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This article was published on May 20, 2011

This week at Microsoft: IE9, Linux, and Office 15

This week at Microsoft: IE9, Linux, and Office 15
Alex Wilhelm
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Alex Wilhelm

Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected] Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected]

It’s been a big thick week in Microsoft-land, and that means that it is time for our glorious weekly roundup. We have been experimenting with shorter lengths of this post, and as traffic has spiked we are going to keep with the trend. That means we will never bring your more than four or five stories per roudup.

If you want more, you know where the archives are and you can follow us on Twitter. Now, let’s get into the news, shall we?

IE9: It Does Not Leak

There is a big memory leak out there that is plaguing FireFox, Safari, and Chrome. The interesting thing is that the problem does not affect Microsoft’s own Internet Explorer 9. Given how the reputations of the other browsers are built on their being superior to IE, there has been some blushing since the news came out.

From our previous coverage:

A memory leak occurs when an image result contains “Cache-Control: no-store” as it loads, the browser should load the image and then free allocated memory once it has loaded. Instead, as the issue points out, the memory is never freed and stores more than 500 times the memory (22k rising to over 1MB) allocation of the original image size in memory, if not more.

The issue has been posted to the Chromium issue tracker, noting that not only Chrome is affected by the memory leak but also Firefox and Safari (at the time of writing Opera has not been tested).

This sure won’t help boost IE9 market share, but it does show that IE9 is more than a newly prettied face.

Bing And Facebook Start Kissing

Perhaps the biggest news this week was the massive new inclusion of Facebook into Bing. But the partnership is more than cosmetic, Bing is using Facebook relationships to explicitly tailor its results and color its interface.

If you link your Facebook account into Bing, the results are instantly noticeable, and for the normal user we expect will be usable. However, if you are a power user, your idiot friends from High School are probably not what you want to be in your search algorithm.

What this new integration demonstrates however, is just how tight Microsoft and Facebook truly are. It is important that recall that Microsoft owns a fair-sized chunk of Facebook, and that means that their relationship is based on blood.

Going Linux, From Windows

I took a personal journey from Windows 7 Ultimate to the latest build of Ubuntu. It was a nice trip, and I came to appreciate just how excellent Linux is. Now, I won’t be switching, I love my current fleet of computers too much, but I can say that Linux is a great choice for nearly anyone.

From the article:

After seven days of light relaxed and professional usage, my only complaint that would actually stop me from using Ubuntu on a daily basis as my main operating system is that some applications that I quite simply can’t do without for work do not support the OS.

Still, Ubuntu, to quote Apple ad copy, just works. It’s made it, ladies and gentleman, to the promised land of being good (and simple) enough for daily use.

Of course, not everyone is as lucky as me and had a laptop running Ubuntu literally flown across the world for their testing purposes, but hey, you can download Linux for free and give it a whirl if you want. Just don’t write about your experiences, the Linux fanboys will hunt you down and gut you.

Office Web Apps Lose To Google Docs

We took a stab here at TNWmicrosoft to test Office Web Apps against Google Docs, the most popular online suite for collaboration, and found Office Web Apps lacking. Firstly, Chrome support is buggy. What gives?

But more importantly:

Alas. It was after all these steps, and ultimate rejection, that I realized just how far behind Google Docs Microsoft really is. Instead of making something simple, fast, and easy to use, it made something complex, slow, and hard to get going. Yes, it looks like Word, and I like that. Yes, for single person text editing it is better than Google Docs, but that is not why Docs is useful: people use it for its simple collaboration.

I already own Office 2010 dammit, I just want to work with my coworkers.

So there you have it, the reason(s) why Office Web Apps can’t even get within a hundred paces of Docs: it fails to deliver the thing that people want the most: team text editing with no bullshit.

There you have it, your weekly review. Did we mention that you should follow us on Twitter?

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