Features that Google brought to its developer preview version of Chrome--themes, a revamped new-tab page, a tweaked Omnibox for searching and entering Web addresses, and support for HTML 5 video--have now arrived on the browser's better tested beta version intended for broader use.
Individually, these new features are niceties. Collectively, they show Google is steadily moving ahead with its browser project, which was ambitious even before Chrome OS arrived on the scene. Fighting for a piece of the browser market is tough, but offering an operating system solely for Web-based applications is a lot tougher.
Google's Chrome ambition is to improve the Web as a foundation for applications and more generally to get people to do more online, and speed is of the essence. That's why the shiny new features such as Chrome themes actually are less interesting to me than some of the fine print in Google's announcement of the new beta...
Yahoo's Delicious adds a little Twitter Posted by Gordon Haff Delicious, the social-bookmarking service owned by Yahoo, has unveiled home page changes that are intended to do a better job of showcasing links that are currently popular. Although Delicious isn't sharing the exact details of its algorithm, it apparently includes using the number of Twitter messages related to a given item. Read more
MySpace Mail: Not bad, but not a killer app Posted by Caroline McCarthy MySpace unveiled its new messaging system this week--which now lets members use the formerly internal service to e-mail others from an @myspace.com account--and the reactions have been pretty positive. Since it's slowly rolling out in beta over the next few weeks, hands-on reviews are hard to come by, but the design looks pretty good and people seem to agree that it may help reverse some of the site's well-publicized traffic stagnation. Read more
Adobe kills low-end Photoshop, urges users online Posted by Stephen Shankland Adobe Systems is discontinuing Photoshop Album Starter Edition, the lowest rung on its ladder of image-editing software products, and is nudging its users toward the online Photoshop.com site instead. The move reflects the growing importance of Web-based applications even for software powerhouses such as Adobe. Read more
That which cannot be googled Posted by Rafe Needleman The tendency for people to cheat online is one of the reasons I initially told the creator of new Twitter quiz game, Trivia On Twitter, I wasn't going to cover it. But the site's going to offer challenges that will keep users from just doing quick Google searches to win real world prizes. Read more
Microsoft snaps up Office.com domain Posted by Ina Fried Microsoft has snapped up the Office.com domain. The address would seem to make for a logical home for the forthcoming Web-based version of Office, though Microsoft declined to say how it plans to use the address. Microsoft appears to have acquired the domain from ContactOffice, which has its own Web-based suite of tools. As of Thursday morning, a message on the Office.com site warns users that they are being moved to the ContactOffice.com domain. Read more
Webware for your eyeballs
TiVo adds new Web videos, option to watch niche content Posted by Don Reisinger TiVo announced this week that it has added hundreds of free Web videos to TiVo Series3, TiVo HD, and TiVo HD XL DVRs. Also, subscribers who are interested in watching video podcasts that they can't find through TiVo's listing can enter RSS feeds manually to watch the show on their TiVo box. Read more
Flickr's new search tool puts details into focus Posted by Josh Lowensohn Yahoo-owned photo sharing site Flickr has a new search results page that marks a subtle, but important change in the way users can find the photo they're looking for. Similar to the way most search engines display an array of thumbnails, users can now parse through small or medium size previews of photos, and view detailed information about the shot without even having to visit its photo page. Read more
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