Sunday, February 24, 2008

Beta updates and some new stuff

Over the past few weeks, we mentioned a few beta releases that we were currently testing on our beta machines here.

This is a little 'community update'.

Windows XP Service Pack 3 Release Candidate 2 - Now running on two boxes (both with Windows XP HOME) with little if any problems. Slight increase in memory usage (about 5 per cent). Both appear very stable at this stage.
The 'rumored' performance improvement has been difficult to measure. Certainly, a good roll-up with some improved technology and security in the package. Beta testers should expect to tie up their computers anywhere for 30 -60 minutes on the install. Lots of subtle changes.

Flock 1.1 Beta - Great little browser using the Mozilla engine. If you do a lot of photo surfing or social networking, a host of services are built-in. We found Flock a little addictive (because you can log into a lot of stuff at once) which could be good or bad, depending on who you are?!

Firefox 3.0 Beta 3 - Dramatic improvement over Beta 2, particularly in the area of memory usage.

Overview: It's really hard to say if Flock will garnish any significant market share. It is pretty cool stuff and the development team deserves some Kudos.
Firefox keep on rockin', with the open source community (and Linux) strongly behind it. 3.0 will be a major upgrade when completed. Incoming browser analytics have been fascinating across various websites we administer, with techies and Bloggers using Firefox a lot more than 'enterprise' users. In fact, our analytics had us wondering a bit with many 'large companies' still visiting with Internet Explorer 6. Tech-Ed anyone?

More free stuff from Google. As noted Friday by numerous tech news blogs, users of Blogger are being offered a free run at Grand Central, (both Google owned companies). We did get a local number yesterday and, as time permits, we'll pass along whether or not that free local phone number is helping us in any way that would make it worth a second look.

That's an update from our very non-scientific lab :)