Google Chrome Is Now Twice As Fast As Before, Thanks to Crankshaft

A couple of years back, Google kick-started the speed race among browsers with Chrome’s superlative performance. The very first release of Chrome blew everyone away with its V8 JavaScript engine, which was miles ahead of the competition. Now that some of the other competitors like Opera have caught up (and perhaps surpassed Chrome), Google is doing it again.

A short while back, Sundar Pichai, VP of Product Management, unveiled Crankshaft – a new compilation infrastructure for V8. Judging from the benchmark results posted at the Chromium blog, it won’t be an understatement to say that Crankshaft dramatically improves Chrome’s JavaScript rendering speed.


Google used its own V8 benchmark, in which Chrome has traditionally done well. They didn’t disclose how Chrome with Crankshaft stands up to its competition. However, judging from the above graph, it should comfortably outperform everyone including Firefox 4, Opera 11 and Safari 5.


Chrome with Crankshaft is currently available from the bleeding edge repository and in canary releases. Try them if you are feeling adventurous.

Chrome started the latest round of speed wars, and Crankshaft will once again allow it to establish its supremacy. While Firefox and Internet Explorer are stills struggling to catch up with Chrome’s current performance, with Crankshaft, Chrome just took it to the next level. Well done Google!

Why Is Chrome Winning And Firefox Losing Market Share?

, once the darling of the tech and IT crowd is slowly but surely losing love from the same people who used it because of the crappy Internet Explorer. In the years since it launched, Firefox has become a browser loved and used by a broader range of people. At one point of time, Firefox looked all set to conquer the world and overtake IE.

Firefox vs Google Chrome

However, in the past two years, a browser called has been making dents into both Firefox and IE’s market share. The browser which is barely 2 years old almost has 10% market share. This is definitely something that is worth talking about.

Also Read: Google Chrome Extensions vs. Firefox Add-ons: Head to Head Comparison

So where is Chrome winning users from? Chrome is winning over the same users that Firefox stole from IE, the tech and IT crowd. This has been made more than clear with recent Tech powerhouse sites like TechCrunch and Techmeme reporting that most of their users now use Google Chrome, pushing Firefox to the second position.

So why this change? When Firefox came out more than 6 years ago, it brought about a fresh perspective to a software in which we spent most of our time in on a computer. It also introduced which made our lives easier. However, with all those additions, Firefox in itself started to become bloated, eating precious memory and CPU.

Once Chrome came in, it defined a minimalistic approach to browsing. It got rid of unwanted toolbars and presented users with a simple way of browsing and searching. It also brought a much more sleeker look which helped users focus more on what they needed to have rather than what they should have had.

One of the key reasons people I had talked to who were not switching to Chrome was the lack of extensions, which made them stick with Firefox. However, once Chrome came out with extensions, many users switched to it. Top that with cloud sync and security and it made Chrome a darling of the tech crowd.

Frankly speaking, for the past two years I have used Firefox only when necessary. I hate the fact that it is so bloated that it makes me less productive than I would like to be.

I would say that Mozilla and Nokia are two similar companies who were sitting on the top of the pile, but have been struggling to keep up ever since competition has cropped up. I admit that does provide a better experience, however, people would now ask the question; Why should I switch to Firefox 4 from Chrome when they have delaying it for so long and Chrome is dedicated to adding features every 6 weeks?

Once again, Chrome is bound to grow leaps and bounds in the future. With the Google Web Store around the corner, it would bring more and more people towards it. Alas, Firefox 4 is still a long way from release, hopefully once it comes out it should make the competition more even.

In the end, this is my honest opinion about a browser I loved at one point of time. I have been struggling to find reasons to use it now and I feel that several other users do the same which is why Chrome is gaining over Firefox. There are few questions though which only you can answer. Do you use Google Chrome? Do you prefer it over Firefox now? Would you switch back to Firefox 4 when it comes out? Do let me know your thoughts.

Opera Reaches 150 Million Users, Celebrates it in Style

A couple of months back, Opera Software had disclosed that it has more than 140 million users. Hence, it comes as no surprise that the creative browser maker from Norway is now celebrating 150 million users. A majority of the users are from Opera Mini, which offers a fully functional tabbed browsing experience on low-end handsets and feature phones. Opera for Desktop is the other significant contributor with a little over fifty million users. Opera is available on a wide range of devices including the Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, several connected televisions, and of course on smartphones (Opera Mini and Opera Mobile).


About a week back, we had lauded Opera for their creative marketing efforts. In the recent past they have managed to impress Reddit (twice!), besides creating a rather popular humorous parody. Keeping up their impressive track record, Opera Software is announcing this milestone by leaking its co-founder’s inbox. Head over to to get a sneak peek at Jon von Tetzchner’s faux inbox. It’s full of humorous and interesting fake conversations involving Tetzchner. Besides easter eggs for Opera community members, it also contains a hat-tip to Reddit.

Chrome to Get Multiple User Profile Support

Google Chrome is about to officially get multi-profile support. According to Downloadsquad, once this feature kicks in, users will be able to run different windows of Chrome with different Google (Gmail) accounts.

Currently, it is possible to enable multiple profile support in Chrome with command line switches. However, once Google officially enables this feature, you will be able to access it from Chrome’s preferences dialogue box (pictured below).


Every individual window, Chrome will clearly display which profile it is associated with. In Windows, this information will be displayed at the top of the browser frame, where as in Mac, this info will be added to the menu bar. Every profile will be color-coded to make identification easier.

There’s no word on when these features will show up in Chromium. However, knowing Google, it probably won’t take too long.

Multiple Profiles Coming To Google Chrome

has had the ability to allow users to create multiple profiles, but it has been pretty inconvenient to say the least, Browsers like already have an easy way to do this, so Chrome would definitely want to have an easier way too.

Google Chrome Multiple Profiles

According to a new design document on the Chromium website, developers have suggested a new feature which will allow users to create multiple profiles. The new multiple profile feature though will be tightly integrated with the browser sync.

The multiple profiles feature will allow the user to associate a profile with a specific set of browser windows, rather than with an entire running instance of Chrome. Allowing different windows to run as different Chrome identities means that a user can have different open windows associated with different Google accounts, and correspondingly different sets of preferences, apps, bookmarks, and so on — all those elements which are bound to a specific user’s identity. Having multiple profiles in the Chrome browser also makes it easy to browse with separate identities without having to log in as separate users at the operating system level.

This means that, users will be able to create multiple sync profiles and backup their bookmarks, etc. to the cloud. However, they can also create another profile and then sync certain things to that profile only. This will be very useful when you use Chrome at different places. Using this feature you can create a profile for Work and sync your work bookmarks and extensions to it. You can then also create a Personal profile and sync your home bookmarks, extensions, etc. to it.

This will allow you to maintain different identities for different purposes. Also unlike Firefox, Chrome will maintain different profiles in the cloud, so you can use any computer and have all your data ready to use.

(Source: Google OS)

LastPass Extension for Opera is Finally Here!

LastPass is one extension I have been waiting for ever since Opera published its API. I had earlier mentioned that LastPass has been working with Opera software to release an extension as soon as possible. However, one thing holding them back was the lack of support for HTTPS in Opera’s extensions. Opera Software fixed this in Opera 11 Beta (actually they did it in an earlier snapshot), which was released just yesterday, and now LastPass is already here.

The LastPass Button

LastPass Tools

If you are wondering why I am gushing about LastPass, check out our earlier articles on this nifty little tool. LastPass is a free (freemium to be accurate) cloud based service that can generate strong passwords, remember your passwords, and automatically fill forms and works seamlessly across multiple browsers, operating systems and devices. While Opera’s Wand can remember passwords, none of the other features offered by LastPass are available. Better still, you can even import and export information from other similar third party tools like RoboForm, 1Password, KeePass, Password Safe, MyPasswordSafe, Sxipper, TurboPasswords, and Passpack

Create LastPass Form Profiles

LastPass for Opera works through a button in the address bar, much like its Chrome counterpart. It automatically jumps into action as soon as it detects a form and offers to remember and fill-in information. You can also tick the “Auto-login” option to automatically enter and submit login information.

LastPass Fill Password

LastPass Settings

If you on Opera 11 Beta, you can download LastPass from the official extensions gallery.

Opera Floors Reddit: Gets Co-Founder to Ride the Narwhal over a Double Rainbow

Opera Software is no stranger to theatrics. Back when Opera 8 was released, Jon S. von Tetzchner, then CEO of Opera, attempted a cross-Atlantic swim to celebrate 1 million downloads. However, when it comes to going viral, Firefox always managed one up Opera.

A lot has changed since then. Opera now has more than 140 million users, and also seems to be getting really good at leveraging social media. Earlier in the year, Opera had us in splits with the Odd and Even browser speed test parody. However, as we have seen on numerous occasions, the best of the best viral stuff are impromptu creations with a touch of genius. That’s what happened yesterday.

Yesterday, a Redditor, who described himself as a “person with zero creative talent”, offered to draw anything requested by the community in MS Paint. An Opera employee, who also appears to be an avid Redditor, quickly took the opportunity to request a picture of Tetzchner riding a narwhal over a double rainbow. As an added incentive, he offered to put up the result on the home page of Opera. Here’s what the fellow Redditor came up with.


And this is what happened afterwards.


Opera Software obviously has quite a few avid Redditors. In fact, they have been campaigning heavily on Reddit for the past few weeks. Besides purchasing ad impressions, they also did an IamA (I am a), which was a roaring success. Opera Software was widely applauded for “doing it right” and clocked in more than 35,000 downloads from their Reddit campaign. They obviously got a few more yesterday. Well done!

Opera 11 Beta Released: Introduces Tab Stacking and More

Opera is one of the pioneers of tabbed browsing. It might not have been the first tabbed browser, but many of the features we see in current tabbed browsers were first seen in Opera. With every major new version, Opera has continued to enhance its already refined tabbed browsing interface. They introduced “Trash Can” (recycle bin for closed tabs) in version 8, tab thumbnails in version 9, and visual tabs in version 10. Opera 11 upholds this tradition with the introduction of “Tab stacking”.

Opera: Pioneer of Tabbed Browsing

Opera 11 Beta has just been released. Most of the new features like visual mouse gestures, smarter address bar and improved mail panel, were previewed in the recent snapshot builds. Check out our earlier coverage for a low-down on these features.

Opera 11: Visual Mouse Gestures

Opera 11: Enhanced Address Bar

The surprise new feature is the aforementioned tab stacking. Tab stacking allows you to group tabs by simply dragging and dropping them on top of each other. Users can look into the contents of a group by either hovering the mouse over a group (which triggers a thumbnail preview of all the tabs in the group), or by clicking the tiny arrow next to each group’s button. By the way, don’t yet try to directly stack two tabs residing in different windows. I tried it thrice, and Opera crashed right away on each occasion.

Opera 11: Tab Stacking

“Tabs are the most popular feature in browsers today,” said Jan Standal, VP of Desktop Products, Opera. “Because so many of us wrestle with tens or even hundreds of open tabs, we needed a way to simplify tab management. Just like stacking papers for future reference, stacking your tabs is an intuitive way to organize and collect your open Web pages.”

Opera 11: Tab Stacking (Thumbnail Preview)

Opera 11: Tab Stacking (Expanded)

Opera 11 Beta introduces further refinements to Opera extensions, which were introduced in Opera 11 Alpha. Currently, Opera has 131 extensions, which have been downloaded over 500,000 times, with ten to twenty extensions being submitted for approval every day. If you are an Opera 11 user, check out some of our favorite extensions over here.

[ Download Opera 11 Beta ]

Opera 11: Tab Stacking Introduction

State of Opera (Q3 2010): Increases Revenue, But Fails to Gain New Desktop Users

Earlier in the day, I took a look at the State of Mozilla report, which highlighted impressive all around gains for the open source browser maker. Opera Software, one of the smaller competitors of Mozilla, also recently published its own financial report.

According to the third quarter (2010) report, Opera Software posted record revenues of 178.3 MNOK (million Norwegian krone), which is a 32% year on year growth. A major driving factor was partnerships with device manufacturers and telecom providers. Among others, Opera has partnerships telecom service providers like Telenor, Vodafone, AT&T, Sprint, MTC (MTS) and Virgin, and mobile phone manufacturers like HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung and Sony Ericsson. Opera is also a player in the connected TV market, and licenses its technology to Phillips, Toshiba, Sharp, Thomson, Realtek and others.


Desktop revenue increased by 41%, whereas revenue from internet devices increased by 32%. Opera currently has more than 140 million users, with a vast majority of them being on Opera Mini. Unfortunately for Opera, although its revenue from desktop products increased, the number of users witnessed decrease in consecutive quarters. Opera Software is blaming this on seasonal variations, which sounds rather convenient. Seasonal fluctuations are generally small enough to be compensated by gaining a few million users. If they are significant to have a visible impact on Opera’s userbase, then that is because Opera has actually failed to reach out to a significant number of new users. Unless maintaining status quo is considered to be success at Opera, there is no hiding the fact that Opera is still failing to make its presence felt in the desktop segment. It’s also rather convenient that Opera is bringing up seasonal fluctuations now. No one mentioned it, when they were gaining users.


Of late, Opera Software has been making all the right moves with its desktop offering. In fact, Opera 11 alpha was downloaded 370,000 times in the first two days. I really hope that Opera 11 will help them in gaining more users. However, before that, they should be prepared to at least acknowledge exactly where they stand.

The State of Mozilla: No Armageddon for Firefox

Mozilla has published its annual report for the year 2009, which takes a look at how Firefox is doing competitively and financially, along with what is planned for the future, and frankly, things are looking quite rosy for the open source browser maker.


Firefox has more than 140 million active daily users and in excess of 400 million total users. The much delayed Firefox 4 will introduce significant performance improvements along with a host of other promising changes. Mozilla is also working on broadening its scope by making inroads into the mobile sector with Firefox (Fennec) for Meego and Android, and Firefox Home for the iPhone.

Financially also Mozilla is doing quite well. In 2009, it generated consolidated reported revenues of $104 million, up 34 percent from 2008 reported revenues of $78 million. This includes a $104,000 loss from long term investments, which is again a considerable improvement from previous years figure of $7.8 million. As before, a significant portion of the revenue comes from Google and other partners like Yahoo, Yandex, Amazon, eBay and a handful of others.

Mozilla has had a partnership with Google since 2004, and has renewed their contract three times, in 2005, 2006 and 2008. Their current contract is up for renewal next year. Some publications like Silicon Alley Insider have already begun dubbing 2011 as the Armageddon year for Firefox based on the apprehension that Google might choose not to renew their contract with Firefox, which is one of the biggest competitors of Google Chrome. However, what they are forgetting is that the search itself is a competitive segment, and Firefox’s large user base will provide Mozilla with plenty of bargaining chips. It’s unlikely that Google will be too keen to let Bing become the default search engine in Firefox without a fight.