Opera 11.01 released

The fine folks at Opera Software have skipped their hibernation just to bring you their latest release of the Opera web browser.

Bringing the version up to 11.01, it is a recommended download for everyone as it contains important crash and security fixes. Existing users will get an automatic notification in their web browser. If you haven't seen it yet, you can manually trigger the update process from the menu. In fact the changelog is that big that this time it won't be part of this post. Instead you can find the changelogs for the different platforms on Opera's website.

Although this maintenance build is necessary and the amount of fixes is impressive, I can't wait to see what Opera Software has in store for the next big release. This year will start with Firefox 4 hitting a final release in February with Internet Explorer 9 following after. Of course we can also expect multiple Chrome releases (where versioning is less important and is more of a continued evolution).

Firefox 4 Beta 10 released

With a final release planned for the end of February the pace is increasing to get a solid golden release out, thus we can welcome the tenth beta, before the release candidates begin.

  • Compatibilty and stability improvements when using Adobe Flash on Mac OS X
  • Improvements in memory usage
  • Support for a graphics driver blacklist to improve stability
  • See the complete changelist from the previous beta

You can download this release from Mozilla's web site, be sure to give feedback by using the button in the top right corner.

Firefox 4 Beta 9 released

What better way to start a few weeks in a new year with a new beta of Firefox 4? Well, Mozilla just released beta 9, luck us!

A few days ago Mozilla already announced that they expect to release the final version of Firefox 4 by the end of February. Before we reach that joyful moment we first have at least this and perhaps another beta on the road to the first release candidate. In this release several important back-end changes were made, while the entire Firefox 4 experience is being polished.

Firefox 4 is a serious competitor for the other browsers and offers several features that were seen in the competing products, like a new and much faster JavaScript engine, hardware acceleration, WebGL support, WebM support, Gecko 2.0 with improved standards support, and much, much more.

Be sure to check out this release, and report your issues and feedback to the guys and gals at Mozilla to make this release a solid one, and well worth for all the other people out there.

Firefox 4 Beta 8 released

Mozilla has released the eight beta of the highly anticipated Firefox 4 web browser. Bringing along a lot, and I mean a lot, of bug fixes.

Of course this release comes with all the fixes and features of the previous betas, meaning the new and faster JavaScript Engine, Gecko 2.0, hardware acceleration, refreshed looks for Windows and Mac, and much more.

Be sure to test this release, while work is already underway for the next version, beta 9. Hopefully we'll see a final release in the first quarter of next year.

Opera 11.00 released

Opera Software has released the final version of Opera 11, bringing some exciting fixes.

While Mozilla is still working hard on Firefox 4, even before Opera 10 was released, the vikings from Norway work hard on each new release. Where Opera 10 was a massive step with Presto, Dragon Fly, and end user features. A small step was Opera 10.10 in version numbering, but opened a new way of enriching the web browser through Opera Unite. Opera 10.50 was all about Carakan, the lightning fast JavaScript engine, that can be considered the only one truly fighting 1-on-1 with Chrome's V8. Another pit-stop was Opera 10.60, focusing on web technologies before we ended up where we are now.

Opera 11 contains several important new features, of which one was often requested: extensions. The support for it is less powerful than that of Firefox and more similar to what you've seen with Chrome and Safari. Extensions are like similarly based on web technologies (HTML, CSS, JS), while the web browser offers some API openings to call.

Another new feature is tab stacking. While in the final release the automatic behavior has been removed, you can easily stack tabs by dropping taps on top of each other. For instance you can create a "social" stack with Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and other sites. Double clicking on a tab in the stack, or clicking the arrow will result in a collapse/expand behavior. Firefox 4 promotes a similar, but less elegant feature, previously called Tab Candy.

Also new, and similar to Chrome, is a new indicator at the beginning of the address bar, which clearly shows if you are on a normal web site (and removes the http-part), secure page, or verified secure page. Of course there is more like visual mouse gestures, an improved mail panel, updates to the Presto rendering engine and the Carakan JavaScript engine.

All in all a solid release for the hobbit amongst the web browsers. Opera Software shows that can have a very rapid development like Chrome, out pacing Firefox with ease. You can download Opera from their web site, which for Windows users is now packed in a 7-zip compressed installer, shrinking the binary size, easing the installation and update process.

Firefox 3.6.13 released

Development on the eagerly awaited, but delayed release of Firefox 4 continues, Firefox 3.6 is getting another maintenance update.

The changelog is short like before, containing basic stuff:

As always, these releases are recommended for a smooth and security Firefox browsing experience. Existing users will get the update automatically, or can trigger it manually from the Help menu. The full download is available from Mozilla's web site.

Google launches Chrome Web Store

Google has launched their web app store for Chrome, building the first blocks of the road for Chrome OS and the future of the web.

We already knew that the Chrome Web Store was coming as it was revealed by Google some time ago now. Developer up till now have had the time to prepare their web apps to be included in Google's new project, which has the intention to deliver an online marketplace for apps, but also extensions and themes. Web apps are advanced interactive websites, so to speak. They may provide a wide-ranging set of features or focus on a single task like photo-editing or shopping. Installed web apps from the Chrome Web Store can be accessed through the shortcuts in Chrome’s New Tab page.

If you have Chrome installed you can access the Chrome Web Store directly. It contains already many apps, extensions, themes and of course user generated content like reviews and ratings.

Chrome 8.0 released

The Chrome team has released the next version of their popular web browser, which sits tightly on the third place. For the time being Firefox is save, but with these rapid development cycles...

Google posted in their blog that Chrome 8.0 contains over 800 bug fixes, which should help fix annoyances of existing users, bring more stability and most important of all fixes several important security bugs as well. But there is also a new feature, namely a built in PDF viewer that is secured in Chrome’s sandbox. In the future (currently in the development channel for Windows) Adobe Flash Player will also be contained with a sandbox, offering an additional (and safer) level of security.

Existing users will get the update automatically, but it can also be triggered from the About screen. Don't have Chrome yet? Well go explore this nice web browser by the big search giant, it's a straightforward installation and available for Windows, Linux and Mac users.

Opera 11 Beta released

The fine folks up north have done it again. The new beta of Opera 11 brings a new innovative feature that we'll likely see appear as a Chrome or Firefox extension.

The most important new feature in Opera 11 Beta is tab stacking. By dragging tabs on other tabs Opera creates a stack of tabs of it. You can easily switch to the stacked tabs, as well as expand/collapse the entire stack, making it super easy to manage tabs. Imagine a social stack of Facebook, Twitter and the likes, collapse when you continue with other duties, expand when you want to do social stuff.

Of course there is much more stuff. While Firefox 4 is copying Opera's superb handling of modal dialogs per tab (where Firefox uses blur instead of lights-off effect), Opera adapted portions of the address bar improvements found in Chrome and Firefox. A button on the left now indicates if the web site is secure or not and replaces the default http/https protocol display, but with an Opera twist to it, as it also contains information on Opera Turbo (for compressed data). Worth mentioning is also the ability to load plug-ins on demand, visual mouse gestures, and a new installer for Windows, which makes it easier to update (from a full download) as well as a smaller footprint.

You can get the new Opera 11 Beta from Opera Software's site. Go get it, and leave some feedback so they can work and improve their work for the final release.

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