A new development milestone of Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) is now available for download from Microsoft. The Redmond company has pushed IE9 all the way to Platform Preview 4, delivering a consistent evolution over the previous Build, Platform Preview 3. Early adopters will also notice that the software giant has delivered Platform Preview 4 two weeks earlier than the deadline announced initially, which was eight weeks after the release of Platform Preview 3. This only means that Microsoft is making headway with the development process of Internet Explorer 9, and that it is right on track to get the IE9 Beta launched next month, in September 2010.

“The fourth Platform Preview of Internet Explorer 9, available now, shows the opportunity of fully hardware-accelerated HTML5. You can run new test drive samples that show modern SVG and native JavaScript integration in action. More »

It’s not just Microsoft that’s building a new JavaScript engine for Internet Explorer 9, as Mozilla is doing the same for Firefox 4.0. With IE9’s codename Chakra, the Redmond company indicated a strong focus on providing the world’s fastest browser, constantly improving its Webkit Sunspider JavaScript results from one Platform Preview release to another.

As of Platform Preview 3 Build 1.9.7.8.74.6000, IE9 reduced the difference that separates it from Opera 10.6 and Chrome 6.0 to less than 100 milliseconds. This considering the fact that throughout the development of Internet Explorer 9 so far, the software giant emphasized that it was yet to introduce Sunspider focused enhancements.

However, while Opera and Chrome were still the fastest browsers in Sunspider in the second half of June when the Redmond company performed the tests, the preview version of Firefox 4.0 lagged IE9. More »

Windows 7 is “outrunning” Windows Vista in more ways than one. Microsoft has labored to ensure that the latest Windows client outpaces its precursor in a variety of scenarios, from startup time, to common usage tasks, and to shutdown, to name just a few. Another aspect in which Windows 7 has Vista beat is upgrade performance. According to Chris Hernandez, from the Windows Deployment team, Windows Vista Service Pack 1 to Windows 7 upgrades are at least 5% faster than Vista SP1 to Vista SP1 upgrades.

In fact, when it set out to do the operating system upgrade measuring contest, Microsoft was looking for at least a 5% threshold for upgrade scenarios involving Vista SP1 to Windows 7 was in comparison to jumps from Vista SP1 to Vista SP1. The Redmond-based company explained that the Windows Upgrade team monitored the Windows 7 upgrade performance during the development process, and that it compared it against its Vista baseline.

“The reason we choose to use a Vista SP1 -> Vista SP1 upgrade instead of Windows XP -> Vista as our baseline was for the following: Windows XP is a vastly different operating system compared to Vista and an upgrade from Windows XP -> Vista would not be a good comparison with Vista -> Windows 7. More »

We’ve mentioned hardware information utilities a couple of times in the past, these are programs that tell you about your computer and its setup, but this freeware tool, called HWiNFO32, leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination. If it were technically possible to tell you how many nuts and bolts are holding your PC together, it would do so. As it is you’ll just have to be content with every possible scrap of information regarding the hardware connected to your computer that it is possible to extract, from the manufacturer’s code name for your CPU chip, to whether or not your monitor supports an obscure feature called Blank to Black Setup. You can also set a benchmark, so you can track performance and monitor changes, there’s a Sensor page, that tells you all about the temperatures and voltages running around inside your machine, and you can save Reports, which might come in handy one day, if you need to track down a tricky fault.

With many innovations being made to today’s PC’s hardware, laptops and desktops have become much smaller and lighter. But one drawback to that light weight convenience is heat.

Computers today can pack more processing power in a much smaller and denser space, if you don’t keep them cool, you can pretty much guarantee a hardware failure will occur.

Fortunately, there is an easy way to keep tabs on hardware temperature using a free utility called CPUID.

HWMonitor from CPUID software is a hardware monitoring program that reads your PC Systems main health sensors, such as voltages, temperatures and fans speed. I mostly use it on my home PC to keeps tabs just on temperature since I use a laptop. More »