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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Microsoft IE 9 Release Candidate ready to roll

On February 10, as expected, Microsoft is making available for download the near-final test build of Internet Explorer (IE 9).

Many are expecting the Softies to make the bits available “officially” around 1 pm ET today. (But I just downloaded the final RC bits from

Update: The RC bits are available for download from Microsoft’s site now.

Included in the new RC build is the promised “Tracking Protection” feature, as well as a new ActiveX filtering option.

Tracking Protection is an opt-in mechanism. “Tracking Protection Lists” will enable consumers to control what third-party site content can track them when they’re online. The new feature is meant to complement other privacy features in IE, including InPrivate Browsing. ActiveX filtering allows users to turn on/off ActiveX plug-ins.

My blogging colleague Ed Bott has an in-depth review of the RC build of IE 9 here.

In the hour-plus I’ve been playing with the IE 9 RC, I’ve found it to be noticeably snappier than the beta version. And some of the site rendering issues I’d been having seem to have been resolved. The Twitter Web site, for one, seems to be working properly with IE for me, at last. Reader @Alimaggs noted that Facebook and Windows Live Home are both rendering correctly for him with the RC, as well.

If you’re like me and want your tabs in a row unto themselves, apart from the URL/address box, a right click will provide you with an option to show tabs on a separate row below. (Huzzah!)

Microsoft is holding an IE 9 RC launch event in San Francisco later today. I’m doubtful we’ll hear anything (still) about a final release-to-web target for IE 9, but I’m still thinking Mix ‘11 in mid April this year seems like a good bet.

Testers: Anything else of interest you’re seeing with the IE 9 RC?




Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Early Preview of Free Software Update for Kindle



Latest Generation Kindle Software Update

We’re excited to tell you about some new features coming to the latest generation Kindle and Kindle 3G:
•    Public Notes – This feature lets Kindle users choose to make their book notes and highlights available for others to see.  Any Kindle user – including authors, their fans, book reviewers, professors and passionate readers everywhere – can opt-in to share their thoughts on book passages and ideas with friends, family members, colleagues, and the greater Kindle community of people who love to read.  This is a new way for readers to share their excitement and knowledge about books and get more from the books they read.  To review and turn on Public Notes in your own books, view the Public Notes of people you follow, track your reading activities, see Popular Highlights and your annotations, and view your full library of books, go to   
•    Real Page Numbers – Our customers have told us they want real page numbers that match the page numbers in print books so they can easily reference and cite passages, and read alongside others in a book club or class.  Rather than add page numbers that don’t correspond to print books, which is how page numbers have been added to e-books in the past, we’re adding real page numbers that correspond directly to a book’s print edition. We’ve already added real page numbers to tens of thousands of Kindle books, including the top 100 bestselling books in the Kindle Store that have matching print editions and thousands more of the most popular books.  Page numbers will also be available on our free “Buy Once, Read Everywhere” Kindle apps in the coming months.
•    Before You Go… – When you reach the end of the book, we will now offer a seamless experience that lets you immediately rate the book, share a message about the book with your social network, get personalized recommendations for what to read next, and see more books by the same author.
•    New Newspaper and Magazine Layout – We’re introducing a new and improved layout for newspapers and magazines.  This new layout gives you a quick snapshot of the news and helps you decide what you want to read first.
Latest generation Kindle and Kindle 3G customers who want to try an Early Preview of these new features can manually download the software update here. All latest generation Kindle and Kindle 3G customers will receive this software update automatically via Wi-Fi once it becomes available. We will update the Kindle Community forum when we complete the Early Preview and begin to automatically deliver the update.