Internet Wars: Chrome overtakes Internet Explorer & Samsung beats Apple to mobile top-spot

Website analytics company StatCounter have revealed its latest report covering global trends of internet access and software popularity. Dubbed ‘Internet Wars’ the report contains two major power shifts: in terms of mobile internet access Samsung has overtaken Apple whilst Chrome have has stolen Internet Explorer’s browser crown. See below for a full break-down of the report:

Mobile: Samsung & Chrome lead the way

In terms of mobile vendors the changes have been somewhat expected. 12 months ago Nokia was the number one vendor for connecting to mobile internet but they’ve now dropped to third place as Samsung overtakes Apple by a small margin.

In terms of mobile browser usage the global market shows Android’s default browser out in front with 29% compared to Safari’s 25%; but in the US and the UK the Apple products are clear leaders – taking 55% and 48% of the market share respectively.

This is a direct reflection of mobile OS trends where Android are ahead globally (38%, up from 26% last year) but with the US and the UK showing a pretty clear preference for the iOS. In the US Apple takes 55% and Android 39%; in the UK Apple gets 48% and Android has 30%. The UK also proves to be a bit of a hold-out for Blackberry – holding on to a respectable 15% of the market.

Browsers & Operating Systems: Internet Explorer beaten, but Windows remains dominant

The browser wars have seen Google overtake Microsoft’s Internet Explorer for the first time in June this year, with Firefox and Safari taking third and fourth place respectively. Chrome took 34% of the market, compared to IE’s 32%.

StatCounter’s report also took in the balance of power with operating systems, showing Windows 7 actually increasing its internet usage share to 51% despite the fanfare-launch of Windows 8. And 12 years after its launch, Windows XP is still hanging in there with 21% of the global market, comfortably above Apple’s consistent third-place OSX (over 7% share).

In the UK specifically Windows 7 still keeps its top-spot with a 49% market share, but – unlike in the global market – Mac’s OSX takes second place with 11%, beating out Windows XP’s 10% share.

It was also revealed that despite reports of Facebook’s declining appeal amongst teenagers the site has still managed to increase its market share – at least in terms of referall traffic, the metric that StatCounter uses.

Social media: Facebook still king, though UK has a soft spot for Twitter

Worlwide Facebook has increased its referral influence from 61% in June 2012 to 71% in June 2013. Other social networks still barely register on this scale – with StumbleUpon falling from 9% to 5%, Pinterest taking the number two slot with 8% and Twitter taking up third place with 7%.

In the US Pinterest had a far more dominant position, climbing to a healthy second place in terms of referral traffic with 22% of the market share compared to Facebook’s 52%; whilst in the UK it was Twitter that took the number two spot, with 16% of referral traffic compared to Facebook’s 62%.

However, it should be noted that referral traffic – whilst a useful metric – is by no means the be all and end all of social media influence.

A recent essay by Ethan Zuckerman for the Atlantic pointed out that whilst Facebook may dominate in terms of user figures, the influence it create tends to be fairly insular – with links spread amongst individuals that are already friends. Zuckerman counterpoints this with Reddit – which is far less popular in terms of actual user figures but might be considered more influential as it manages to  spread content amongst strangers, reaching further flung areas of the web.

Revealed, Microsoft SkyDrive Allow Skype and Tapped

A document reveals how Microsoft is working with U.S. intelligence agencies to read messages from users, including helping the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) secret unlock code Microsoft, Australia Guardian reported on Friday (07/12/2013).

Confidential documents obtained by the Guardian of Edward Snowden, U.S. intelligence whistleblowers, said the level of cooperation between Silicon Valley and American intelligence agencies in the last three years.

The document, among others, suggests, Microsoft helped the NSA to read the conversation at the new portal Outlook.com by giving the company secret code. NSA has access to Outlook.com including Hotmail before the messages are written in the form of a code (encrypted).

Microsoft is working with the FBI this year that the NSA get easier access to the data warehouse via Prism SkyDrive which has 250 million users in the world.

Microsoft is also working with the FBI to the intelligence agencies “understand” the issues that potential Outlook.com that allows users to use the e-mail alias for them.

In July last year, nine months after Microsoft bought Skype, the NSA is proud to mention that the NSA has been able to increase the amount of video that they can access through Skype as much as three times through the Prism program. The materials obtained from Prism program routinely accessed by the FBI and CIA. One of the documents referred NSA has the name “team sport”.

Snowden documents also reveal the tension between Silicon Valley and the Obama administration. Leading technology companies lobbying the government to be allowed to express the depth of their cooperation with the NSA to address customer concerns in terms of privacy.

Corporate leaders are not trying to claim that they have collaborated and worked with intelligence agencies like NSA documents mentioned in the argument that the process is carried out according to the lawsuit.

In a statement, Microsoft said, “If we increase the capacity (upgrade)-prudok and updating our products, we are not exempt from having to comply with applicable laws, both now and into the future.”

Microsoft reiterated his argument that they provide the customer data “only in response to government requests, and we only serve the demand for specific address or identity”.

Last June, the Guardian reported that the NSA claims to have “direct access” program through the Prism system leading internet companies including Microsoft, Skype, Apple, Google, Facebook, and Yahoo.

Try Browser, Can Direct Voucher Rp 50,000!

Although less popular among netizens, the browser application (browser) Internet Explorer apparently still prevail as the most widely used browser.

Based on the results of research from Net Applications, between December 2012 and January 2013, the number of Internet Explorer users scored 55.14 percent in January.

While Firefox and Google Chrome remained in a two and three, which stood at 19.94 per cent and 17.48 per cent.

In detail, IE10 get 1.29 percent of the market, while IE9 was 20.93 percent and IE 8 is still the best value for Microsoft with 23.54 percent.

Although the youngest position, IE10 recently earned the most secure browser (Read: Adu Safe, IE10 Defeat Firefox and Chrome).

However, it is not know it was love? Therefore, Microsoft Indonesia Kompas.com invites readers to try out the most secure browser.

Not only could give it a try, you will also receive a voucher directly from the online shopping site Lazada of Rp 50,000 (these terms and conditions) as soon as you download this browser.

How easy really. You live register and download IE10 on the following link, and also provide a unique commentary. The three most interesting comments will get a voucher worth Rp 200,000.

Q&A: Microsoft Talks Changes to SkyDrive in Windows 8.1

When was the last time you had to delete a bunch of photos or apps on your mobile device to clear out space? With the massive amount of data generated every day, it’s easy to exhaust all the available storage on your phone or tablet.

And this problem is only getting worse. Industry trends suggest that device storage capacities are growing at 25 percent per year, but the amount of data being produced is increasing even faster — by around 50 percent a year, according to Microsoft. The software giant is looking to address this problem with SkyDrive, which will be updated in Windows 8.1 with the goal of giving you access to your files at all times, without taking up all your available storage or Internet bandwidth.

The updated service utilizes what Microsoft refers to as “placeholder files,” which look and feel like normal folders and files with one major change — you don’t download the full file until you access it. The placeholder file contains just a thumbnail image and some basic properties, making it significantly smaller than its actual size. This means that 100GB of files in SkyDrive will use up less than 5GB of storage on the hard drive of your Windows 8.1 device, Mona Akmal.

“I have a Pictures folder in SkyDrive that’s 5.6GB in size but it’s only taking up 185MB on the local disk,” Akmal wrote.

Another major change to SkyDrive in Windows 8.1 deals with offline access to files. With the SkyDrive app, you’ll now be able to mark any folders or files you want remain available when you lose Internet connectivity.

Any edits you make to a file while offline will automatically be synced back up to SkyDrive when you regain a connection. For added convenience, all the files you open or edit on your device will automatically be marked for offline access.

As a reminder, new SkyDrive users get 7GB of storage for free. After that, an additional 20GB costs $10 per year, while 50GB will set you back $25 a year, and 100GB costs $50 a year.

We sat down with Angus Logan, group product marketing manager for SkyDrive (pictured below), last week to get the scoop on the most important changes to the online storage service in Windows 8.1.

Yahoo!’s Earnings and the Future of Display Ads

Investors were upset that Yahoo! Inc.’s (YHOO) quarterly results showed a sharp drop in display advertising revenue. And, based on its forecasts, that will not get any better soon. The Yahoo! trouble is not an isolated case. Display rates have started to collapse across the industry, making a chance for Internet advertising to expand as fast as it has over the past decade impossible. That represents trouble for tens of thousands of businesses.

Yahoo!’s revenue fell 7% in the second quarter compared to last year, drifting down to $1.22 billion. Wall St. focused mostly on one comment:

Iconic Brands That Just Vanished

GAAP display revenue was $472 million for the second quarter of 2013, a 12 percent decrease compared to $535 million for the second quarter of 2012.

At the same time, there was no evidence that Yahoo!’s audience fell, so the yield from the average display ad fell considerably.

Yahoo! holds a special place among America’s Internet companies. In the United States, according to research firm comScore, it had a monthly audience of unique visitor that was above 192.9 million in May. That put it a very close second to Google Inc.’s (GOOG), which was 193.5 million. Because of its huge size, the trends set by Yahoo! almost certainly represent those of most of the balance of the industry.

States That Drink the Most Beer

The bane of display advertising today is that so many Web properties have decided to stake their futures on content delivered on small devices, which include, primarily, smartphones. All of the evidence indicates that advertisers will pay less for messages they post on these smaller screens. Actually, the amount marketers will pay for this content environment is much, much less than for traditional display ads that appear on personal computers (PCs). In an attempt to chase the online content audience as it migrates away from PCs, Internet companies have badly damaged future revenue prospects. The trouble is that people will watch content on smaller screens whether online content sites like it or not.

Most experts hope that falling display ad rates can be offset by the increase in video content on the Internet. Advertisers will pay a great deal more for video ads than display ads. So, there is a rush to create this sort of programming. But the likelihood that video can balance the drop in display rates appears unlikely.

Beyond Google’s YouTube, the amount of video posted on the Internet by large content companies is relatively small. In May, Google sites had 154.4 million unique video viewers, driven almost exclusively by YouTube. These visitors spent an average of 437 minutes on Google sites in May. After that, video viewership at other sites drops very sharply. For example, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) sites had 45.2 million unique video viewers in May. The average time these viewers spent watching video on Microsoft sites was only 36.9 minutes, barely more than a half-hour TV show.

Internet advertising may remain at current levels in terms of volume, but the monetary yield from these ads likely will never return.

Microsoft Internet Explorer Pushes Beyond Second Screen To Companion Web

“We’re at a tipping point with connected devices,” a recent blog post from Microsoft Microsoft‘s Internet Explorer team reads. “Every day, 3.6 million mobile devices and tablets are activated worldwide. That’s over five times more than the number of babies born each day!” They’ve got a point, but it is a sad irony for Microsoft that so few of those mobile devices run their software.

But Microsoft has sold more than 70 million Xbox 360s and has a very TV-centric followup, the Xbox One, coming in November. As Forbes.com contributor Tristan Louis points out in today’s post on Smarter TVs, ”the upcoming battle for the living room is a chance to redeem itself and turn its fortune around.” The parody video that Louis refers to shows all of the instances of the words “TV,” “television,” “sports” and “Call of Duty” in the launch announcement. Although the announcement raised the ire of hard core gamers, the emphasis on TV (and perhaps the two things TVs are most used for, watching sports and playing Call of Duty) must have been highly intentional.

Games have been Microsoft’s route into the living room, but that strong association is now an impediment to its more generalized assault of the living room. Non-gamers are probably thinking more about the future AppleApple TV than about the Xbox as their upgrade path to interactive TV. In response to this perception, Microsoft has launched a new program called “Companion Web.” The idea is to facilitate real time interactions between different devices. And because Microsoft has no footprint to speak of in the world of mobile, they are now trying to emerge as a unifying force between iOS and Android.

The problem Microsoft is trying to solve (other than the risk of their own irrelevance) is that “the majority of sites on the web are built for only one device at a time.” The user can search for related information to what they are watching on their TV, for instance, but real time it ain’t. And content owners can make second screen experiences, but they have tended to be operating system (and sometimes even device) specific. Microsoft is after a more generalized solution that does not impose an unmanageable burden on developers.

“Regardless of who makes the device or software that powers the device, the Companion Web enables the internet to bridge the gap between these devices,” the IE blog post reads. “For developers, Companion Web represents an opportunity to reuse code that works across multiple scenarios, enabling greater reach and ways to engage an audience. For consumers, Companion Web means you’ll seamlessly move from one device to the next, interacting with your photos, videos, music, movies, television shows, files, and more.”

Companion Web would seem to be a more generalized version of the Xbox SmartGlass, which also allowed you to interact with your TV via Windows devices and select iOS and Android devices, but only on very specific games and content. The promise of the Companion Web is of a much broader range of experiences that the user could have between devices.

So far, Microsoft has released three such “Companion Web experiences” working with outside developers. I became aware of the program through Luke Wroblewski who has created a version of his Polar app that works in this companion manner with Internet Explorer. As you can see in the video below, Polar uses IE’s snap mode to assign a “sidebar” portion of the screen (in this case a Surface tablet acts a s a proxy for a Windows 8/Xbox One enabled TV) to itself while the user uses the balance of the screen to watch Futurama.

Wroblewski demonstrates the ways that you can find polls with Polar about Futurama and watch the results update in real time while you are watching the show. You can imagine something like this being a lot of fun for big live TV events like the Oscars or the Super Bowl, where the amount of real time activity would be high and seeing how other people are reacting becomes part of the entertainment. Similarly, you can make up your own hashtags for polls in Polar so that the reactions you are monitoring are only a select group of people. Either way, mass or niche, the real time linkage with the content on the big screen really extends the idea of the Polar app by making these interactions available to a room full of people—each potentially interacting with their own mobile devices.

And, important to note (since this is IE, after all, that we are talking about) that this all uses standard open web technology. Specifically, Wroblewski tells me, Companion Web uses web sockets to create the real time connections between devices. He says, “you can make a connection between pretty much any two ‘modern’ Web browsers regardless of device.” One of the other really interesting things about the Polar demonstration is that, as I described in a recent post, it uses a multi-device web page that enables all kinds of input (touch, mouse and keyboard) depending on device. And in the Companion Web experience, all all of these inputs can be used to control the connected screen.

What the other “modern” browsers don’t have that Internet Explorer 10 has is this snap mode. If there was one thing that iOS 7 should have copied from Windows (instead of all that flatness stuff) it would have been snap mode. So these Companion Web experiences will work across virtually all devices (because they use standard web tech) but the Xbox One will retain an advantage of being the only way to uses these “companions” on the screen simultaneously with other activities. And Polar, I think, has shown how this could become a really powerful feature.

The other two Companion Web experiments released so far do not make use of this snap mode feature. DailyBurn, see video below, uses a smartphone or tablet to get real time data related to workouts you view on your TV. This app is clearly trying to appeal to users who may need some constructive excuse to get an Xbox One.

Mix Party, introduced in the (purposely?) obnoxious video below, allows people at a party to create real time, collaborative playlists with their phones. As with Polar, the real time aspect of this is part of the entertainment value. I’m not sure if DailyBurn is intended as a solo experience or if multiple people could monitor their own individual performance of a shared video workout or not, but Mix Party and Polar clearly have real time, fact to face interactions in mind.

What is interesting to me about this strategy is that there are some extra capabilities that Microsoft has built into IE 10/Xbox One (and likely will build more) that will give it an advantage as an app enabled web TV platform, but the apps developers write will also work well on all devices. This strategy of “progressive enhancement” is a comfortable one to developers because it keeps their options open. Allowing for these entropic possibilities is a smart way to get developers on board, which, in turn, could be the means to Microsoft’s resurgence through the big screen.

Features ‘Handwriting’ Simplify Use Google Translate

CALIFORNIA – Google is taking the handwriting feature in Google Translate. This feature allows users to write their own posts with hard letters like Japanese, Chinese, and Arabic, and then translated by their gadgets by Google Translate.

Google reveals, this feature is provided for the traveler who currently travel to countries with languages ​​that do not use the letters of the alphabet or has complicated letters.

Can imagine if a British tourist who was a walk to China and see the street names with writing that is not understood. With handwriting input features of Google Translate, its just write or draw a silly row of letters on his smartphone or tablet, and then stay translate into the desired language.

“Handwriting feature allows you to translate phrases, even if you yourself did not know and did not know how to type the character,” said Google product manager, Xiangye Xiao, as reported by CNet.

For example, you see the writing in Chinese characters, but you do not know how to type in the text. With Handwriting feature, you just need to mimic the shape of the piece and then translate it, “she added.

Handwriting feature has been provided by Google in 45 kinds of language that are considered complicated character. Among them are Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Laos, and Greece.

MySpace users threaten to sue after years of blogs deleted

MySpace has been accused of deleting years worth of users’ personal blogs and histories after the site underwent a $20 million relaunch last month.

The move was a bid to shed the site’s outdated image and attract a new teenage fanbase, after millions of users migrated to Facebook as their primary social networking site in the late 2000s.

Purchased by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation in 2005 for $580m, a decision Murdoch has since called a “huge mistake”, MySpace’s focus on music and entertainment over social interaction has been credited as one of the reasons behind its decline.

At its peak, the site boasted 125m users and more webpage visits than Google. It now has around 25m users.

In 2011 Specific Media Group and pop heartthrob Justin Timberlake jointly purchased the company for $35m, and have since attempted to rebrand the site for the teenage generation through campaigns with rapper Pharrell.

This sleek new makeover has resulted in the deletion of blogs, videos, private messages, posts and comments without prior warning, much to the fury of its remaining loyal users.

Distraught fans created a thread entitled ‘I want my blogs and classic myspace back’ to vent their frustration at the move one user called “crass arrogance”.

They continued: “You have stolen 6 years of blogs and something that is priceless to me and cannot be replaced.”

Another lamented the deletion of her blogs, writing: “Openly and freely I shared intimate moments that can not be relived or retold for they where experienced. I would revisit myspace religiously because of my blogs… Myspace did an ultimate back stab.” [sic]

MySpace responded to concerns with the soothing message that the information had not been lost forever.

It said: “Change isn’t easy and there has been a lot going on lately. We understand that this information is very important to you. Please understand that your blogs have not been deleted. Your content is safe and we have been discussing the best ways possible to provide you your blogs.”

Yahoo! to Live Stream Video of Second Quarter 2013 Earnings on Yahoo! Finance

Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) will live stream a video broadcast of the company’s second quarter financial results on Tuesday, July 16, 2013, at 2 p.m. Pacific/5 p.m. Eastern. The live stream will be broadcast from Yahoo!’s Sunnyvale studio and will be available exclusively on Yahoo! Finance at finance.yahoo.com.

The video will be archived after the event athttp://investor.yahoo.net and will be available for 90 days following the broadcast.

About Yahoo!

Yahoo! is focused on making the world’s daily habits inspiring and entertaining. By creating highly personalized experiences for our users, we keep people connected to what matters most to them, across devices and around the world. In turn, we create value for advertisers by connecting them with the audiences that build their businesses. Yahoo! is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., and has offices located throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific (APAC) and the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions. For more information, visit the pressroom (pressroom.yahoo.net) or the company’s blog (yahoo.tumblr.com).

Yahoo! is the trademark and/or registered trademark of Yahoo! Inc.

Microsoft Denies Spying Issues Skype

CALIFORNIA – Microsoft has denied allegations that the government says it gave the United States (U.S.) direct access to a number of Microsoft products, including SkyDrive, Outlook.com, Skype, for the U.S. government (U.S.).

Reported by Read Write, Tuesday (16/07/2013), the software giant’s rebuttal to respond to a report in The Guardian, which has channeled suspect Skype user data into the monitoring program PRISM National Security Agency (NSA) since 2011.

Microsoft confirmed the company has clear principles in responding to government demands for user information related to law enforcement and national security issues. Perusahana consumers insist only provide data in response to legal process and only permitaan adhere to certain accounts or identification.

“We appreciate our commitment to the user and in accordance with applicable law very seriously, so we provide only to respond to consumer data due process. To be clear, Microsoft does not give the government direct access to SkyDrive, Outlook.com, Skype, or Microsoft products the other, “explains Microsoft.

In the end, Microsoft said, when companies update product liability law, may in some circumstances have to retain the ability to provide information in response to requests by law enforcement or national security.

“That’s why, we argue that additional transparency will help everyone understand and debate the important issues,” said Microsoft.