Safari 3 Beta – Finally on Windows

This year’s WWDC has brought a few interesting things: a new Apple.com website layout, the launch of the iPhone, the announcement of the near final Mac OSX Leopard, some updated Mac hardware, and last but not least (and the most surprising), Safari 3!

This time around, Mac is attempting to be a competitor for IE and Mozilla’s Firefox and delivering the browser, not only on the Mac, but on the PC as well! This is great news for developers that don’t have access to Macs as they are finally able to test a little bit on Mac’s browser.

This new release is boasting a few things:

  1. Blazing Performance – Apple claims: The fastest web browser on any platform, Safari loads pages up to 2 times faster than Internet Explorer 7 and up to 1.6 times faster than Firefox 2.
  2. Elegant User Interface – Nothing revolutionary…same old Safari interface which I’m not overly fond of
  3. Easy Bookmarks – Same old bookmarking that you see in IE and FF
  4. Pop-Up Blocking – A good feature…but basic
  5. Inline Find – A fairly sexy find feature
  6. Tabbed Browsing – Ye olde tabbed interface….it lacks the Ctrl+Tab and Shift+Ctrl+Tab that I know and love though
  7. SnapBack – SnapBack lets you instantly snap back to your original search results or to the top level of any website, even after you’ve browsed down a few levels.
  8. Forms Autofill – Nothing new
  9. Built-in RSS – Ok….Safari does handle RSS nicely.
  10. Resizable Text Fields – Cool…I guess
  11. Private Browsing – This is a nifty feature!
  12. Security – ….sure

I’m too much of a Firefox buff to switch…but it will be good to test on any box :) Thanks Apple!

Announcing Microsoft wLife ’07 – the iLife Killer

Microsoft‘s new Apple iLife killer has been announced! At first glance, it seems to be a simple re-compilation of pre-existing tools with a nice marketing package on top. Overall, a solid looking product. A special thanks to Brick Blog and Spiralbound for cluing me in on this launch.

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Microsoft wLife

The solid architecture behind the new wLife ’07 suite is by far the best thing that has graced Microsoft’s OS since HyperTerminal and Volume control. Judging by their recent success with the Zune, the company is sure to maintain its place in the market. I can’t wait until their next version of Windows Character Map.

Fixing Firewall & Router Problems With Warcraft

My friend Bude just started blogging and his first post was a good one. Topic: Fixing Firewall & Router Issues With Warcraft…but more specifically; If you’re having issues creating Warcraft III games, the fix is really quite easy.

If you’ve every attempted to host a Warcraft III game and your friends are unable to join no matter what the map…well, you’ve got a problem, although the fix is pretty simple:

Bude takes you step by step through setting up port forwarding on your Linksys router so that ports 6112 – 6119 point at specific machines on your network so they each can host games. That’s typically half the problem. However, you may find that people are still unable to join your hosted games.

You may be choosing a stupid map…or it could be a firewall problem. Bude explains how – on Windows XP – to open a hole in the Firewall to allow incoming connections to War3.exe. After thats solved, all should be right in the world and you can host Warcraft III games to your hearts content! DotA for the win!

Windows Live

I just read an article over at Slashdot about Windows Live. It seems that Microsoft has decided to attempt to clone Google/ig, while currently Microsoft’s “Windows Live” is simply a mimic, they promise to have much more.

What’s Google/ig? Its a drag and drop portal-like web app that aggregates rss feeds and some handy tools; like the weather, movie reviews, word of the day, etc. Google/ig is simplistic. Its sexy. Its Ajax heavy (which isn’t a bad thing). I’ve been using Google/ig since they released it to the public and have been thoroughly impressed. Once again Google has set the bar high enough that Microsoft has taken notice and is attempting to duplicate….and they are doing it well.

Whats sexy about Windows Live?

  • Its Free
  • Its Simplistic
  • Its using a crap ton of AJAX
  • Windows Live supposedly expects to have an online Microsoft Office Suite that will be paid for by using ads rather than money from my wallet (sounds like Writely)
  • Check out this article at TechCrunch.com for more stuff that is planned.

But in addition to all that, it seems Microsoft has adopted the Web 2.0 method of using a perpetual beta. Think about it. When was the last time that happened from Microsoft? Oh, and along with the public beta release, they also have a happy-go-lucky communication with end users. Right now I’m looking at the Windows Live site with Flock and see the following at the top of the page:

Firefox Users
Firefox support is coming soon. Please be patient :-)

Smiley face and all. Seems more personal. Seems more enticing. Makes Windows Live seem to have promise. Alright, so its just a smiley face and I may be jumping to conclusions…but I highly doubt that even Microsoft can fight the Web 2.0 and its heavy social aspects and its community driven contributions. Is Microsoft conforming? We can only hope.

Well…I can see a major drawback.

  • It uses the .NET passport. Major suck.

In closing, while Windows Live looks nifty and has some pretty cool stuff, I’m loyal to Google and will remain an avid Google/ig user until Windows Live does something that actually wows me and makes me crap my pants.