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Firefox for Android Looks Promising

Mozilla's Firefox browser not only has a brand new rapid release cycle going this year (announced in February), but it also appears to have a new lease on life on the Android platform. Developer Jonathan Nightingale, in a Google Groups post, has confirmed that Firefox for Android will soon get a native UI instead of the current XUL version. For users, that means ultra-fast boot times and more. The announcement comes after missives from Google that appear to point to a version of Google Chrome for Android.

Open Source Platforms Lead the Machine Translation Charge

At a surprisingly rapid pace, machine language translation is now moving into high gear on devices that we already use, and open source platforms are leading the charge. Ten years ago, futurists such as Ray Kurzweil predicted that the devices we carry with us would become fast and efficient at translating languages, and it's happening now. If you haven't tried the translation tools in platforms such as Google Chrome and on Android, you're missing out.

Chrome Remote Desktop Extension Stretches Chrome OS Horizons

If you're using a Chromebook and depending on Google's Chrome OS as your operating system, it's well worth taking note of the new Chrome Remote Desktop (beta) extension. It works like standard remote control software always has but has lots of positive implications for Chrome OS, given that Chrome OS works on a cloud-centric basis and eschews many local computing practices. Using it, you can share with or get access to another comupter by providing a one-time authentication code.

Will Google Continue Subsidizing Mozilla?

For several months now, Google's Chrome browser has been posting larger market share gains, by percentage growth, than open source rivals. In fact, many analysts predict that its market share will overtake Mozilla Firefox's next year. The successful rise of Mozilla?s Firefox browser is a legendary story in the open source community, but many people don't realize that Mozilla gets most of its revenues from Google. In fact, nearly all of Mozilla's revenues come from deals that involve feeding users into search/ad ecosystems. In November of this year, though, Mozilla's deal with Google is up for renewal. Is there a chance that it could go away?

In the Latest Browser Performance Face-Off, A Surprise Winner Emerges

For quite a while now, open source browsers--led by Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome--have been setting the pace of innovation. If you're at all like me, you run both of these browsers, and you may run different versions of them on various operating systems. I use Firefox and Chrome on multiple platforms. Mozilla, of course, has moved to a rapid release cycle for Firefox, which is keeping new versions very competitive with Chrome performance-wise. That's what made Tom's Hardware Web Browser Grand Prix VI interesting when we last looked in on it. In that performance face-off, Chrome emerged as the top performer in many key tests. Now there is an update to the benchmark tests. Guess which browser performs best.

Does Mozilla's Response to Enterprises Focused on Firefox Go Far Enough?

As we reported back in June, while many users applaud the rapid release cycle that Mozilla announced for the Firefox browser back in February, not all IT administrators are among the fans. It's easy for consumers to forget that businesses have much more stringent requirements for accepting new applications of all sorts, including browsers, into mainstream use. There are security concerns, compatibility concerns, and more. Mozilla officials have already announced that they take the protests from the IT community seriously, and have a working group focused on delivering Extended Support Releases (ESRs) specifically for businesses that want to use Firefox. Do these efforts from Mozilla go far enough, though?

Chrome 15 Arrives, as Open Source Browsers Get Down to Brass Tacks

Even as Mozilla moves ahead with a rapid release cycle for the Firefox browser, Google continues to deliver new versions of Google Chrome at a blindingly fast pace. The company has announced that Chrome 15 is now available through the Chrome beta channel. The new release is available in a Linux version, too. Google is also pushing ahead with a TV advertising campaign for Chrome--a move we certainly haven't seen from Mozilla.

Google's Native Client: The Web App Effort Seems to Have Nine Lives

Is Google's Native Client initiative headed anywhere? According to the company, Native Client is an open source technology that allows you to build web applications that seamlessly execute native compiled code inside the browser. We began covering it all the way back in 2008 when it arose out of Google's Native Code efforts. Google has steadily forged ahead with Native Client, and now there are Google officials seeking to give it more momentum, positioning it as a way of democratizing development and programming. In the end, though, Native Client may be another sign that Google is too early to try to convince users that they should do everything in their browsers, eschewing local applications.

Browser Quiz Tests Your Knowledge of Browser Market and Trends

Recently, Susan ran results of a poll she took on her personal site showing which browsers her readers use. Firefox was the clear winner, with Chrome in second place, although Chrome's percentage of users increased more than Firefox's did in the past year. Indeed, many studies of browser usage show that Firefox leads Chrome in overall market share, but isn't growing its share as fast as Chrome is. Still, as people shuffle which browsers they favor, are they as informed as they once were about their browsers? A new poll provides an interesting glimpse into what goes on as browser mature, and tests knowledge of the browser market.?

Mozilla's Do Not Track Guide Positions Privacy as Key Tech Differentiator

Many users of the Firefox browser already use DNT (Do Not Track) technology to prevent companies and organizations from watching their behavior online and compiling ever-growing databases of their user behavior. This type of technology, of course, doesn't just come from Mozilla; rather, it's widespread in many types of browsers and security products. But therein lies the problem, at least from Mozilla's perspective. The company has been trying its approach to DNT as a standard around which everyone can work. Now, the effort to evangelize it is extending out to corporations and advertisers themselves. Mozilla has published a set of guidelines called The Do Not Track Field Guide.

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