With the rise of Google Chrome, Apple rival Safari and steady browser alternative Firefox, you would have thought Explorer would be fourth on the list. So it still baffles me when I hear Internet Explorer still controls 60% of the browser market, but I have to keep in mind that enterprise networks are still Microsoft heavy. Personally, I rarely use Explorer and I rather prefer Chrome and Firefox as my go to browsers. But when I heard IE9 was coming out today, I had to give it a try. Below are some high/low lights from my first drive on IE9.
- #fail It forced a restart on my computer after installation
- First impression: Google Chrome knockoff…
- All the cumbersome buttons have been removed leaving it lighter from a user interface
- The tabs are smaller and easier to navigate on the tool bar
- You can now pin a shortcut to a website on the taskbar…Like!
- Searching feature is similar to Google Chrome
- Haven’t tested the security features, but IE9 touts stronger security capability with native scanning of active downloads for malware and spyware.
Overall, I am impressed with the upgrade of Explorer because of the simpler, faster and lighter new version of browsing. However, I don’t plan on switching from Chrome and Firefox anytime soon. In true Microsoft form, they develop products after a competitor forces them to change. From Windows 7 Phone to Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft seems to be always playing catch up with the Apples and Googles of the world.
There have been some technology developments that I am adding to my watch list in the next few months. Some of these technologies could potentially help with the design of next generation school infrastructures in the coming year.
Microsoft Office 365 – Microsoft is rapidly developing cloud-based solutions for the education sector and the launch of Office 365 is the counter punch to Google Apps for Education. The plan is transitioning any Live@Edu users into the new cloud platform and add Office Pro and SharePoint capabilities. There is a price caveat to watch out for, but with a 25GB skydrive and office powered applications, this is a viable solution for schools to make a transition towards.
Chrome OS – Their marketing term “Experience Waitlessness” is used to tout the web OS as having the ability of instant on web access, anytime and everywhere same experience. The CR-48 netbook has been widely reviewed and is currently slated to release in March. Here is an excellent review by Jason Bedell of the CR-48.
Splashtop OS – As schools move more into the cloud and the need for traditional Windows desktop environments are slowly decreasing, web OS platforms are becoming a viable and cost-effective solution for schools. The “instant-on” capabilities will allow computers to access the web in seconds without having to go through the entire Windows boot-up process. The remote desktop capabilities also allows Splashtop to be used with all your mobile devices.
mySpark – There are such an abundance of tablets on the market that it gives me headaches reading about all of them. And there is no doubt iPad will remain the king of tablets, but I am interested to see how this mySpark will evolve in the education tablet space. This Android-based tablet is touting the ability to integrate with Learning Management Systems along with dual cameras, browser and e-reader. Price-point and the ability to integrate with LMS will be deciding factors on this product.
Pico Projector – With a single cable connection, you can connect your iPod, iPhone and iPad to the Pico Projector. As we move towards tablets in the classroom, instant projection from your tablet device will be key to delivering instruction.