Posts tagged internet explorer
Just hours after settling the FTC’s antitrust investigation of its business practices, Google has blocked all Windows Phones from accessing its Google Maps mobile site. The move represents the latest move in an escalating war between Google and Microsoft.
Navigating to maps.google.com on any Windows Phone 7 or 8 handset now redirects to Google’s homepage:
Google issued a response claiming that WP devices wouldn’t work because the Google Maps mobile site was only “optimized” for the WebKit browser engine used by Chrome and Safari, and not Internet Explorer [note: Gizmodo's assertion that the Google Maps mobile site has never worked on WP7/8 is incorrect]:
The mobile web version of Google Maps is optimized for WebKit browsers such as Chrome and Safari. However, since Internet Explorer is not a WebKit browser, Windows Phone devices are not able to access Google Maps for the mobile web.
This response is, however, problematic at best. Read on after the break to see why.
Google just announced on its Chromium blog that it will be removing support for the H.264 video codec from the Chrome web browser, in favor of supporting only its own open WebM codec (which, as we covered earlier, is based on On2 Technologies’ VP8) for HTML5 web videos using the <video> tag.
Earlier, Microsoft, Apple, and Google had decided to support H.264 (the dominant high-definition video codec) for HTML5 web video, while Mozilla and Opera supported only Google’s WebM codec. Now, Google’s move leaves Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 and Apple’s Safari 5 as the only major browsers supporting the H.264 codec without plugins. Ironically, since the vast majority of HTML5 video on the web today is encoded using H.264, Google’s move will likely reduce the usable installed base of HTML5 video-capable browsers.
Read on for more about Google’s web video codec move.
A new video from Pocketnow compares browsing speed on a Windows Phone 7 prototype from LG, the iPhone 4, and Google’s Nexus One on Android. Even though the software’s not finalized yet, Internet Explorer on Windows Phone 7 is surprisingly competitive with the WebKit-based browsers on the iPhone and Android, beating or matching them in most tests. No Flash, Silverlight, or HTML5 A/V support yet, but the browsing experience is at least on par with the competition and at least won’t be a hindrance to the platform’s success.
While the rendering engine is a mix of IE 7 and 8, Microsoft has clearly put a lot of effort into the user experience, with silky-smooth scrolling, multi-touch zoom, and tab management. It’s a completely different animal from IE Mobile 6 on Windows Mobile 6.x (though most WinMo owners use Opera Mobile or other browsers in any case).
Video after the break.
On the standards front, Microsoft has implemented a good deal of the HTML5 spec, including support for embedded video (using the H.264 codec) and audio (MP3 and AAC), scalable vector graphics (SVG2- for images that grow and shrink smoothly with different page sizes), and CSS3.
What does IE9 bring to the table that Chrome, Opera, and others don’t already have? The answer is that IE9 renders web pages using Direct2D, a new API introduced in Windows 7, and also supported in Vista and Server 2008, that provides hardware graphics acceleration for 2D rendering. This helps web pages look better (with sub-pixel text rendering) and load faster and is particularly beneficial for embedded videos.
Microsoft showed a demo of a page with two HD videos embedded using HTML5– IE9 played them both perfectly smoothly, while Chrome stuttered badly with just one video playing. The downside to this is that Direct2D doesn’t work on Windows XP, so neither will IE9. The company has made a test version available for download.