One of the prices of great success is that they never go away even when you want them to. Microsoft has been dealing with this problem ever since they dropped Windows XP support back in 2014. Now, 2 years later and 15 years since launch, the OS is still very popular and ahead of all OSX computers combined. In what is happy news for Microsoft, Google is dropping Windows XP support with Chrome 50.
When Microsoft first took Windows XP off support, Google and Mozilla both promised their respective browsers would continue to support the OS for a year. After extending the deadline for a year, Google has decided enough is enough. Moving forwards, Chrome won’t install on Windows XP and things like sync and account sign in might not work even with current Chrome installations once Chrome versions advance enough.
For those you who still insist on using Windows XP and want to browse, there is still Firefox 45 which supports the OS. How long Mozilla will continue supporting the OS remains to be seen. Given the fact that you’re running an unsupported OS, though, running an unsupported browser is likely the least of your worries. Perhaps, one day XP will truly die, at least for network connected devices.
Even when Microsoft dropped public support for Windows XP last year, many large organizations continued to pay for extended support. Not surprisingly, Google also continued to support Windows XP for their popular Chrome browser. That’s set to finally end though next year in April 2016; that marks the 2 year anniversary since Microsoft officially dropped XP support.
Originally set to end at the same time as Microsoft’s support, the cut-off date ended up getting extended twice. First, it was extended for 1 year till this April. When that deadline neared, Google ended up relenting and continued to support the aging OS till the end of the year. Now finally and for real this time, the support will end after an additional 5 months have been tacked on.
In other news, Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7 and 10.8 will all lose support in April as well. This is also long after Apple has given up on these systems. Ironically, Vista will also lose support the same day as XP will, despite being released a full 5 years later than the venerable OS. This also comes despite that fact that Windows Vista will be supported by Microsoft till April 2017. This speaks to the lack of popularity of the much-maligned OS that was eventually patched to near Windows 7 levels of usability.
In the modern age of fears over internet and browser security, it seems the only thing you can rely on is a little indication on your browser that the site you are connected to is who it says it is and that your connection is secure. But is this always enough? And do you feel that you know exactly how safe your browser and the personal details you may send through it are?
In the latest version of their Chrome Canary browser, the ‘nightly’ release channel for Chrome, Google has addressed this by adding a security panel to the browser. This security panel not just shows whether your data has been sent securely (eg HTTPS) or that the site you are connected to has a valid certificate, but it also allows you to verify the security of the many elements on the page. This means that a particularly security-conscious user will be able to check a whether a suspicious site they are on is secure, but additionally that the site does not hide hidden security flaws introduced by connected elements. It also has functions for developers, who can verify when making a secure site that it is in fact secure and any features relying on external resources do not compromise it.
As always with a nightly build, this feature is still in its early stages and there is still time before its implementation in the standard release channel for Chrome. If you don’t want to wait to check the security of sites you may visit, Chrome Canary can run alongside another install of Chrome, so it could be worth a download.
Have you ever actually used the “OK Google” extension in order to search for something? If the answer is “no”, then you’re among the majority of Chrome desktop users. Since nobody is really getting some good use out of this eavesdropping feature anyway, Google has decided to remove it from the browser altogether. “OK Google” was implemented for the first time along with Chrome 35 for Windows, Linux and OS X, and it enabled people to conduct searches with the help of their voice. All you had to do was visit Google-dot-com and start speaking to your computer, but according to ArsTechnica, the feature could also be triggered accidentally by doing things such as opening new tabs.
The beginning of the end for this pesky and somewhat useless extension started out in June 2015 when it was discovered that Chromium was downloading a similar binary package. As you can probably imagine, users were not very happy about this, which is why Google decided to remove the package from Chromium. Fast forward to Google 46 and the feature has disappeared completely from the standard browser. However, smartphones will still support the extension, and desktop users can still conduct searches using their voices on the Google homepage.
Despite helping pay for web content, auto-playing Flash ads have become the bane of internet users. While third party plugins have long offered the ability to control Flash elements, Google is now baking in the ability to pause auto-playing Flash ads right into Chrome. Starting with the latest Chrome Beta build, pausing non-central plugin elements will become the default setting. Pausing auto-play ads is one thing but Chrome being able to determine which Flash elements are ads and which ones are the content makes the feature so much more useful.
In their blog post announcing the new feature, Google states that the main purpose of adding this ability into Chome is to help improve battery life. By reducing the number of flash elements being played, the processor has a lower workload, reducing power consumption and improving battery life. Flash has long been notorious for consuming processor cycles and being a performance hog so disabling unnecessary elements is sure to help not only battery life but those on older machines.
It’s important to note that it’s not clear how Chrome will determine which elements need to be paused. The feature also isn’t meant to block ads necessarily as a Flash ad that plays in the main video frame before the real video likely won’t be blocked. HTML 5 playable ads and other ads also won’t be blocked so this feature won’t be a replacement for ad-blockers. Nethertheless it’s interesting to see an advertising firm pushing out features that could reduce their ad revenue.
Installing antivirus and other protection software is all well and good but nothing can really protect you from your own mistakes if you accidentally input your credentials in the wrong login box. Google wants to improve their users’ privacy in regards to phishing attempts with Password Alert – a Chrome extension that notifies them whenever they input their account passwords into non-Google websites.
After it is installed, the extension fires up when you successfully log into your Google or Google for Work account, and then it saves a reduced-bit thumbnail of your password into the browser’s local storage. It then compares that password to any other password that you enter on other websites and alerts you accordingly. Naturally, if you’re using the same password across multiple accounts, this little extension might become more of a nuisance than a help. This way, Google is encouraging us to use different combinations, which is not exactly a bad idea.
According to the company’s Director of Security for Google Apps for Work, Eran Feigenbaum, a similar tool has been used internally by Google for a few years now. The extension’s code is open source, which means that other sites will be able to adapt it and use it for their own services.
Will you install this Google Chrome extension?
Thank you Techspot for providing us with this information.
We hope you Mac users are ready for some 64-bit software computations from Google! Google Chrome version 39 has released today, with the new update including a number of large features for desktop users across all major platforms. Mac OSX users will now have browser support for 64-bit, with Google Chrome now completely shifting to a 64-bit only variant on OSX.
On top of this, the 64-bit support includes a number of handy security and speed updates to the browser, with improved instruction sets, more registers and improved efficiency in function calling. Because most software already on the OSX platform is now already all 64-bit based, you should find that Chrome now boots faster on a Mac. Desktop users on Linux, Windows and OSX can download the new Google Chrome update through the browser’s built-in silent updater, or can head over to google.com/chrome to manually download the latest version. For a full list of updates that come apart of the Google Chrome 39, please see the full release available on Google’s update blog for the browser here.
Thanks to MacRumours for providing us with this information.
Do you hear that? That’s the sound of account security just getting better across the web. Google looks to be tackling the big password generators like Dashlane, LastPass and 1Password in their latest version of Google Chrome. The new Chrome Canary build see’s the company including an extremely useful password generator into the mix.
If you’ve ever been interested in having all of your user accounts strengthened in protection – Google’s going to be making it as easy as possible and completely free for anyone to use. Hopefully, we’ll see a sweeping trend for improved security measures across all browsers in the near future. As with anything we log into on the web, user security should come first – and it’s an impressive step in the right direction for browsers.
Google’s Francious Beaufort wrote today on Google+ that when users click onto a password field the password generator overlay will appear that highlights the use of using “a strong and pronounceable password that will be saved in your chrome passwords.” What hasn’t been announced just yet is whether or not this will become a permanent feature of the browser – but for the time being you can always download the latest Chrome Canary build available here and test it out for yourself.
Thank you Techspot for providing us with this information
Google made the exciting reveal of 64 bit Chrome for Windows 7 and 8 back in June. Since that reveal the 64 bit version has yet to be released to the public in a stable form, that’s until today. Today Google revealed the stable version of 64 bit Google Chrome as part of the Chrome 37 rollout. As expected the 64 bit version promises faster browsing, more stability and better security. Google are touting improved media performance such as with the VP9 codec that is used in YouTube HD videos – they claim 15% better decoding performance. Results from Google’s beta programs also reveal that the 64 bit rendering engines are almost twice as stable as their 32 bit counter-parts.
You can download Google’s 64 Bit Chrome for Windows 7 & 8 64 Bit right here.
When it comes to browsers there is always a lot of “usually” friendly rivalry between Microsoft, Mozilla and Google as the big three browsers jostle for top spot. However, with Internet Explorer as the default browser in all Microsoft operating systems of late, Microsoft is unsurprisingly still on top. That comes despite the recent antitrust ruling Microsoft faced for not offering Windows users the option to choose their browser upon first use. That ruling forced Microsoft to create a start-up prompt offering Windows users the option to choose between a variety of browsers, instead of relying entirely on Internet Explorer.
Google has 19.34% with its Chrome browser taking second spot and Firefox comes in third with 15.54% for its Firefox browser. Microsoft leads the way with a staggering 58.38% of the browser market as of last month. Microsoft’s IE8 is the most popular followed by IE11, the latest release of Internet Explorer. IE11 ships as the default browser on Windows 8 and 8.1 operating systems and uptake of that has been helped by the recent rise in notebook and desktop sales caused by the end of Windows XP support.