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  IE8 beta 2 coming in August, Firefox 3 RC2 tomorrow
Time: 23:26 EST/04:26 GMT | News Source: TG Daily | Posted By: Kenneth van Surksum

Microsoft today said that it will be rolling out the second beta of Internet Explorer later this summer and make the software available in 20 languages. Meanwhile, it appears that the Mozilla team has hit roadblocks, which prompted the developers to delay its next-gen browser. There will be at least one more release candidate before Firefox 3 final can be downloaded.

The second beta of Internet Explorer 8 will follow about five months after Microsoft provided a first glimpse of the new software in March of this year. According to the company, IE8 beta 1 has been downloaded more than two million times so far. Beta 2 is promised to bring “significantly improved standards support and developer platform investments with enhanced user experiences.” The company recommends websites to take advantage of new features in IE8, including Activities and Web Slices, to prepare for the launch of IE8 beta 2. IE8 also offers full support for CSS 2.1.

Microsoft said that it will be offering IE8 beta 2 in 20 languages, up from only five for IE8 beta 1.

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#1 By 28801 ( at 6/4/2008 7:19:15 AM
Remember when FF would brag that it was downloaded 70 million times, when we all knew it was just a couple of guys in their mom's basement.

#2 By 15406 ( at 6/4/2008 8:20:09 AM
#1: 'We' being you and parkkker? You must have missed the news yesterday that FF was poised to crack the 20% market share figure.

#3 By 28801 ( at 6/4/2008 8:36:24 AM
The point was to demonstrate how silly "download" stats are, whether from Microsoft of Mozilla.

#4 By 23275 ( at 6/4/2008 8:46:24 AM
Be careful. Criminal hackers do not care what users think of a particular piece of software. As Windows has become very hard to exploit, criminals have turned to third party software. They do not care if you "like" or advocate a piece of software. They simply want to harvest your machine for profit.

Unless FF adopts protected mode, stay away from it. I will go so far as to say that "any" SW that faces the Internet, should have its processes brokered by UIPI and execute in isolation of user space. Secure-able Objects provides for this capability and it is as available to FF/Moz devs as it is you, or I.

If you are venturing off the well beaten Internet path, run Internet Explorer (64-bit), on Vista x64. DO NOT install any version of FLASH when prompted to do so (this has NO/Zero impact on your 32 bit version of the FLASH Plug-in). If you do this, you can be reasonably certain that you can visit less well maintained portions of the Internet safely.

#5 By 28801 ( at 6/4/2008 9:01:13 AM
Hey Lloyd, have you checked out ZoneAlarm's ForceField?

#6 By 12071 ( at 6/4/2008 9:14:52 AM
#2 Depending on which report you read, it passed 20% some time ago. According to XiTi for example ( the stats are as follows:

Asia - 17.2%
Africa - 17.9%
Europe - 28.8%
North America - 21.7%
Oceania - 31.2%
South America - 21.3%

In any case, this is all good news for both developers and end-users. There wouldn't have been an IE7 and an IE8 (with what looks like being actual standard support - although don't count your chickens just yet!) otherwise.

The Net Applications report that you're referring to has a nice chart:

#7 By 23275 ( at 6/4/2008 9:41:24 AM
#5, Yes, I have and as well, Haute Secure.

While I think each is a good idea, I assess that these technologies do not reflect the present state of available technologies, nor do they represent the direction that security models should take. They address adherence to a legacy in many ways - though they are mindful of modern threats. Technically, and despite my past recommendations, I do not think another layer is required. I think layers have to be native to apps and more transparent.

They may be good interim measures, but real change is required.

Securing processes has to be very granular and managed. Where more liberal policies are required, or desired, associate processes have to execute in isolation and their interaction with other processes have to be brokered.

This is what is behind secure-able objects and it is well exemplified in IE 7/8 on Windows Vista - most especially so in 64-bit versions of the browser. These methods are available to all developers where one can isolate and execute untrusted network interactions (some may be Internet and other interactions may be a guest network - so it is not just Internet or browsing) more safely.

FF/Moz is making a mistake. Like IE 6 once did, the focus appears to be on features and not core functions - memory management, security, etc... IE learned from past mistakes and has been more sober - although features have been brought forward in many areas. The old way of thinking is gone and it is time we looked to ways to permanently harden applications at a more granular process level. I think people are tired of "seeing" security - after all, most fences are ugly. ... just realized this space, as it has always been, is too small to get into this as one needs to. There is no patience on the web and people don't want to read. It's too easy to say, FF FTW! and what not.

I'll close with this... things have changed. IE 7/8 have been secured in many ways other browsers have not. If you want to be more secure online, use IE 7 in Protected Mode on Windows Vista x64. Using anything else is okay - just stay on main Internet roads, so to speak and keep your eyes open for falling rocks. If you want to drive all over the place and just enjoy the experience, run as I have suggested with the understanding that the rules may change again one day soon. Finally, if you are an end user, try Windows Live OneCare. Use it to automate security and systems maintenance and backup. It was one of a very few that passed recent tests and it is quiet now and "just works" At home we won't use anything else and our previous favorites, Panda and NOD32 began to let us down in many ways. I have yet to complete my article about the perfect PC, because I realized that people needed a repeatable process. I am about done with documenting it and a huge part of it of is devoted to showing people how to build not just a machine, but an experience that restores the fun and joy in computing - and allows one to largely ignore conversations like this. sorry for the wall.

#8 By 15406 ( at 6/4/2008 11:02:33 AM
#3: Oh, ok, I see what you mean.

#4,7: Unless FF adopts protected mode, stay away from it.

Absolute nonsense and fear-mongering.

FF/Moz is making a mistake. Like IE 6 once did, the focus appears to be on features and not core functions

Oh? What have you seen that leads you to believe this? Unless you're part of the FF dev team, I'm not clear on how you would have any insight whatsoever into what is going on under the hood in FF3.

Finally, if you are an end user, try Windows Live OneCare.

AV-Comparatives says Hello! And they also say OneCare is good but not better than NOD32. Only 6 of 16 AV apps had a lower score than OneCare.

The three things in life you can be certain of are:

1. Death
2. Taxes
3. Ketchum banging the MS drum

#9 By 23275 ( at 6/4/2008 11:10:57 AM
#8, and you can be equally certain that Latch will get it wrong - right down to the dead link in a site written in PHP...

"your honor, the prosecution rests..."

#10 By 23275 ( at 6/4/2008 11:25:10 AM
#8, and tested on XP SP2! That's what the site states - when you get past the dead link.

As my post at #7 offers, things have changed... The version of Windows being offered is Vista and my recommendation is to thoughtfully consider Windows Vista x64 and run IE 7/8 in its default protected mode. When touring less well maintain portions of the Internet, use the optional 64 bit version of IE 7 on Vista x64 (it is far safer).

Do not use FF/Moz on Windows until that product uses secure-able objects, and the UIPI brokering agent as exemplified in IE 7/8 on Vista. That is my recommendation.

#11 By 15406 ( at 6/4/2008 11:46:07 AM
#9: Sorry, I didn't know they don't allow deep-linking at, unlike most sites on the planet, but please skewer me for it as it was obviously my fault entirely. You still managed to find it though, so no harm done.

#10: XP SP3 wasn't available at the time of his test I suspect, and he undoubtedly uses XP (and not Vista) to reflect the real world out there.

#12 By 23275 ( at 6/4/2008 3:50:50 PM
#11, Ok, but I do not agree that the "real world" as you describe it is based upon XP SP2.

The real world provides for many options - many are just as viable as MS SW. The thread here
centered on IE 8 and security. I assess that in that context, it can be reliably demonstrated that Windows Vista x64 using IE 7/8 in its default Protected Mode, offers the most secure Internet facing environment for end users that is presently available.

We all know that the majority of users are on XP SP2. Should they be if they want a more secure platform? No!

#13 By 143 ( at 6/4/2008 5:18:52 PM
When FF can run apps "watch out"!

Microsoft learned a hard lesson with ActiveX now it's Mozilla's turn.

#14 By 23275 ( at 6/4/2008 6:31:47 PM
#13, true enough, but it is already bad enough over on FF/Moz/Safari land... see... many people think that "Remote Methoding" is the exclusive capability and therefore attack vector IN Win/IE... that is not true at all. RMI is not in any way unique to ActiveX, which is COM, and like other methods of invocation, it enables one machine to cause code execution on another machine that is remote to it. Java RMI is but one other implementation and I would argue it is far more porous than ActiveX ever was.

Clearly, MS has gone a long way toward controlling how RMI/COM is allowed to be placed on a machine. PM in IE 7 takes that even further, but the truth is, any of them could be secured in the past via easy to establish policies... simply, admins could/can still, allow only those controls they need to - denying all others - just as they would any other kind of software.

You are quite right however, that as the web becomes more interactive and code is allowed to execute remotely, there will be an increased chance of escalation. However, in that context, the security in Vista would serve FF/Moz users equally well as it would IE user - except that IE 7/8 on Vista will not allow code to execute outside of PM without the express permission of a user authorized to allow escalation.

#15 By 15406 ( at 6/6/2008 9:26:19 AM
#14: Meanwhile, back in realityland, the latest MS advisory has a critical update for IE under Vista (all Windows actually from W2K on) that has a remote code execution bug via ActiveX. I assess that your assessment of Windows 7 IE security is far, far too lenient with regard to Microsoft, as usual.

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