Feeds

Mozilla invites all comers on post-tab future

But Microsoft just got here

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Having finally caught up to - and embraced - tabbed browsing in Internet Explorer, the ground could again be shifting for Microsoft.

Mozilla Labs has launched a competition challenging developers to re-invent the whole idea of tabbed browsing to help return to a clean and usable interface.

Tabs have become a mess as people spend a greater amount of time working and surfing in browsers, firing up more tabs that become hard to track, according to Mozilla.

The Labs Design Challenge Summer 09 is looking for ideas that help people create, navigate and manage multiple web sites within the same browser instance. Competition winners are due to be announced on July 8, 2009.

Mozilla Labs is the experimental wing of Mozilla, home to Firefox, which has been slowly nibbling away at IE's market share for years.

Tabs emerged in the late 1990s, and were initially adopted in the Mozilla Application Suite, Apple's Safari, and Opera during the early 2000s.

Tabs were a minor revolution for internet users because they meant that rather than having to keep opening new versions of your browser for each site you wanted to view, killing the machine's performance and exposing yourself to crashes, you could work within one browser.

It was just about that time - 2003 - when Microsoft began down playing the importance of the browser, suggesting there was nowhere really left for the browser to go. IE program manager Brian Countryman said there would be no more standalone versions of IE after the then planned IE 6 Service Pack 1. All future versions would be part of Windows. Countryman's scripted Q&A on Microsoft's site is no longer available, but you can read an extract here.

Firefox clearly changed that thinking and one of its features - tabs - debuted in IE 7.0 in 2006, and this spring, IE 8.0 introduced the ability to group tabs. This was Microsoft's take on addressing the growing tabs problem.

At the crux of the issue is tabs worked on slow machines, with dial-up internet connection where ten browser sessions was considered a lot, according to Mozilla.

"Today, 20 plus parallel sessions are quite common; the browser is more of an operating system than a data display application; we use it to manage the web as a shared hard drive. However, if you have more than seven or eight tabs open they become pretty much useless. And tabs don't work well if you use them with heterogeneous information," Mozilla Labs' site said.

You can find out more about the competition here. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
New Facebook phone app allows you to stalk your mates
Nearby Friends feature goes live in a few weeks
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.