With last week’s release of Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 beta 2, and today’s Chrome browser from Google, the Web browser has been front and center in tech circles. Here’s a collection of links and to help answer a few questions I’ve received from readers and to put the Google vs. Microsoft vs. Firefox vs. Safari browser rumble in context.
— A couple of people wrote in to ask whether Microsoft had abandoned Internet Explorer for the Mac. I put the question to a Microsoft spokeswoman, who replied via e-mail:
“In our commitment to the Mac platform and customers, we refocused development efforts on Office, Virtual PC and Messenger for Mac. That decision was communicated through Microsoft’s lifecycle support policies.” More info on those policies is here.
— Other readers wrote in to share negative first experiences with IE8 beta 2, such as difficulty installing Google’s toolbar. (There were also a few digs on Firefox in the comments on this post.)
— IE8 was ripped as “one seriously bloated piece of software,” in this InfoWorld report on a performance evaluation by exo.performance.network, “a global, community-based effort to gather real-world metrics data from Windows-based systems and to analyze that data …”
— Wall Street Journal uber tech reviewer Walt Mossberg took Google Chrome and IE8 for a side-by-side spin and wrote about it here. His take, in summary:
“Chrome is a smart, innovative browser that, in many common scenarios, will make using the Web faster, easier and less frustrating. But this first version — which is just a beta, or test, release — is rough around the edges and lacks some common browser features Google plans to add later. …
“The second beta version of IE8 is the best edition of Internet Explorer in years. It is packed with new features of its own, some of which are similar to those in Chrome, and some of which, in my view, top Chrome’s features.”
— Advertising Age wraps up some reaction to Chrome from prominent bloggers and discusses Google’s motivations for getting into the browser business.