Thursday, October 19, 2006

Microsoft releases new Internet Explorer

Microsoft Corp. is giving its Web browser software its first major upgrade in years, amid signs that Internet Explorer's market share is eroding.

The release late Wednesday brings Microsoft's browser more in line with competing products such as Opera Software ASA's Opera and Mozilla Corp.'s Firefox. Internet Explorer 7, or IE7, adds features such as tabbed browsing, which lets people open several Web pages without cluttering their desktop with multiple open browser windows.

Microsoft has been heavily testing the new browser, releasing five beta versions over 14 months, and has periodically offered security updates for IE6, first released in 2001.

Still, a lag of more than five years between official releases has cost the company. Web analysis company WebSideStory estimates that Internet Explorer's U.S. market share is about 86 percent, while Firefox commands about 11 percent of the market and smaller offerings account for the rest. Two years ago, IE had about a 93 percent share.

Dean Hachamovitch, Microsoft's general manager for Internet Explorer, acknowledged the company could have done more sooner, but he said the new version should address users' concerns.

"We did have active development," he said. "The question is whether it was enough."

Matt Rosoff, analyst with independent researchers Directions on Microsoft, said Internet Explorer is important to Microsoft's business because most people believe an operating system should include a way to immediately access the Web.

Still, he said, Microsoft may not have seen much reason to spend a lot of money upgrading sooner since most people continued to use the older version.

Rosoff said the new product includes enough improvements to lure back some users.

But Colin Teubner, an analyst with Forrester Research, said people already using Firefox and rival products might not immediately come back. That's partly because those users have soured on Microsoft, he said, and partly because IE7 doesn't break much new ground.

"A year ago Firefox was head and shoulders above Microsoft's current offering, and I think even with IE7 it's mostly playing catch up," Teubner said.

But he does recommend that IE6 users upgrade, and he believes Microsoft may surpass competitors with future improvements.

Besides tabbed browsing, Microsoft has improved security to help keep users from falling victim to things like malicious software attacks and phishing scams. Microsoft products are a near-constant target of Internet attackers, and some people have recommended switching browsers because a less high-profile product might be more secure.

The Redmond software maker also has added a box in the browser that lets people search the Internet without going to a separate Web page, much like competitors.

In a last-minute change, people who are upgrading from the previous version of the browser will now have a clearer way to choose whether they want to use Microsoft's search engine or a competing one from companies like Google Inc. or Yahoo Inc. The change announced Friday was one of several aimed at soothing antitrust worries in Europe, where Microsoft faces a longrunning regulatory battle.

Microsoft is offering IE7 as a free download. Next month, the company also will begin delivering it to Windows XP users who have signed up to automatically receive security fixes. Hachamovitch said that's because the product makes major security improvements.

Such distribution also will provide a powerful tool in countering competition from rival browsers.

Security updates typically download with little or no user intervention, but with IE7 people will get an extra opportunity to elect not to upgrade. Also, even people using automatic updates will have to agree to let Microsoft check whether their copy of Windows is pirated before they can get IE7.

Microsoft expects that it will take months to gradually release IE7 automatically. The browser also will be an integral part of Microsoft's new operating system, Windows Vista, due out for big businesses in November and for consumers in January.

Friday, June 30, 2006

China cracks down on blogs, search engines

China's Internet regulators are stepping up controls on blogs and search engines to block material it considers unlawful or immoral, the government said Friday.
"As more and more illegal and unhealthy information spreads through the blog and search engine, we will take effective measures to put the BBS, blog and search engine under control," said Cai Wu, director of the Information Office of China's Cabinet, quoted by the official Xinhua News Agency.
The government will step up research on monitoring technology and issue "admittance standards" for blogs, the report said, without providing any details.
China encourages Internet use for business and education but tries to block access to obscene or subversive material. It has the world's second-biggest population of Internet users after the United States, with 111 million people online.
China launched a campaign in February to "purify the environment" of the Internet and mobile communications, Xinhua said.
China has 37 million Web logs, or blogs, Xinhua said, citing a study by Beijing's Tsinghua University. It said that number was expected to nearly double this year to 60 million.
The government has launched repeated crackdowns on online material considered pornographic.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

There once lived a man who felt like being nothing

There once lived a man who felt like being nothing. He couldn't find any sense in his existence. He read thousands of books trying to find the answer for his numerous questions. But no reference book was able to spray some light to his useless struggle. He almost gave up his attempts when one day he was presented a t-shirt. He read what was written on its back. It said: "Never mind". And that was it.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

A Puzzle

It might be cheap. It might be pricy. Sometimes it is worth of nothing, though sometimes it may mean more than the whole world. It may hurt, it may devastate and at the same time it may restore you from ashes. It the night it gets you heaven-high, in the morning it throws you to the very hell-depth. It makes you feel strong enough to claim that even God is nonentity and afterwards it makes you kneel and crawl in front of burning please-forgive-me –My Lord church candle. It turns you into an emperor and treats you as a slave. It has one hand of yours write the moral code and another to break it. It places a sharp sword into the right hand and stabs you with a blunt dagger of the left hand. It puts a poisonous snake on your chest and leaves an antidote close enough but makes sure you will never reach it. It urges you jump with a torn parachute, ride with a cut stirrup, drive with the broken breaks. It tempts you to walk along the edge of the cliff at a foggy night, to dance on the leaking bottom of your life boat, to grimace at your own funeral, to pass the narrow dark streets which lead to the dead-end of a subconscious. It cuts your veins, it spills all your blood and fills you with fire instead, dooming you to the constant craving of icy-cold relationships to ease your pain. It penetrates your essence and places its spies which will report you any time you will try to bottle up its manifestations. It clones you, it captures your uniqueness but gives you a renewed and upgraded version of your soul. It lets you into the greatest knowledge but deprives you of ability to think. It puts the words of salvation prayers into your mouth and then seals it up. It shows you the way out and cuts out your eyes. It sells you the ticket to the train which is about to dart off into the abyss, though lets you swallow the ticket to paradise. All that is done to test you, ‘cause it longs to see what you are worth of and how much you can endure to get hire, how much you can suffer to get purer, how much blooding scars you are ready to lacerate. Try as you may to escape, you wont – for it never fails. Once it got you, it will never set you free. Because it IS.