Software giant Microsoft took to video sharing service Vimeo to disseminate its new commercial promoting the Internet Explorer 9 browser. Tentatively named “A More Beautiful Web,” it features a soundtrack by Alex Clare and fast-paced (albeit a tad amateur-looking) MTV style editing. Both treats are not usually associated with neither the Microsoft brand nor the company’s dull television advertising.
While watchable, it does not hold a candle to Google’s memorable Chrome advertising. The 60-second video highlights the browser’s headlining features, such as hardware-assisted canvas rendering, high-definition video playback, rich web apps like Chillingo’s “Cut the Rope” game, and more.
Two important observations here:
1. The commercial was a Vimeo exclusive at post time— despite Microsoft’s official presence on YouTube, including the Internet Explorer team’s channel. It is interesting that Microsoft chose to tap a rival video sharing service and not leverage the world’s most popular destination for online video to get the word out. An anti-Google move, cynics might say.
2. Per data from StatCounter (see the chart below), the Windows maker’s possible motivation to bypass YouTube likely includes Internet Explorer’s continuous downward spiral. It has been a trend, not a temporary hiccup. Last summer, Google’s Chrome claimed one-fifth of the worldwide market for browsers and is now No. 2 in some key markets that traditionally favor Microsoft’s product.
Microsoft appeared late to the party and has lost momentum in browser innovation that now almost exclusively belongs to Google and —in small part— to Apple and its Safari browser. If it were not for big businesses’ reluctance to upgrade to a more modern browser, Internet Explorer would already be severely beaten in browser wars.
Baidu is China’s largest search engine with a not-so secret mission to dominate the global market, and while most chuckle at the thought of it surpassing Google, one might be surprised to learn the Mountain View, Calif.-based Internet giant lost 7 percent of its search market share to Baidu last month.
According to the well-regarded statistics firm NetMarketShare, Google dropped 7 percent in Desktop Top Search Engine Share Trend in February while Baidu gained a little over 6 percent. Bing, Yahoo, and other competitors remained stagnant. As seen in the chart below the break, Google and Baidu have paralleled each other in terms of share fluctuations since November 2011.
Beijing-headquartered Baidu offers a range of Web services similar to Google, including maps, news, search ranking, e-commerce, Internet TV, a browser, and a smartphone operating system based on Android OS. The firm is adamant about its business not being a Google-clone, though.
Baidu’s Director of International Communications Kaiser Kuo explained to CNN (in the 2010 video above) that CEO Robin Li actually filed a hyperlink analysis patent before Google’s cofounder Larry Page. The filing indicates Baidu envisioned the future of search long before Google dominated cyber space…
Chrome expected to pass IE in the summer according to StatCounter
Google’s Chrome is yet to have been hacked at the annual Pwn2Own conference but that might be because it has flown under the radar for so long. With its market share now approaching Microsoft Internet Explorer for the lead the global browser war, Chrome now has a bigger target on its back.
Still though, Google wants hackers to try to find vulnerabilities in Chrome and more importantly disclose them to Google and is now offering big rewards to anyone who can crack Chrome.
Originally, our plan was to sponsor as part of this year’s Pwn2Own competition. Unfortunately, we decided to withdraw our sponsorship when we discovered that contestants are permitted to enter Pwn2Own without having to reveal full exploits (or even all of the bugs used!) to vendors. Full exploits have been handed over in previous years, but it’s an explicit non-requirement in this year’s contest, and that’s worrisome. We will therefore be running this alternative Chrome-specific reward program. It is designed to be attractive — not least because it stays aligned with user safety by requiring the full exploit to be submitted to us. We guarantee to send non-Chrome bugs to the appropriate vendor immediately.
If you ever tried Google’s current line of 3G capable Chromebooks, Samsung’s Series 5, you might be pleased to know new Chromebooks with vastly improved performance are on the way. Google’s Senior Vice President of Chrome Sundar Pichai gave an interview to Cnet recently, and while noting Chrome OS improves with every update to the Chrome browser (every six weeks), he talked about the new, upcoming Chromebooks:
“We remain very excited about Chromebooks. We got a lot of positive feedback, and we are really looking forward to the next generation of Chromebooks. We will improve on the dimensions of speed, simplicity, and security.”
Overall improved performance on Chromebooks, as Cnet’s Stephen Shankland pointed out while talking in length about his experiences using the Samsung’s Series 5 Chromebook, is greatly needed to get the device up to the standards of the average notebook user: Read more
Google rolled out its new black navigation bar in November 2011, and today it is seeing a small update. Google just detailed the change over on the Official Google Blog. The update includes links to top Google properties, a more unified look for the search box, and sharing to Google+, as detailed in the photo above.
The biggest change is that we’ve replaced the drop-down Google menu with a consistent and expanded set of links running across the top of the page.
Google said users should see the change soon; it will roll out in the next few weeks.