Things began to change noticeably this week for virtually everyone using the internet. On Tuesday Google announced an updated beta release of the Chrome browser, claiming a 25% increase in speed. The (unofficial) Google Operating Systems blog provided a rundown of the improved user features while Tech News World deemed the early adapters 'adventurous'. BizFeed took the long view approach on Google's plans, which might include capturing the desktops with a Chrome/Android combination.
Not to be outdone by a mere upstart like Google, Microsoft today made the IE8 browser available for download. PC World offered a complete rundown of the surprisingly user friendly features, including automatic color coded tabs. iGeneration was one of several bloggers who explained that IE8 uses web standards that might make existing pages unreadable.
Users can also opt for the recently upgraded Opera and Apple Safari browsers, along with Microsoft's closest competitor, Firefox (a mobile version of which was beta released as Fennec). The browser landscape would probably shock and please the Justice Department lawyers who spent most of the 1990's trying to prevent Microsoft from monopolizing the market. The Seattle PI's Microsoft blog looked at the changing market shares of a browser market where Microsoft may soon lose its majority status. One things that hasn't seemed to change yet -- despite IE8's claim to be the safest browser a convention of hackers in Vancouver found that it was the second easiest to hack, outlasting only Safari.