Chrome 32 Launches With Tab Indicators For Sound And Video, Improved Malware Blocking & New Win8 Metro Design


Google today released the latest stable version of its Chrome browser. Version 32includes many of the features that recently arrived in the beta channel, including improved malware blocking and tab indicators for when a site is playing sound, accessing the webcam and sending video to your Chromecast. Google uses a speaker icon, blue rectangle and red dot to indicate these different functions.

Those indicators are a godsend for anybody who has ever tried to figure out which tab suddenly started playing music or a video. Google first started playing with this idea in early 2013, but the beta only got this feature in November.

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This new version also includes Google’s new malware blocker, which arrived in the experimental Canary build of Chrome last October. With this, Google will automatically block any downloads its systems have flagged as malware.

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For Windows 8 users, the new version now sports a new look in “Metro” mode (Google still uses that term, even though Microsoft itself has moved away from it and left it rather unclear what the new terminology should be). In Metro mode, Chrome now looks like ChromeOS  with its integrated app launched on Windows. In previous versions, the Metro mode simply presented users with the regular Chrome interface. This never looked quite right, but with this new interface, Google is actually using the Metro mode to its advantage and is basically bringing ChromeOS to Windows.

Also new in this version is support for Chrome’s “supervised users” feature, which is officially still in beta. With this, family members can check on a kid’s browsing history, for example, and set up site restrictions through chrome.com/manage.

As always, this release also includes a good number of security fixes (21 in total), as well as stability and performance updates.

Excerpt: Techcrunch

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Windows 8 release date is October 26


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Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows 8, will launch on October 26, the company has confirmed.

Writing on the official ‘Blogging Windows’ site, Microsoft’s Brandon LeBlanc said that “Steven Sinofsky [Microsoft’s head of Windows] announced at Microsoft’s annual sales meeting that customers will be able to get Windows 8 – whether in upgrade fashion or on a new PC – starting on October 26”.

The software giant had previously said that Windows 8 would be available in October, but had not confirmed the date.

The new Windows 8 software includes an interface primarily for tablet computers, which Microsoft calls Metro, as well as an enhanced version of the existing Windows 7. Microsoft has described the update as its most radical, and is even producing its own range of computers, called Surface, to showcase it. It hopes to challenge Google and Apple for the dominance of the tablet category.

The latest trial version of the software, release Preview, expands on the Consumer Preview that Microsoft released in Barcelona earlier in the year, and is available free for users to download and test. Users are warned, however, that the free test expires and will entirely replace the existing Windows operating system.

Gabriel Aul, Director of Windows Programme Management, told the Telegraph that the release preview software was “all of what will be in the final product in terms of big features”. He added, however, that colours and themes were yet to be finalised.

The new software is designed to work as well on tablets as on traditional computers, and will replace Microsoft Windows 7, which has sold 525 million copies since it was released three years ago. Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer has already talked of 500million machines running Windows 8 within a year.
The Metro interface borrows heavily from Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform, while Microsoft has also redesigned the traditional ‘Start’ button, replacing it with a much more angular design that changes colour depending on which theme a user chooses. The Start menu has become an entire, customisable homescreen, and in desktop mode the Start button is no longer a permanent fixture