Archive for the ‘Vista’ Category

From The Microsoft Blog:

In one short year, Google’s Chrome Web browser tripled its market share. In December, it overtook Apple Safari as the third-place browser as the reigning leader, Microsoft Internet Explorer, continued slipping during 2009.

According to Net Applications, Chrome ended 2009 with a claim on 4.63 percent of the market, after starting out at just 1.52 percent. During the same period, Safari and Mozilla Firefox also each gained market share, chipping away at IE’s still-dominant hold on the browser market.

In January 2009, Internet Explorer had a 69.72 percent share. By the end of December, its market share dropped to 62.69 percent, according to Net Applications. That’s a seven-point drop in just one year.

The only time I use IE (7) is because I have to for work to run our main CRM application. For everything else I do at work it is Firefox. We even encourage our customers (especially those who are using our website builder application) to use Firefox. Even our web based email works better in Firefox (and Firefox is more user friendly with its security settings, that is not burred in a long list of settings like IE).

At home it is a split between Firefox and Chrome. I use Chrome for Flash based browser games such as those on Facebook as I find it is more stable than Firefox. With Chrome even if the Flash Plug-in crashes it is contained to that tab and doesn’t crash the entire browser. That is something Firefox needs to (and should be later this year) improve uopn.

There was one comment in this article that I can really relate and was along the lines on who Microsoft is trying to force or sneak the update to IE8 as an (Important) Windows Vista update. They even make is sound like going to IE8 is a good thing:

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Microsoft would be more wrong here, Internet Explorer is NOT the Web browser that I am “most comfortable using”!

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Part of the big improvements for Firefox 3.5 was it is suppose to be faster. Unless you have started using Firefox 3.5 with a clean profile, you are going to notice that the initial startup of Firefox can be a bit (or for some user painfully) slow at times. This is especially true for those on Windows. There are a couple quick fixes to improve the startup time of your Firefox. These involve cleaning up temporary files (Windows users) and vacuuming your databases. Both tips come courtesy of Percy at Mozilla Links.

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PhotobucketIn a move that has been described as “a step backward in the retail software arena” Microsoft release a statement saying they will NOT bundle Internet Explorer (or any other browsers) with Windows 7 when it it is release in the European Market. Since the computer will not have a web browser installed, users will be unable to go on to the Internet to download a web browser. Microsoft’s “solution” to this is to offer Internet Explorer at no charge on a CD-ROM. Full details are on the Microsoft Blog plus response from the European Union (EU).

PhotobucketYep, this is indeed a step backwards and if anything shows that Microsoft will do as little as possible to comply with the European Anti-Trust laws. So Microsoft is basically saying, ‘you can use any web browser you want, but you will have to install Internet Explorer to get it’. In Microsoft’s defense, however, Internet Explorer won’t be tied into Windows 7 as it is has been with past Windows releases. Furthermore, this is more of the issue the EU has had about Internet Explorer than it being bundled with Windows.

Back on May 1st, The Firefox Extension Guru’s Blog turned 3. Taking a looking back around May 1st for the past 3-years, here were some of the big news items:

2006

2007

2008

2009

July 6 will be the 2-year anniversary of the launch of The Firefox Extension Guru’s Home then under the ffextensionguru.info domain.

Principles on purpose for Microsoft

Posted: Friday, April 17, 2009 by El Guru in Blogs, Browsers, Firefox, IE, Microsoft, Mozilla News, Vista, Windows

As Firefox users it is easy for us to forget, overlook or even not notice the large (choke) hold Microsoft has on the browser market. For all intents and purposes, Microsoft has a monopoly on the browser market with Internet Explorer. Over the past couple years Firefox’s market share has grown tremendously in Europe. In January 2009 the European Commission (EC) stated its preliminary conclusion that “Microsoft’s tying of Internet Explorer to the Windows operating system harms competition between web browsers, undermines product innovation and ultimately reduces consumer choice.”

Over the past couple months Mitchell has discussed on her blog Potential Principles on purpose. It is important to understand that this is not a list of Mozilla recommendations. These are things Microsoft should be doing but they are not.


EC: Principle 1: Respecting Previous Choice

  • Use of IE for operating system purposes cannot bleed into web browsing
  • IE must close after OS purposes complete
  • IE may not ask to become the default browser or make itself the default browser except in specified legitimate circumstances, like perhaps when a person downloads IE separately from Windows or from a Windows update

I’ve run into this at work when using Microsoft Office Communicator. I’ll get a message with a link and sometimes the link will open in Firefox (my default browser) but other times in IE and I have no idea why or even how to prevent this.

EC Principle 2: Windows Must Not Provide a Technical Advantage to IE

  • Making information available to IE before or differently than that information is available to others.
  • Making it difficult for other browsers to access browsing information stored in Windows, thus making migration and syncing painful for users and difficult for other browser makers to implement well. This includes information such as formats and metadata related to IE favorites, website passwords, and website cookies.
  • IE use of undocumented Windows APIs.
  • Providing APIs to IE available to Windows developers as part of the “Windows” API. As a result applications developed by third party developers can send URLs directly to IE rather than to the browser the user has selected as his or her choice.
  • Requiring the use of IE to use the Windows update service. (Microsoft appears to have phased out this practice, or to have provided alternatives. I include it as an illustration of the ways Microsoft has, and could again, use Windows to damage competition in the browser space.)

Do have to agree with Mitchel, Microsoft has gotten a little better about their restricting certain sites and applications to use IE only. There was a time I had to use IE Tab to access Windows Update and Windows Live Mail. Microsoft has made it now that I can access both of these directly in Firefox.

EC Principle 3. Windows must enable people to choose other browsers

  • Option to download other browsers must be presented when a user is updating IE or Windows.
  • IE may not become the default browser except in specified legitimate circumstances.
  • Windows must ship with alternative browsers installed and offer users a choice.
  • Windows must ship with a mechanism for downloading and installing a user’s browser choice.
  • Windows may not include a browser (”untying” required).

I have discussed this back in January when Microsoft Ordered to Delete Browser

EC Principle 4: Microsoft’s financial and other incentives to distributors must be browser-neutral

  • pricing of windows cannot vary based on whether IE is included or not
  • payment for search/ad revenue or other service based revenues must not be conditional on IE being the browser.
  • co-marketing efforts or amounts cannot vary based on the status of IE
  • no financial incentives for OEMs to include links to IE anywhere in Windows

I really don’t have much to add on this one as I don’t quite understand all this works. I do know the way Mozilla makes money with Firefox is based off of the Search/ad revenue with Google.

EC Principle 5: Microsoft must educate people about other browsers

Mozilla has done an amazing job at educating some people about this. We do this through community and word of mouth. But Mozilla’s ability to reach some portion of people is not remotely the same as Microsoft’s ability to reach everyone. Microsoft touches every single person who starts up a PC and touches those people, over and over and over again.

Having been using Firefox since 2004 I have taken Firefox for granted and haven forgotten that is not part of a “new computer”. In October 2007 I bought a new PC. Upon getting home and started up I had to complete all the registration stuff in IE. Then I had to download and install Firefox. I had to repeat this again last summer when I had to do a complete restore.Furthermore, many people have no idea what a web browser is, much less that there is more than just Internet Explorer. When I am trying to troubleshoot an issue for a customer a common question is “What browser are you using?” Many times I get an answer such as “What’s a browser?” or “I don’t know.”

Principle 6: Microsoft tools for developing content must not produce IE specific or Windows-specific results.

Over 90% of the personal computer operating systems in the world are Windows. As a result, application developers often use Microsoft tools to help write programs that work with Windows, and with related technologies or products that are integrated or often used with Windows. Microsoft has a history of using its tools to lock out other products. For example, Microsoft web development tools have often resulted in code that only works with IE.

I’ve come across sites with “code that only works with IE” both personally and at work. I’ve had times where I am walking a customer through uploading their site and I am in Firefox and it doesn’t appear to be working. The customer however informs me they are seeing their site now. Once I switch over to Internet Explorer I can see their site.

By far the worst “code that only works with IE” offender I have come across was a ‘certification course’ web application at my work that never indicated that if you don’t use IE you can not complete the course (even though you get all the way to the end and says you have). I (as did many others in our company) learned this the hard way when I got an email saying I still needed to complete the course and this time around they added that you had to use IE in order to ‘successfully’ complete the course.

“IE must comply with web standards.” (Opera has suggested that Microsoft must support web standards they have promised to support).

  • Microsoft *should* implement critical web standards; and that
  • the web has been, and continues to be, held back by the lack of good standards support in IE.

Personally, the two principles Microsoft really needs to work on are Windows must enable people to choose other browsers & Microsoft must educate people about other browsers. I recall on a fresh install of Windows part of the pre-installed crap is a  utility which allows you to chose an Online Services Provider. Well, Microsoft needs the same thing for Internet Browsers with options to download install, Firefox, Chrome, Safari or Chrome. Funny how Microsoft lets you to choose who you access the Internet  through but not how.

Microsoft .NET Spyware Extension Post Update

Posted: Tuesday, February 10, 2009 by El Guru in Blog News, Microsoft, Vista, Windows

I’ve done a quick update on the How To Remove Microsoft .NET Spyware Extension post with the addition of links to information concerning the Microsoft .NET Framework Assistant 1.0 add-on as well as about the KB951847 update.

Back around the end of January there was a Microsoft Windows Update (KB951847) that installed the SpyWare (done without user consent/knowledge and can not be removed easily) Microsoft .NET Framework Assistant 1.0 extension into Firefox. Note: If you have not install Windows Update KB951847 OR not using Windows Update this extension will not be installed.


Notice how the ‘Uninstall’ button is greyed out? I learned about this from a post )Microsoft Infiltrates Firefox) at GoFirefox! However, because I am using Shiretoko 3.1b3pre and the add-on was not compatible with this build it never fully installed. I was able to remove the add-on following these directions:

  1. Close Firefox
  2. In Windows Explorer go to this location:
    C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v3.5\Windows Presentation Foundation\DotNetAssistantExtension
  3. This folder should contain 2 sub-folder and 2 files. Just in case for some odd reason you might need these files, create a zip or rar file containing these items and place it somewhere else.
  4. Delete everything in this folder, but leave the folder
  5. Restart Firefox and go to your add-ons list. The add-on should no longer be listed.
  6. In the address bar type about:config
  7. In the Filter field type general.useragent
  8. Look for an entry called general.useragent.extra.microsoftdotnet
  9. Right -click on the entry and select ‘reset’

Now, for the most part these steps worked for me. However, as I had mentioned earlier it never fully installed since it was not compatible with Shiretoko 3.1b3pre. In this case I completed Steps 1-5 but noticed the add-on was still there and still disabled. Next, I had to close Firefox again, go to my profile folder and remove the files: extensions.cache, extensions.ini and extensions.rdf. This forces Firefox to rebuild the extensions list, however when I did this step, the Night Tester Tools add-on broke. Not good, now about half my extensions that I had “forced” to work, weren’t working now. So I had to uninstall the Night Tester Tools extension, restart Firefox, re-install the extension, restart Firefox, over-ride compatibility on the currently disabled add-ons and restart Firefox once again. Since the ad-on never fully installed, I did not have an about:config entry for general.useragent.extra.microsoftdotnet

Updated 02/10/09: Added links for information about the KB951847 update and the Microsoft .NET Framework Assistant 1.0

Source: Dediomedo