Google has released pre-beta version 2.0 of their Chrome web browser.
There are numerous little bug fixes and some new and spiffy CSS features. Chrome also has new window frames for XP/Vista users that support the Windows cascading and tiling capabilities.
Profiles can place Chrome settings in different categories for different users. You can have one profile you use on your laptop when you are at work and a completely different profile setting for when you’re at home to help ensure you don’t stumble across some naughty pictures while on the job.
You can update to the new version at the Chrome website and test it out. If you don’t like the new version Google gives you the option to downgrade to a previous version of the browser. This update has made some much needed improvements to the feature-lacking browser. Chrome is catching up to its competitors at a rapid pace, but still doesn’t have all the features and options you can find on the already established browsers on the web.
You can get a full list of the major changes at the Chromium Developer Documentation page.
The beta version of Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 7, has been leaked to the web.
The ISO file for Windows 7 is available on many Bittorrent sites, allowing anyone with an internet connection and the proper peer to peer software to download and install the almost fully-functional operating system.
This latest leak is build 7000, rather than the alpha version 6801 that was leaked earlier this year, and has 32 bit architecture. According to some reports the beta is very stable and usable. Adrian Kingsley-Hughes of ZDNet had this to say about his experience with the leaked OS:
I like Windows 7, a lot. Microsoft seems to have put a lot of effort into developing a core operating system that is free from the pointless frills of the likes of XP and Vista. The OS is solid and fast and based on what I’ve seen so far I’d have no problems in rolling out beta 1 and using it daily.
While Microsoft might not be happy that their latest OS has been released for free on the internet, the positive response to this leak may come as good news for the software giant. The resounding failure that was Vista has left many PC users with a sour taste in their mouths, further cementing many PC users’ opinion that Microsoft products are of inferior quality compared to Linux and Apple’s OSX.
Microsoft has tried to regain some of the public’s good will with a series of weird ads featuring Jerry Seinfeld, but what they really need to do is simply make a solid, usable product that doesn’t fight against the user. Vista and many of its predecessors, such as the all-around awful Windows ME, have tended to be bloated, unstable resource hogs with unnecessary, sometimes downright user-unfriendly features and woefully little focus on straightforward performance.
It seems like it should be an obvious strategy for Microsoft to adopt: make an operating system that just works and it will gain popularity. But the fact of the matter is that Microsoft has controlled an enormous share of the operating system market for almost as long as PCs have been used by the greater public, and the software Goliath has never needed to change its approach.
But if Windows 7 is in fact as solid as the early reports are indicating, it might be the case that Microsoft’s approach has finally taken a turn towards benefiting the user and not just Microsoft. And just in time too, as Microsoft’s share of the market has dropped below 90% for the first time in recent history while Apple’s increased a small amount.
(Author’s disclosure: I actually found those totally wacky Seinfeld, Bill Gates ads pretty funny.)