Microsoft's upcoming Spartan browser is set to be the first big new release in the desktop browser market for quite some time, upsetting a tentative equilibrium that has existed for roughly the past two years.
It was all the way back in the Spring of 2011 that Google released <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WebRTC">WebRTC</a>, its nascent real-time, browser-based, HTML5-powered, no-plugin-required video chat project to the public. In the three and a half years since, the Internet Engineering Task Force and the W3C have been working together to try to formalize the standard, prepare the stable 1.0 release, and get it ready for prime time.
One of the best ways to see what's changed with the ninth and newest version of Microsoft's Internet Explorer is to tune into beautyoftheweb.com and watch the words, images, and DIVs bounce around, luring the world into pretty images and information that can't sit still. "Tune in" is the appropriate verb because the experience is closer to consuming television than what the Web was once supposed to be, an endless library filled with serious knowledge that might come from an underground physics bunker in the mountains.
Google's patching of vulnerabilities in its open source Chrome Web browser last week wasn't so much notable in itself; Microsoft, to be sure, is forever issuing patches for the many bugs that afflict its products.
After four platform previews aimed at demonstrating the power of the underlying Internet Explorer 9 engine to developers, Microsoft is ready to unveil a public beta of the on September 15. Many organizations are still struggling with the decision to move from IE6 to IE8, so what should businesses expect from the new Microsoft browser?
If you're a regular PCWorld reader, you may have noticed the Browser Blowout story we posted last week. In it, I looked at various aspects of the major Web browsers, including features, interface, security, and performance.