Browser wars heating up in 2011

Microsoft Internet Explorer release candidate now available

Microsoft maintains Internet Explorer release candidate 9 includes advancements in standards compatibility and user experience. The Release Candidate supports geolocation, WebM video (with the installation of a V8 code on Windows) and playback of H.264-encoded video using the HTML5 video tag.  Speed has reportedly been improved by 35% over the initial beta.

Internet Explorer’s market share has eroded relative to Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.  Seeking a leaner brower experience, the search and address bars are consolidated into one, while a translucent frame places the Web front-and-center over the browser interface.

Microsoft claims that IE 9’s design allows it to leverage both HTML5 and Windows 7 to deliver rich content faster.

The final version of IE9 is set for release in April 2011.

Mozilla Firefox 4 coming soon

Tentatively scheduled for release in early 2011, Firefox 4 beta, is currently in the beta stage with the eleventh beta released on February 8, 2011.

It will bring a new user interface and is said to be faster. Early mock ups of the new interface on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux were first made available in July 2009.

Other features include improved notifications, Firefox Panorama, application tabs, a redesigned extension manager, integration with Firefox Sync, and support for multi-touch displays.

Firefox 4 is based on the Gecko 2.0 engine, which adds/improves support for HTML5, CSS3, WebM, and WebGL. Also, it includes a new JavaScript engine (JägerMonkey).

A road map indicates that Mozilla hopes to release versions 5, 6 and 7 later in 2011 following the release of Firefox 4 in early 2011. These versions will be smaller incremental updates. The aim is to get new functions to users faster.

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If you don’t like either of these browsers, there is always Opera.

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