Archive for the ‘Browser Watch’ Category

To coincide with the release of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 Beta yesterday, which comes in both 32 and 64-bit varieties, Adobe has released Flash Player 64-bit Beta for Windows, Mac, and Linux users.

The move brings complete 64-bit browsing one step closer, with 64-bit versions of Internet Explorer 9, Firefox, Safari, Opera and Chrome available on select platforms.

There are currently several known issues with the public preview:

  • Video playback issues may appear on certain websites such as,, and
  • Mouse interactivity in the Settings UI dialog does not work using Internet Explorer 9. Keyboard navigation works as expected. Please pardon our dust.
  • Internet Explorer 9 is not yet final. As such, Adobe is continuing to work with Microsoft to resolve critical issues before the final release of Internet Explorer 9.
  • This release will not receive automatic update notifications, and users will need to manually uninstall this preview before installing a standard shipping release of Flash Player

Adobe Flash Player “Square” 64-bit can be downloaded form the Adobe Labs.

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Web browser market share results are now available for August 2010 thanks to Market Share by Net Applications.

Internet Explorer fell slightly in August 2010, from 60.74% to 60.40% market share. Opera was the other looser this month, dropping to 2.45% to 2.37%.

Firefox rose slightly to 22.93% from 22.91%, as did both Chrome and Safari rising to 7.52% from 7.24% and 5.16% from 5.09% respectively.

Full results can be read in the August 2010 Browser Market Share report.

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MPEG LA have come out and declared that the H.264 codec will remain royalty-free for Internet broadcast videos.

This has been one of the blocks for wide adoption on the standard with both Mozilla and Opera opting not to support the format in the past citing royalty concerns.

“MPEG LA announced today that its AVC Patent Portfolio License will continue not to charge royalties for Internet Video that is free to end users (known as “Internet Broadcast AVC Video”) during the entire life of this License. MPEG LA previously announced it would not charge royalties for such video through December 31, 2015, and today’s announcement makes clear that royalties will continue not to be charged for such video beyond that time.”

Safari, Chrome, and Internet Explorer 9 already support videos encoded with the H.264 codec.

Mozilla and Opera are yet to comment on the move.

Web browser market share results are now available for July 2010 thanks to Market Share by Net Applications.

Internet Explorer rose again in July 2010, from 60.32% to 60.74% market share. Firefox dropped again from 23.81% to 22.91%.

Chrome also fell slightly, from 7.24% to 7.16%. Safari rose, up from 4.85% to 5.09%, as did Opera, up to 2.45% from 2.43% in June.

Full results can be read in the July 2010 Browser Market Share report.

Web browser market share results are now available for June 2010 thanks to Market Share by Net Applications.

Unexpectedly, Internet Explorer rose in June 2010, from 59.69% to 60.32% market share, at the expense of Firefox, whose share slipped from 24.32% to 23.81%.

Both Chrome and Safari were also up, to 7.24% and 4.85%, from 7.04% and 4.77% respectively. Opera had a small loss, dropping from 2.43% to 2.27% in June.

Full results can be read in the June 2010 Browser Market Share report.

Google have today announced the launched a new website, called HTML5 Rocks, showcasing the power of HTML5 and related technologies.

The site currently includes nine tutorials demonstrating how to utilise some of HTML5’s new features, along with an in-depth HTML5 powered presentation on the new language.

“Because HTML5 and its related technologies cover so much ground, it can be a real a challenge to get up to speed on them. That’s why today we’re sharing HTML5 Rocks, a great new resource for developers and teams looking to put HTML5 to use today, including more information on specific features and when to use them in your apps” wrote Paul Irish, Google Chrome Developer Relations.

I encourage developers to dive in and check it out. An all HTML5 web is sure to see some interesting sites and applications.

Web browser market share results are now available for May 2010 thanks to Market Share by Net Applications.

Internet Explorer lost more ground in May, dropping from 59.95% in April, to 59.69% in May.

Firefox also dropped some users, falling from 24.59% to 24.35%. The browser appears to be having a hard time cracking the 25% mark, and as suggested, may be loosing users to Chrome.

Chrome passed the 7% mark, up from 6.73% to 7.05%, while Safari was also up, from 4.72% to 4.77%.

Opera was also up, from 2.3% to 2.43%.

Full results can be read in the May 2010 Browser Market Share report.

Google has announced a new format for the HTML5 video war, called WebM and using the VP8 codec.

The new video format is royalty free and designed specifically for use on the web. The WebM project is sponsored by Google, Mozilla, Opera, AMD, Nvidia and Oracle amongst others and is aiming to become the standard way we view video on the web in years to come.

All major browser have announced support for the format, except for Apple.

“In its HTML5 support, IE9 will support playback of H.264 video as well as VP8 video when the user has installed a VP8 codec on Windows” commented Internet Explorer General Manager Dean Hachamovitch.

“Video will finally become a first-class citizen of the Web. This is a big deal, and the day will be remembered in the history of the Web” wrote Håkon Wium Lie, CTO, Opera Software. Opera also have preview builds of the browser available which support the WebM video format.

Mozilla was also quick to follow, with preview builds of Firefox that also include support for WebM. Chrome builds should follow in the coming week.

Apple has been very quiet on the matter, not stating whether it will support the format in it’s Safari browser, and whether this format could make an appearance on iPhones, iPads and iPod touches.

This is a great day for open web standards.

Hulu developers have come out describing HTML5 as not ready to deliver video content, and that Adobe’s Flash still reigns supreme.

“When it comes to technology, our only guiding principle is to best serve the needs of all of our key customers: our viewers, our content partners who license programs to us, our advertisers, and each other. We continue to monitor developments on HTML5, but as of now it doesn’t yet meet all of our customers’ needs. Our player doesn’t just simply stream video, it must also secure the content, handle reporting for our advertisers, render the video using a high performance codec to ensure premium visual quality, communicate back with the server to determine how long to buffer and what bitrate to stream, and dozens of other things that aren’t necessarily visible to the end user. Not all video sites have these needs, but for our business these are all important and often contractual requirements” wrote Eugene Wei, VP of Product at Hulu.

With Apple putting all its eggs in the HTML5 basket, it seems others aren’t so sure. Adobe’s concerns appear valid, and today launched its We Love Choice campaign.

“At Adobe, we believe that the open flow of creativity, ideas, and information should be limited only by the imagination. Innovation thrives when people are free to choose the technologies that enable them to openly express themselves and access information where and when they want. Everyone loses when technological barriers impede the exchange of ideas” the campaign says.

It’s clear the HTML5 vs Flash debate is far from over.

Web browser market share results are now available for April 2010 thanks to Market Share by Net Applications.

Internet Explorer continued to loose share, dropping below 60%, from 60.65% in March to 59.95% in April. This is the first time Internet Explorer’s market share has dropped below 60% since late 1998.

Firefox was up slightly in April, from 24.52% to 24.59%, while Chrome continued to surge up from 6.31% to 6.73%. At it’s current rate, Google Chrome will have a 10% share by the end of 2010.

Safari also gained share in April, jumping from 4.65% to 4.72%, while Opera was down slightly from 2.37% to 2.30%.

Full results can be read in the April 2010 Browser Market Share report.