS and Cr-48 have a bigger problem on hand than that.

Chrome OS Cr-48 is Not Cloud Safe

Let me backtrack a bit. When the came out, I started using a lot of , several of which provided me with in-browser experience (apps which were not just shortcuts). I reviewed quite a few of them including TweetDeck, Write Space  and Sticky notes and Note taking apps.

All of the above mentioned apps stored their data locally. I have also been using an excellent weather app called Weather Bug which works inside the browser and does not use a shortcut, however, all this data is stored locally.

Now the problem is not the apps itself, when I setup the Cr-48 and logged in all my apps were there thanks to Chrome Sync. Google is definitely driving the point of no data loss with it destroying 25 laptops, however, here is the BIG problem I wanted to talk about, If your Chrome netbook dies, you LOSE data.

What data? Well the data which these apps have stored locally, you lose them. You cannot get back that data even if you use Chrome Sync, maybe not for which stores profile information in the cloud. However, you will lose all your tabs in TweetDeck and have to set it up again.

So if you have taken tons of notes and stored it locally, when your Chrome OS Cr-48 crashes all that data will be gone, forever. There is no way to get it back and this is the biggest problem with Chrome OS and Cr-48 in general.

Like a good beta/alpha tester I reported this problem to Google, hopefully they should take note of it. Here is what I had to say to them:

I am not sure if you already do, but you should definitely provide App developers with an API to hook into Chrome Sync.

The biggest frustrating experience I have had with Cr-48 is having to reset all the settings for the apps I use. This is fair enough, little work, but your concept of having destructed several laptops to drive the cloud storage feature seems a bit flawed in this case.

If I destruct my laptop, I can get all my extensions back, but not the settings and saved data, so you are definitely not 100% cloud safe. I would seriously love to see developments in this area and also a push to developers to start using Chrome Sync rather than an external service to store data.

Of course not everyone will oblige, but I am Ok with it as long as I have access to my data no matter which laptop or netbook I use.

Cheers

Keith

As you can see, my biggest problem has been the lack of cloud storage for information which Chrome does not have access to. Of course, it is up to Chrome to provide an API to Chrome Sync so that developers can make use of it to sync data in the cloud. I believe that would be a good move since many developers do not have the money to setup their own servers to store data. And frankly, I would prefer all my data sits in one place rather than it being scattered across the internets.

I am very sure that Google will add this feature to and the shortly. But, if you wanted an honest opinion from me about the Cr-48, I would say that it is not yet 100% cloud-safe.

No Video Recording Capabilities

Another feature that is lacking in Chrome OS and Cr-48 in general is the lack of native video recording. Though this is specifically my own blogging rant, I do feel that it should include a feature.

For example, I wanted to record something on Chrome OS itself, but wasn’t able to do it properly. Of course I used a camera to do it but the video was not perfect at all. To top it there are no apps right now in the Chrome Web Store which support video screencasting. This is not a big deal but people will want it in future.

Overall, there are several more things which I am exploring right now, however, the app data store in Chrome Sync is definitely a feature I will be looking forward to.

Easter Egg In Google CR-48 Netbook – Developer Jailbreak Mode

Google is sending out the CR-48 netbook through their pilot program for free. Many users have already received their netbooks, including me; do checkout some unboxing and hands-on pictures of Chrome OS CR-48 netbook. However, Google’s Chrome OS based CR-48 has a hidden Easter egg and it is called developer mode.

chrome_os_developer_mode_switch

Why is it an Easter egg? Because it takes time to find it and it is hidden inside the battery chassis of the laptop. To enable developer mode, you will have to remove the battery and then remove a sticker next to the battery connector and flip the switch towards the battery connector.

CR-48 Developer Scare Screen

Once you do that insert your battery back in and then reboot Chrome. You will see a scary screen as shown above, it shows a message saying:

Chrome OS verification is turned off. Press space to begin recovery

Don’t worry, just press Ctrl + D and you will on your way booting into your Cr-48. Also, you will always see this screen when you restart the machine, so remember to use the hotkey above.

Booting Cr-48 In Developer Mode

When you boot into developer mode for the first time, Chrome will delete some data and your older profiles, however, you have nothing to worry about since your data is always stored in the cloud.

Google Cr-48 Running Top

I was able to use this developer mode to figure out what is behind Cr-48, there are few things I found out which include:

  1. Cr-48 has a 16GB SSD
  2. Cr-48 has 2GB Ram
  3. Cr-49 has Xorg package installed.

Phew, I will continue my hacking around with the Cr-48 and update you’ll whenever I come across new and interesting things, so stay tuned.

h/t All Credit to the folks at Chrome OS Site for pointing this out.

Voice Search In Google Chrome

Most of the smartphones today have the ability to accept voice commands and perform actions. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just speak something and get things done on your PC too?

Google Chrome Voice Search

Well, if you use , here is a great feature which will allow you to search several search engines by speaking. The called Voice Search is an experimental add-on which allows you to search Google or any other search engines by speaking out the words you want to search.

This is a really amazing add-on and goes on to show the capabilities built into Google Chrome. I tested this feature out to demonstrate how this works, the video is a bit grainy due to bad lighting; will upload another one shortly. Of course, the extension is not perfect and does not recognize all the words, however, once fully developed it would become a really good way to type text without having to use the keyboard.

(Click here if you can’t see the video)

Voice Search comes pre-loaded with the following default services: Google, Wikipedia, YouTube, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo and Wolfram|Alpha. You can also add your own user-defined search engines. It also integrates a speech input button for all websites using HTML5 search boxes, all of the default search engines’ websites, Facebook, Twitter, reddit, and GitHub.

Of course you require a microphone for this to work. Excited? Go ahead and download the Voice Search extension for Google Chrome now.

Google Cr-48 Unboxing Pictures and Netbook Pictures

The Cr-48 netbook just arrived in our stables and I am pretty excited about it. I have already started playing with the netbook and so far it feels pretty good.

Chrome Cr-48 Netbook

There are a few standout features on this device one of them is the casing for the laptop, it’s more like plastic and feels different when you use it. Along with that the multi-touchpad is also pretty good and the keyboard feels great while typing. Checkout the entire specs of Cr-48.

Overall, I have just used the Cr-48 netbook for a few hours. I plan to spend a lot of time with it this weekend so expect a really detailed review of the device some time next week.

In the meantime take a look at the unboxing pictures and the device tour in the embedded album below.

Google Chrome 10 Hits Dev Channel

10 had hit the Canary build roughly 10 days earlier and it is now available in the Dev channel too. The Dev channel has been updated to 10.0.612.1 for Mac, Windows and Linux.

Google Chrome 10 for dev now includes the updated V8 engine which has Crankshaft and is almost twice as fast than the Chrome 9. Chrome 10 also includes an updated WebKit engine and a Google Cloud Print sign-in interface which is available for Windows right now.

There are several other features which have been introduced into this build which I had previously reported for the Canary build. Right now the update server on Google is acting up so you should receive the Google Chrome 10 update in next few hours or so.