Preparing your Website for IE 9


IE 9

IE9

Websites designed to take advantage of the unique features in Internet Explorer 9 provide an immersive user experience that can increase customer loyalty and drive traffic. To obtain these benefits, though, you’ll need to optimize your site to capitalize on IE 9.

The latest flagship browser from Microsoft is more than just an incremental update. It offers unprecedented integration between Windows and the Web, essentially extending the desktop experience to include the Web itself.

As our use of the Web has evolved, more people are embracing cloud-based applications such as GmailBox.net, and Mint.com. The experience of using sites like these is more like using a traditional desktop application, though the application lives out on the Web. IE 9 can provide a similar type of interactive experience for any Website. To start, any user can get this integration simply by dragging a Website icon to the Windows 7 task bar, just as you might with any software application.

Pinning a site to the task bar makes it more visible and directly accessible for the user. But to give users a reason to want to pin your site to the task bar–and more importantly, to give them the means to interact with your site as if it were an application installed on their local PC–you need to take advantage of Jump Lists, a Windows 7 feature that displays menu options for jumping directly to specific functions, or for accessing frequently or recently used features.

CREATING WEBSITES TARGETED AT IE 9 USERS

Pinning Facebook to the Windows 7 task bar provides little more than a simple shortcut to the site, but LinkedIn and Windows Live deliver a more integrated experience resembling a locally installed software application like Outlook. Adding Jump List tasks to your site is relatively simple, so why not give your visitors a reason to pin your site to their task bar?

Here’s a code snippet on how to do it

<META name=”msapplication-task”

content=”name=Task 1;action-uri=http://host/Page1.html;icon-uri=http://host/icon1.ico”/>

<META name=”msapplication-task”

content=”name=Task 2;action-uri=http://microsoft.com/Page2.html;icon-uri=http://host/icon2.ico”/>

Smple Jump List

Sample


MOVING FORWARD

Your Website can also add Jump List categories that extend its functionality beyond the five Jump List tasks. The Jump List categories allow you to go directly to such destinations as files, documents, or URLs. You can use SiteMode APIs to create a custom Jump List category with links that are unique to each specific user, such as a personal profile page.

The Jump List categories enable your site to deliver dynamic information to users even when they’re not actively engaged on the site. You can use this capability to provide access to user-specific history such as sites visited or files opened, or you can use it for alerts and notifications about activity related to the site–for example, new messages received or upcoming events.

To create a custom Jump List category, you must go through the following stages, as explained in Hilerio’s document:

Category Creation

First call the method for creating a custom category label. The example code shown below creates a custom category named ‘List1’. You have to call this method at least once before using any of the other methods associated with creating custom Jump List category actions. The category label won’t appear until the Jump List category is populated with at least one item.

window.external.msSiteModeCreateJumplist(‘List1’);

Item Creation

The example code below illustrates how to create three Jump List category list items named ‘Item1’, ‘Item2’, and ‘Item3’. The name parameter is followed first by a parameter defining the URL that the item will navigate to, and then by a parameter specifying the icon to display for the given item.

window.external.msSiteModeAddJumpListItem(‘Item 1’, ‘http://host/Item1.html&#8217;, ‘http://host/images/item1.ico&#8217;);
window.external.msSiteModeAddJumpListItem(‘Item 2’, ‘http://host/Item2.html&#8217;, ‘http://host/images/item2.ico&#8217;);
window.external.msSiteModeAddJumpListItem(‘Item 3’, ‘Item3.html’, ‘images/item3.ico’);

List Display

The preceding code creates the items for the list, but it does not display them. Use the following sample code to display the in-memory list of items on the actual Jump List:

window.external.msSiteModeShowJumplist();

Clear List

If the Jump List category is populated with site history or recent activities, those actions may expire. You can use the following code to clear the items from the custom Jump List category:

window.external.msSiteModeClearJumplist();

You can also add alerts to the Jump List for your Website.You can use the methods shown here to create and populate a custom Jump List category for your site. You can arrange to display a maximum of 12 items at one time in a custom category. Duplicate items are ignored; items that exceed the maximum or that don’t fit on the display due to resolution or font-size variations are not displayed.

Display Overlay Icons

One of the best features of IE 9 on Windows 7 is its ability to display an overlay icon on the pinned-site taskbar button. Why is the display overlay icon so important? Because a pinned site may be sitting idle, hidden by other sites or applications. The overlay icon gives you a way to display dynamic content or updates of things that are going on behind the scenes that may catch users’ attention and drive them to action.

You could display a small bell indicating an event or appointment, or an envelope icon to let the user know that a new message has arrived. The overlay icon appears in the lower-right corner of the pinned-site task bar button. The overlay icons are not visible if the site is not opened, however, or if the site is not actually pinned to the task bar.

The following code sample adds overlay1.ico on top of the associated task bar button for the pinned site, and includes a hover-over tool tip identifying the overlay icon with the string ‘Overlay 1’:

window.external.msSiteModeSetIconOverlay(‘http://host/images/overlay1.ico&#8217;, ‘Overlay 1’);

To clear the overlay icon, use the following code:

window.external.msSiteModeClearIconOverlay();

This series of examples is just a drop in the bucket. Check out Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 Guide for Developers for comprehensive coverage of the unique features of IE 9 and explanations of how to customize your Website to take advantage of them.

Bear in mind, though, that IE 9 is compatible only with Windows 7 and Windows Vista, meaning that your IE 9 customizations will be worthless for two out of three PCs. Keep things in perspective, and don’t go overboard investing time and effort to cater to this one browser.

Because businesses are slow to upgrade, consumers are leading the charge toward adopting Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 9. Consequently, these changes will have a direct impact with how the general public interacts with your site.

If your site targets average consumers, you should explore and take advantage of the unique features of IE 9. You don’t have to be an expert programmer, and you don’t have to redesign your entire Website to give your visitors a reason to pin your site to their task bar–and from there to deliver a more immersive, application-like experience.

Post dubbed from 🙂 :

PC World

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Firefox 4 Beats IE 9 [K.O.]


IE 9 Vs Firefox 4

IE 9 Vs Firefox 4

Users downloaded nearly 7 million copies of the new Firefox 4 in the 24 hours since its launch yesterday, Mozilla’s running tally claimed.

That number was almost triple the 2.4 million copies of Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) that Microsoft claimed were downloaded in its browser’s first day of availability last week. (Also see “Browser Feature War: IE9 vs Firefox 4 vs Chrome 9.”)

Mozilla officially launched Firefox 4 Tuesday at around 10:00 a.m. EDT, bagging an even million in the first three hours. According to Mozilla’s real-time calculator , about 6.5 million copies of Firefox 4 had been downloaded by 10:00 a.m. Wednesday.

But while Firefox 4’s first-day count trounced IE9’s, it fell short of the record established by Firefox 3.0 in mid-2008 when that browser was downloaded more than 8 million times. Then, Mozilla had pushed for a Guinness World Record with a “Download Day” campaign that urged users to flood its servers with requests. Firefox’s Guinness record still stands.

Mozilla

Not surprisingly, Firefox 4 is doing best in Europe, long a Mozilla stronghold.

Of the 7.6 million downloads counted by 11:30 a.m. ET, 44 percent went to users in Europe, while North America accounted for 26 percent. Asia came in third, with 20%, with South America, Africa and Oceania all in single digits.

Read all about it here

 

What is your favorite Browser? Find out Here


Browser war

Browser Wars

Of all the software on your PC, the Web browser may be the most important tool you use each day–but you may not give it much thought. The difference between a merely good browser and a great one, however, can be vast. The best browsers are those that stay out of your way: When you’re in the right browser, you feel as though you’re alone with your favorite site. The browser loads pages quickly, without crashing, and it can deftly handle any Web page you visit without prompting you to do anything extra.

But there’s more to a browser than just that. To satisfy power users, it must support a multitude of add-ons and extensions. It must be customizable. And to protect you online, it should do a good job of catching and blocking potential security threats–such as phishing or cross-site scripting attacks–and be resistant to malware.

We put the top five browsersInternet ExplorerFirefoxChromeSafari, and Opera–through an exhaustive set of lab-based tests and subjective examinations to see exactly how they stack up in terms of interface, security, extras, and speed.

User Interface

Browser interfaces all follow the same basic formula. Within those constraints, though, browsers exhibit some notable differences.

First off, you can tell quite a bit about a company’s approach to product development just by its browser interfaces. Apple’s Safari has a fair amount of fit and finish, for example. Google’s Chrome is spartan and unadorned, and Mozilla’s Firefox interface is usable but feels dated compared with newer competitors.

Slim is in. Most browsers now sport more-streamlined looks, with fewer, narrower toolbars–and in many cases on Windows, no menu bar to speak of. This sort of layout typically works well, since it usually includes a couple of drop-down menus in the toolbar that give you easy access to the browser’s features.

Firefox, Chrome, and Opera all let you apply different skins to the toolbars. Generally I find it pretty simple to locate and change skins in each of these browsers. Google, for instance, has an online repository that lets you browse and apply themes for Chrome. Mozilla has a similar site for Firefox. One nifty part of Firefox’s skins feature–called Personas–is that you can “try on” any of the skins simply by mousing over the thumbnails on the Personas site. In Opera, meanwhile, you browse themes from within a control pane in the app itself; that works okay, but the pane isn’t quite as easy to browse as the Chrome and Firefox skins galleries are.

We based our evaluation here on the ease of use, polish, flexibility, and layout of each browser’s interface. We also looked at whether the interface got in the user’s way too much, or whether it allowed Websites to take center stage.

In all, I vote for Google Chrome, because of simplicity of use and speed, what about you? let me know your vote, i think it counts.

Read more here: pcworld.com

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