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Browser Roundup #3: IE hits 9, Chrome OS on iPad & Opera beefs up ads

The browser wars are heating up quickly, and this edition of Browser Roundup brings you Internet Explorer 9 hitting the public, Chrome OS on iPads, progress on Firefox 4 and Opera inserting its own ads to webpages.

Internet Explorer 9

IE9 was released to the general public in beta form on the 16th September 2010, with much fanfare as well as a much needed overhaul and face lift. Internet Explorer 9 boasts a brand new, metro inspired interface, jump lists, better performance than ever before, a download manager (finally), tab tearing and quick launching, and additional tweaks and improvements.

Microsoft has been saying that well over 2 million people have downloaded the beta since release, but despite this, the browsers overall market share dropped below 50% for the first time in history -- which is a shock -- considering that in 2008, IE still held 67% of market share. Firefox is currently the nearest contender on a comfortable 35%.

Google Chrome

This one was a bit of a shock, Hexxeh, a student who builds Google Chrome OS for the masses has released a video showing that he's gotten Chrome OS running on an iPad. You may be in disbelief, and claim that this is a remote desktop type trick. It looks like the real deal, judge for yourself below;

Other than Chrome OS, the standalone desktop browser is moving along at it's rapid new six week development life cycle pace, with Google claiming the upcoming Chrome 7 will have a 60x speed boost, to hit back at Microsoft after the IE9 launch. The new version of Google Chrome also offers built-in "Google Instant" technology, with instant search from the address bar, as seen below.

Firefox 4

Mozilla's latest version of it's flagship browser, Firefox 4.0 is making slow but steady progress towards the final build, due sometime next year. Last month, Firefox hit Beta 6, which was intended to be the last Beta milestone before "code freeze," but Mozilla announced that Beta 7 will be released sometime this month, as Beta 6 was rushed out to respond to some stability and performance issues.

Also, Mozilla announced today that Bing will be an "out of the box" search engine in the new browser, which will also offer a revamped search engine experience upon release.


In a surprising move, Opera announced this week that they will be embedding their own ads into webpages on the mobile version of their browser, Opera Mini. According to Opera, there will be "ads where you normally see ads" and that apparently, Opera Mobile's 66 million user base say that the tool lacks advertisement. There's no word on when the company expects this feature to be included in it's mobile browser yet.

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