Browser Evaluation: Is Google Chrome Superior to Internet Explorer?

  • Although only 13 percent of Internet users have chosen Google Chrome thus far, Digital Trends makes a compelling argument why the browser may be a step above competitors such as Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera.
  • The author believes Chrome is a leader in speed, compatibility and Web page rendering — and credits the V8 JavaScript engine for the browser’s superior performance.
  • “Chrome remains the unchallenged performance leader. Peacekeeper browser benchmark scores for Chrome are much higher than they are for other browsers — in fact, when compared to IE9, the latest version can almost double Internet Explorer’s score.”
  • The post includes tips for installing Chrome, understanding the interface, helpful shortcuts, bookmarking and downloads, security and privacy settings and more.
  • “It’s an impressive suite, and generally better than what other browsers offer by default,” suggests Digital Trends. “But some of its biggest advantages — such as its speed — are only apparent after using the browser for a few minutes.”

Convenience vs. Security: Google Chrome Syncs Multiple Browser Profiles

  • Google announced this week the beta release of Chrome, which “enables users to sync different accounts across multiple computers,” reports ReadWriteWeb. “This allows more than one person to sign into Chrome on a shared computer and have access to all their browser data. It also enables one person to have different Chrome profiles with different email addresses, e.g. work and personal, that can all be accessed from any computer by logging in.”
  • Chrome already syncs personal settings such as bookmarks, extensions and passwords to a user’s account, but the new beta “makes it possible to use multiple Chrome accounts on any copy of the browser.”
  • Google acknowledges this feature provides convenience at the cost of privacy.
  • The Google blog notes that it “isn’t intended to secure your data against other people using your computer,” since “all it takes is a couple of clicks to switch between users.”

Google Announces New Dart Programming Language for Web Apps

  • Google unveiled an early preview version of its Dart programming language this week, which engineer Lars Bak of the Dart Team describes as “a class-based optionally typed programming language for building web applications.”
  • Bak writes on the Google Code blog that Dart has three design goals: 1) “Create a structured yet flexible language for web programming,” 2) “Make Dart feel familiar and natural to programmers and thus easy to learn,” and 3) “Ensure that Dart delivers high performance on all modern web browsers and environments ranging from small handheld devices to server-side execution.”
  • Google has made its language and preliminary development tools available as open source via dartlang.org, with code the company suggests will be “executable via a native virtual machine or on top of a JavaScript engine that translates Dart code to JavaScript,” reports The Next Web.
  • According to Google: “This means you can write a web application in Dart and have it compiled and run on any modern browser. The Dart VM is not currently integrated in Chrome but we plan to explore this option.”

Google+ is Google Itself: Social Network will be Identity Platform

  • Google intends for Google+ to become an identity platform for its other services such as Android, Chrome and YouTube to develop an “understanding of who you are,” Brad Horowitz, VP of product told Wired magazine.
  • “This comes on the heels of comments that Google chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt made earlier this year about how Google+ was intended to be an ‘identity service’ for other projects and services that the company either had in place or was planning to launch,” reports GigaOM. “It wasn’t clear exactly what Schmidt meant by those remarks at the time, but putting them together with Horowitz’s comments, it sounds like Google wants to make Google+ the central repository of everything it knows about you.”
  • GigaOM compares Google’s desire to “aggregate as much as it can about you and your interests via all the services it offers” to Facebook’s recent improvements in accumulating data through social apps and “frictionless” sharing.
  • The article contends that “all of this social-activity data and these ‘social signals’ are crucial information that Google needs not only to make its search better — since socially-influenced search is becoming a larger and larger part of how people find things online — but to make its advertising more targeted as well. Google’s giant market share in online advertising has been built on the back of its understanding of ‘intent’ when it comes to search, and without access to the Twitter firehose and Facebook’s walled garden, Google has to effectively create its own sandbox for social activity.”

Google Releases Chrome 14 with Native Client and OS X Lion Support

  • Google recently announced that Chrome 14 offers a number of interesting new updates as well as 32 bug fixes. The new revision to Chrome went out to users of the Web browser just before the weekend.
  • “One such update adapts Chrome to the Mac OS X Lion scroll bar style that appears when scrolling up and down the page,” explains Digital Trends. “Chrome is also now compatible with Lion’s full-screen mode.”
  • Among the other new features: browser updates that automatically download and install, a new Web Audio API that allows developers to mix sound sources within a three dimensional space, and Native Client support that allows developers to run C and C++ Web apps within a secure part of the browser.
  • And Digital Trends reports additional changes are on the way: “While testers in the Chromium channel are already playing with Chrome 16, the next version of the popular Web browser will bring more end-user upgrades than Chrome 14. The most significant upgrade within Chrome 15 are three options at the bottom of a new tab. When a new tab is launched, users can switch between most visited sites, apps and bookmarks.”

Best of D9: All Things Digital Conference

Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher of The Wall Street Journal hosted the D9 (D: All Things Digital) conference May 31 to June 2 in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. The annual event featured compelling interviews and demonstrations from an array of top media and technology executives representing companies such as HP, Twitter, AT&T, Nokia, Netflix, Disney, Adobe and many more.

The D conference was established in 2003 by columnists Mossberg and Swisher as an annual showcase for technology innovators and big names from the worlds of business, entertainment and occasionally politics. This year the title was “D9” (indicating its ninth year). The conference is known for hosting influential heavy-hitters and its somewhat exclusive nature. Typically, attendance is limited to about 500 guests.

ETCentric readers were quick to forward relevant news items and announcements that emerged during this year’s show. The following is a collection of links to articles and videos submitted by our readers, accompanied by their comments:

 

D9 Video: Eric Schmidt Highlights

  • Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook are successfully exploiting global platform strategies.
  • Challenge working with entertainment companies since taking content from scarcity to ubiquity.
  • Also need to deal with disintermediation and piracy. On privacy, Google will remain a place where you can do anonymous searches. And committed to insuring you have control over information they have on you.
  • We’re seeing the consumerization of IT that will lead to the death of IT as we know it.
  • There are not sufficient resources to develop for more than the two largest players: Google and Apple.
  • Search is moving from link-based answers to algorithmically-based answers using artificial intelligence.
  • Concerned about a balkanization of the Internet, which will lead to an Internet per country.
  • If you’re concerned about security, use the Chrome browser and use a Mac.

 

Google Shows Off Its Groupon Killer, Launching Tomorrow

  • Video of Eric Schmidt’s demo of Google Wallet and Google Offers.
  • Google is not charging a processing fee but is taking a share of the offer.
  • Credit card companies are willing to upgrade the POS terminals to get benefits of higher security.
  • Lookout Groupon, LivingSocial, etc.!!!

 

Groupon CEO Andrew Mason on Google, Clones and Hubris – But Not on an IPO

  • CEO sees Groupon evolving in three phases so far: One – the Daily Deal, Two – Personalized Deals, and Three – a technology company where they become more integral to a person’s daily life (i.e. wherever they are and whatever they want to do, they can get a deal right now based on the inventory of available deals).
  • Could you use Groupon to sell media?

 

D9 Video: Microsoft’s Steven Sinofsky on Windows 8

  • 95 percent of how the world gets on the Internet is through Windows.
  • Windows 8 will be a “modern” rethink to enable PCs and tablets to satisfy “things they say are solved in an iPad” and still bring all the benefits of Windows.
  • Video demo of Windows 8 showing touch-based UI (can still use mouse too), live tiles.
  • Targeting 2012.

 

D9 Video: Fanhattan Demo

  • Free video discovery app Fanhattan launched at D9 this week.
  • The iPad app serves as a directory and discovery engine, sourcing reviews and ratings from Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes, while organizing related content from the likes of YouTube, IMDb and Amazon.
  • Also shows pre-release version running on an Internet TV which is capable of creating a branded movie page in this case for Pirates of the Caribbean.
  • It connects to iTunes, Netflix, Hulu and the ABC Player to view TV and movies.
  • CNET review: “This free iPad app sounds simple–it finds stuff about movies and TV shows you want to watch–but the depth of the content, utility of what the site does, and clarity of the interface just puts this app on a different level than anything else I’ve seen.”

 

D9 Video: Hewlett-Packard CEO Leo Apotheker

  • WebOS will be available to other companies and enterprises for their own use.
  • Goal is to create an end-to-end ecosystem that figures out on a single device in the Cloud whether you’re doing enterprise or private work.
  • HP can create a large ecosystem of printers, PCs and tablets amounting to 100 million devices a year itself. They hope to interest others as well.

 

D9 Video: Reed Hastings Highlights

  • On Netflix’s virtuous cycle: the more content they get, the more members they get and they can pay more for content.
  • Consumers want all the new stuff but that’s very expensive.
  • At $8/month, they’re a compliment to the new stuff.
  • The news stuff will remain pay-per-view since has higher margin for content owners.
  • Can grow from 24 million subscribers currently to capture Internet TV and tablet viewers plus a share of the 5 billion active mobile phone users worldwide who like video.
  • Need to stay innovative.
  • Focus on talent density, which is the fewest number of talented people.

 

D9 Video: Twitter CEO Dick Costolo

  • Took three years to send the first billion tweets. Now sends a billion tweets every SIX days!
  • There are over 600,000 developers who have downloaded over 900,000 API tokens.
  • Will look to TweetDeck (recently acquired) as the professional UI.
  • Rolling out a native photo sharing app, relevance sorted search results and web intents which allows you to add a Twitter client into your website. 80 percent of advertisers using promoted tweets renew.
  • Advertisers are experiencing very high engagement rates (VW’s ad: 52%).
  • Focused on success of business, not IPO.

 

DARPA – The Coolest Agency You’ve Never Heard Of: Regina Dugan at D9

  • Regina Dugan’s DARPA t-shirt says “Impossible, Improbable, Inevitable” which describes the progression of their programs.
  • Developed Internet, GPS, stealth, night vision, UAV, MEMS technologies.
  • DARPA’s Mission is the “prevention and creation of strategic surprise.”
  • Encourages programs to have the big success.
  • So that means they can’t fear failure. Fear of failure is the limiting factor.
  • Talks about growth in need for cyber security, new computing architectures, explosive detection system.

 

D9 Tech Demo: Inkling

  • Inkling reinvents the college textbook for the iPad that is both interactive and social.
  • Rather than paying $200 for a book, you can buy it a chapter at a time for far less cost since the content is not re-sold like a physical book.
  • See impressive video demo.

Google Unveils Its New Chrome OS Netbooks

Anxious to promote its new Web-based Chrome operating system introduced this week at Google I/O in San Francisco, Google announced its plans to begin selling netbooks based on the Chrome OS starting June 15. The devices, aimed primarily at enterprise customers, will use Web-based applications rather than storing software.

The new Chromebooks will initially take the form of Wi-Fi- and 3G-based laptops from Acer and Samsung that will start at $350 (available from retailers such as Amazon and Best Buy). Verizon will offer 3-year 3G contracts priced at $28/month for up to 100MB of wireless data usage.

Google also announced a new feature to the Chrome Web Store that will enable developers to configure one-touch in-app purchases. Google will reportedly take only 5 percent of the purchase price (comparatively, Apple takes 30 percent).

According to InformationWeek: “The pricing of Google’s subscription plan is modest: For $28 per user per month, businesses will receive Chromebooks, Web-based administration controls, enterprise-level support, a warranty, and hardware replacement upon subscription renewal. Schools and governments have access to the subscription package for $20 per user per month. Access to Google Apps for Business is not included; it will continue to be offered for $50 per user per year.”

Related CNN Money article: “Google makes push for the Enterprise with Chrome” (5/12/11)

Related PC Magazine article: “Hands On: Samsung Series 5 Chromebook” (5/12/11)

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