Microsoft withdraws controversial vomit advert

Microsoft has pulled an online advert from its dedicated Internet Explorer 8 website, Browser for the Better, after it sparked complaints from some viewers.

In the advert a wife looks on her husband’s laptop and vomits after seeing his browsing history. By the looks of it she had just finished off a bowl of custard. The husband then slips on her vomit whilst Dean Cain – yep, Superman Dean Cain – enters and explains how the whole situation could have been avoided with IE8’s private browsing feature.

Microsoft said the ad was supposed to be “tongue-in-cheek”. They said: “While much of the feedback to this particular piece of creative was positive, some of our customers found it offensive, so we have removed it.”

You can, unsurprisingly, still watch the advert on YouTube. Enjoy:

(via Brand Republic)

Internet Explorer 8 hacked within 24 hours

If you’re going to announce that your new browser is the safest on the market, you’d best be damned sure you’re right. It seems Microsoft releasing Internet Explorer 8 out of open beta yesterday was a red flag to a bull (or a challenge to a hacker), because within 24 hours a new exploit has been found in the browser.

The feat occurred at the annual CanSecWest security conference, which hosted its PWN2OWN hacking contest, where the exploit was found. A German hacker going by the name of Nils found it and claims a prize of $5000 in cash and a Sony Vaio laptop as a prize.

It’s only fair to mention that the same hacker managed to claim an additional $10,000 for successfully hacking Safari and Firefox. There’s still two days left for more browsers to succumb to the hacker’s codey wiles – perhaps Chrome and Opera will let their guard slip as well.

Internet Explorer 8 out today


Although we happily use a combination of Chrome and Firefox in the office, a new version of Internet Explorer is still big news. Of course, it’s been in open beta for the last year so none of its new improvements and features are big breaking news – especially as most of these changes will be old news to anyone who has been used Chrome, Firefox, Opera or Safari in the last few months. That said, if you’re in an office where Internet Explorer is the only authorised browser, then there’s quite a lot to be excited about. Well, maybe not “excited about”, but it should make your day slightly more enjoyable at least.

So, what kind of features are in Internet Explorer 8? Well there’s a lot under the bonnet to begin with – better security and malware protection mainly. External sources have estimated that IE8 catches two to four times as many malware attacks as other browsers, which is a really impressive step forward for a browser that has always been seen as vulnerable. Another, more tangibly testable, feature is Microsoft’s claim that the new Internet Explorer is the fastest browser on the market. Of course there are two caveats to that – firstly that we’re talking the difference of a fraction of a second, and secondly that with all the major players working on new versions of their browser this lead may well be short lived.

Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 is out – 5 reasons why you should try it


The biggest news this morning (that doesn’t relate to a German trade show) is that Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 is out. It’s still a developer’s preview version, but it seems stable enough for consumers to test. I’ll cut to the chase – you can get it here.

Internet Explorer is still used by a whopping 73% of internet users, and 47% of Tech Digest readers (42% Firefox, 7% Safari, 4% other, in case you were wondering). Why do so many people use it? Well, almost certainly because it comes as standard on Windows machines. Many people can’t be bothered to change the default. At one point in 2003, IE had 95% market share.

A little history, then. IE6, released in 2001, was a big pile of awful. It was insecure and heavily criticised, which let Firefox (and Apple, too) take quite a big chunk of market share. IE7 was playing catchup, adding tabs and better security, but IE8 looks game-changing, and a strong challenger for Firefox 3.0. Click over the jump to find out why…

Internet Explorer 8 will follow web standards by default. Yeah…


It seems as if Microsoft quite likes this concept of adhering to open standards, at least in word, with the news that the next incarnation of Internet Explorer, version 8, will by default display web pages as if they are standards-compliant.

If you’ve never delved into the dark world of web coding, then you’d be forgiven for wondering what all the fuss is about. However, the way that different web browsers interpret the code that underlies a web page varies.

Yes, there are standards, but unfortunately they’ve both evolved and been partially ignored by a number of vendors, including Microsoft, for years now.