Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Maxthon Nitro: how it all started

By Maxthon Web Browsers
Here, at Maxthon’s San Francisco office, when we saw this: http://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-is-building-a-new-browser-as-part-of-its-windows-10-push/  we did a double take. That was the second major browser company touting a ‘lighter, simpler and more minimalist browser’ project in less than 6 months. The first was Mozilla, leaked in August just after Chris Beard was named its new CEO.  Here’s a link to a cache-d version of their blog that was unpublished within 24 hours of it being published on August 7, 2014. http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:bmtHpXU_mXIJ:https://blog.mozilla.org/verdi/463/lightspeed-a-browser-experiment/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=aff-maxthon-newtab
Let’s check and see who started what first…
Maxthon —> ‘Nitro’, started in March of 2014
Mozilla —>  ‘Lightspeed’ started in July of 2014
Microsoft —> ‘Spartan,’ started Fall of 2014.

Yep. Mozilla and Microsoft are copying Maxthon. We started the lightweight/spartan browser trend. In March of 2014 we kicked off a project to create a *very* lightweight browser with minimal feature set and SUPER performance.  We knew that if we simplified the UX load and all of the processes that needed to exist to support skins, plug-ins and tons of other features we could make the core speed faster. In a March 21, 2014 email one of our engineers summarized the concept of Nitro to me this way, “It will not be feature rich, in fact, I would go as far as it is “bare” minimum. What it lacks in feature set size will be made up for in:

start-up speed
fetching
rendering speed and stability.”

This is an important distinction to remember.  To reap gains in start-up time, page fetching and rendering and stability something had to give. And that something was a large list of features and tools. Things like the screenshot utility, split-screen, cloud services and add ons. All of these come with a significant performance and stability hit. But, we were OK with it — as we knew from looking at our detailed user data pool that *most* web browser users do NOT use most of the features. We mention this now because as the more traditional Maxthon users discover Nitro, the more they are asking for the favorite features to be added.  You can’t have all of that super speed without sacrificing some of your favorite features.  (Even Chrome acknowledges that limitation.) Here’s a very short side-by-side to help you decide which version of our PC browsers to use and why…

If you want… Maxthon Nitro Maxthon 4 Cloud Browser
Fastest start-up time X
Fastest page rendering X
Smartest caching and pre-fetching X
Minimalist UX X
Cross Platform Cloud Services X
Add-ons/Plug-ins X
Screenshot capture X
Mx Notes X

Bottom line, if you’re the sort of browser consumer who likes to customize, tinker and use a combination of skins and add-ons, Nitro was not made for you.  You should stick to Maxthon 4 — our Cloud Browser.  It’s feature rich, cross-platform and still incredibly fast. BUT – if you’re a more minimalist browser user you should give Nitro a try.  It’s so clean and fast you sometimes forget you’re browsing the web. It feels almost like you’re looking at locally-hosted webpages. Having said that, you can bet that, as we have before ,we are now looking at Nitro and seeing which of our most popular features we may be able to add back to Nitro without sacrificing any of its speed.

Stay Tuned!

Thursday, January 08, 2015

The latest version of Maxthon Nitro is available today!

By Maxthon Web Browsers

We are happy to announce Maxthon Nitro Version 1.0.0.3000.

It’s a patch version of Maxthon Nitro 1.0.0.2000. Most crash issues were resolved to stabilty and rendering speed.

Downloads:

Installer version:

http://dl.maxthon.com/mxnitro/mx_nitro_1.0.0.3000_492955e8120038c4026da698bc76fe8b.exe

Portable version:

http://dl.maxthon.com/mxnitro/mx_nitro_1.0.0.3000_a784899cdc08c27f79fe11646a2ba5ec.zip

Try it out and let us know what you think!

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

2015 Browser Wars: Yahoo’s Slimy Web Browser ‘Upgrade’ Ruse

By Maxthon Web Browsers

All that’s old is new again.  Over the holidays we got not one, but three signs that the browser wars are alive and well in 2015.  They appear to be in one of their cyclical, heating-up phases. Today we’ll focus on how Yahoo, Mozilla, and Google are prompting users with false upgrade warnings to switch browsers in what amounts to a forced upgrade. A term in the new Yahoo/Mozilla deal is the not so subtle effort Yahoo is now making to goad their email users into tossing whatever browser they currently use and upgrade to Firefox.  Google is doing something similar for different strategic reasons.  Each (Yahoo and Google) is pressuring their webmail user base to move over to either Chrome or Firefox by reading what’s known as the web user’s browser user agent string and then prompting them with a conditionally-surfaced upgrade warning that implies that things won’t work right unless said user switches browsers. (The user agent string is  a piece of code that identifies a browser by its type.)  When someone using a browser that isn’t Firefox  for Yahoo email they trigger an update pushdown message.  Google web product users get something that looks like the image below.unnamed (Google products mistakenly identify Maxthon as a version of Chrome because both browsers use Webkit as a rendering engine.)   This is the kind of user mail we started receiving the day Yahoo implemented the Firefox ‘forced upgrade.’

“Since purchasing a new laptop with Windows 8.1, I am not able to use enhanced Yahoo email using Maxthon. I keep getting a message saying I am using an unsupported browser, and instructions to download Firefox. 
I am a big fan of Maxthon and have been using it for over 9 years. But the above is an issue I need to get resolved…Yahoo keeps taking me back to Basic Mail which has no features at all.”

Let’s get one thing straight: there is no technical reason you should have to use Firefox to use the new Yahoo email.  Nor do you need a ‘supported’ browser like Chrome to use Google’s web products.  In a word, all of that ‘you need to upgrade to a supported browser‘ messaging is bullshit. It has nothing to do with technology.

Maxthon uses the same open source rendering and javascript engine code base that just about every other web browser also uses: WebKit and V8.  However, that’s not what Yahoo and Google would have you believe. In Yahoo’s case, they are proactively redirecting you to their older webmail product to FORCE you to upgrade and use Firefox. (As our 9 year customer laments…It’s either upgrade to Firefox or not be able to use the new Yahoo mail. ) It has been interesting to watch both Yahoo and Google wise up and start using this tactic but it’s not hard for anyone in the industry to understand why. Yahoo’s growth has been stagnant and slipping for years. It hasn’t weathered the shift to mobile and apps well.  In a world of apps and mobile, Yahoo remains a big bunch of noisy, over-stuffed websites. Google, certainly far from desperate :) ,  is trying to solve a slightly different problem: unifying the experience behind a single login to be able to cross promote better. After years of fumbling around with silo-ed web products, each company finally awakened to the fact that to survive (Yahoo) and continue growing (Google) they needed to knit together their product ecosystems into a walled garden. Monkeying with browser upgrades and support is a key tool in that effort. In Yahoo’s case they’re likely getting a monetary bounty for every Firefox conversion they drive. (Or the activations offset what Yahoo has to pay Mozilla for all of the search traffic driven by Firefox.) Probably both. Probably tiered in some way.  In Google, they are growing Chrome — which gets them closer to a reality where they can drive all of the PPC and search advertising they require through their own products and thus not need to pay any search/ppc referral partners.   This ‘unsupported browser’ smokescreen is a key part of keeping those efforts on the down/low. And here’s where history repeats itself. The messaging Yahoo and Google are using with these upgrades is essentially the same argument used by Microsoft in its defense of the Netscape anti-trust suit in the late 90s.  “We have to make IE the default browser – it’s totally interwoven with the Windows operating system!  Things won’t work right if they use something other than IE. ” Ironic that Mozilla is now party to the same tactic its ‘father’ — Netscape —  labelled as unfair and anti-competitive. Those of you who are old enough to remember the DoJs’ anti-trust suit remember the crocodile tears were thick, thick, thick from Microsoft and Netscape … Next time: Microsoft’s browser strategy is far from dead…It’s baaaaaack! :)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Nitro Web Browsers’ Next BIG Steps

By Maxthon Web Browsers

Hey guys!

As we move closer to the first FINAL release of Nitro Web Browser, we are looking for a group of people who may be interested in participating in the beta program. First step is to fill out >>THIS<< survey.

We will follow up with users who are interested with next steps.

Let me know if you have any questions below and thanks for all your support!

Cheers,

Maxthon

Friday, November 14, 2014

HTML5 Fixes and Optimizations in v4.4.3.2000 for PC!

By Maxthon Web Browsers

Today, we are happy to let you know that Maxthon Version 4.4.3.2000 is available for you to try!

In this version, some bugs like HTML5 videos playback problem, HTML5 file download problem, and the address bar have been optimized

Please try out this final version and let us know what you think.

Downloads:

Installer version:
http://dl.maxthon.com/mx4/mx4.4.3.2000.exe
MD5: 0dcb91d957ed5407dd40b0ea77e5b410

Portable version:
http://dl.maxthon.com/mx4/maxthon_portable_4.4.3.2000.7z
MD5: 65ff9d595b93ebc2b74edfb9a86b6d59

Changelog for 4.4.3.2000[2014-11-14]

Optimizations:
-Optimized Address bar

Fixes:
*Address bar crash
*Some HTML5 Videos playback problems
*Support of HTML5 file download

Changelog for 4.4.3.1000 [2014-11-7]

New features:
Feature guidence center on start up.

Fixes:
*Sometimes switching Languages Spell check is not effective.
*Spell check does not work for some languages.
*Fixed two XSS leaks.
*Webkit core does not support document.load sufficiently.
*Optimized form error notification.
*Optimized the support of download file names with special characters.

Changelog for 4.4.3.800Beta [2014-10-23]:

New Features:
+Screenshot feature guidence
+Hints to some features in Settings page
+Importing bookmarks from file/Folder supports create New Folder/ Clear Bookmarks

Optimizations :
-Optimized Quick access resources

Fixes:
*Cloud push- to share with friends can not identify phone number 170
*Unable to delete more than 20 set Homepages

Changelog for 4.4.3.600Beta [2014-09-25]:

New Features:
+Maxthon features guidence
+Tool bar Little Red Dot notification

Optimizations :
-Optimized Quick access resources

Fixes:
*Unable to log into iCloud
*With a high DPI, the browser zoom would present some Webpage display anomalies when the zoom is set to 100%
*After switching user account, the account panel would still display the previous account information.

To better and more efficiently solve the problems you meet during the usage, for any suggestions or bug reports, we do hope you may go to ‘Product Support ‘ area and report/describe by a new separate thread for each problem/topic. We will read each thread and update the follow-up status then. Meanwhile, some problems are probably be left out if they are stated in other thread.
Thanks very much for your cooperation!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Download the latest version of Nitro Web Browser today

By Maxthon Web Browsers
We are so excited to announce the latest version of Nitro Web Browser. We are moving closer and closer to the final version, so your feedback at this stage is absolutely critical and appreciated.Today, we are proud to introduce the brand new menu in Nitro Web Browser as well as several bug fixes in v1.0.0.800. We worked very hard on this release especially the main menu but we’re not done yet. We have plenty in store to make Nitro to be the best power user web browser ever.

To give the new version of Nitro web browser a shot, click the button below. 
To open Nitro Web Browser, simply click the button above. Please note, this version is only available for PC users. For the portable version, please click here

Don’t forget, we need your feedback to continue improvements and create a web browser for users just like you.
Any questions? Email us at Lightning@maxthon.com and thanks again for helping us make the best web browsers possible.

Best,

The Maxthon Team

 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Hold on to your socks! Maxthon v4.4.3.1000 for PC is here! Behold and enjoy!

By Maxthon Web Browsers

In this Final version, you’ll find fixes of some of the bugs reported by you guys, such as Spell check issues. Some functions have been optimized as well.

Please try out this final version and let us know what you think.

Enjoy!

Downloads:

Installer version:
http://dl.maxthon.com/mx4/mx4.4.3.1000.exe
MD5: 312ab26c92d306cb80d361a872a8d658

Portable version:
http://dl.maxthon.com/mx4/maxthon_portable_4.4.3.1000.7z
MD5: 2697c1c18198aa4c8a91aae2d27c6333

 

Changelog for 4.4.3.1000 [2014-11-7]


New features:
Feature guidence center on start up.

Fixes:
*Sometimes switching Languages Spell check is not effective.
*Spell check does not work for some languages.
*Fixed two XSS leaks.
*Webkit core does not support document.load sufficiently.
*Optimized form error notification. 
*Optimized the support of download file names with special characters.

Changelog for 4.4.3.800Beta [2014-10-23]:

New Features: 
+Screenshot feature guidence 
+Hints to some features in Settings page
+Importing bookmarks from file/Folder supports create New Folder/ Clear Bookmarks

Optimizations :
-Optimized Quick access resources

Fixes:
*Cloud push- to share with friends can not identify phone number 170
*Unable to delete more than 20 set Homepages


Changelog for 4.4.3.600Beta [2014-09-25]:

New Features: 
+Maxthon features guidence 
+Tool bar Little Red Dot notification


Optimizations :
-Optimized Quick access resources

Fixes:
*Unable to log into iCloud
*With a high DPI, the browser zoom would present some Webpage display anomalies when the zoom is set to 100%
*After switching user account, the account panel would still display the previous account information. 

 

To better and more efficiently solve the problems you meet during the usage, for any suggestions or bug reports, we do hope you may go to ‘Product Support ‘ area and report/describe by a new separate thread for each problem/topic. We will read each thread and update the follow-up status then. Meanwhile, some problems are probably be left out if they are stated in other thread. Thanks very much for your cooperation!

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Congratulations to our Affiliates Winners for October

By Maxthon Web Browsers

Congratulations to October’s winners!!

1st place: Andrzej S.

2nd place: Furkan A.

3rd place: Vinay K.

 

We will be contacting you shortly about your prizes! Thanks to everyone who participated! Stay tuned as we will announce the next contest shortly.

 

Interested in joining Maxthon’s Affiliates Program? Click here!

Saturday, November 01, 2014

How safe are you while browsing the Internet? Maxthon’s got you covered!

By Maxthon Web Browsers

 

The Internet can be a dangerous place. One of Maxthon’s biggest goals is to provide users with safe and secure Internet browsing that won’t be compromised by hackers or third-party advertisers. We take several measures on our end to make sure your computer and your web history remains safe.

Here are just a few steps you can take when it comes to ensure you’re safely browsing the Internet and keeping important information – such as usernames, account information, chat logs, etc - out of the hands of others.

 

 

 

 

1st Step: Check the URL in the address bar

Typically, websites use the prefix ‘http://’, but secure websites will use ‘https://’ – the extra ‘s’ means your connection to the website is encrypted. 

 

 

 

 

2nd Step: Check for the green briefcase symbol

In Maxthon, when a site is secure, you’ll see a green briefcase that will show the website is verified and certified. We confirm through third parties that websites really are who they say they are.

 

3rd Step: If you get an SSL warning, do not click through

If Maxthon believes the website you’re trying to connect to isn’t what it should be, a warning will be displayed about the site’s security certificate being untrusted. To be safe, you shouldn’t proceed unless you know or understand the technical reason why you’ve received the warning.

 

Maxthon’s EXTRA step: Triple threat security system

We have an arsenal of security systems and processes to keep you and your data safe, so you can freely enjoy your web the way you want it, when you want it, wherever you want it. We look at security across three major areas: (a) Encryption for over the air (OTA) processes; (b) Spreading out that data across multiple servers and (c) maintaining strict personnel practices.

Step A: Encryption for over the air (OTA) processes – Your web browsing history, passwords, messages, etc. are encrypted in the same method as used by the US government. This means anyone trying to ‘listen in’ or hack your information will be unable to decipher the message.

Step B: Spreading out that data throughout several different servers – Your (now-encrypted) data is then cryptographically ‘hashed’ and distributed to different servers in our architecture. Your information gets chopped up into multiple chunks, which are separately encrypted.

Step C: Maintaining strict personnel practices – Finally, we take a serious approach to personnel practices. Maxthon employs a small, core team of network operations specialists who can access any of the servers where your data (now-encrypted and now-hashed) lives.

Finally, there’s the ‘key’ – which is how to unlock this data. Some cloud services maintain the customer’s ‘key’ in their cloud. Maxthon keeps that key limited to the physical device – meaning you would have to have physical possession of the device in question to access decrypted Cloud content.

Simply put, we refuse to make it easy for hackers. If an unauthorized individual or government agency tries to hack your web browser looking for data or files, they will be met with a wall of security custom-designed by Maxthon, with the sole purpose of keeping your information safe.

 

 

Thank you again for supporting Maxthon Web Browsers.

 

Cheers,

The Maxthon Team

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Maxthon Cloud Browser for Windows v4.4.3.800 Beta is now available

By Maxthon Web Browsers

In this beta version, you’ll find some added ‘feature guidance’ such as screenshot function, Optimizations of some features, and the fixed bugs.

Please try out this beta version and feel free let us know your thoughts.

Download:

Installer version:
http://dl.maxthon.com/mx4/mx4.4.3.800-beta.exe
MD5: 5d7600f86ccd3dfa625fef301204cad8

Portable version:
http://dl.maxthon.com/mx4/maxthon_portable_4.4.3.800-beta.7z
MD5: d261120f078150c26104756c6ca389f8

Changelog for 4.4.3.800Beta [2014-10-23]:

New Features:
+New Help Desk and Feature Discovery
+Instructional Guide to Windows Settings
+Importing bookmarks from file/Folder supports create New Folder/ Clear Bookmarks

Optimizations :
– Optimized Quick access resources

Fixes:
* Cloud push- to share with friends can not identify phone number 170
* Unable to delete more than 20 set Homepages

 

Changelog for 4.4.3.600Beta [2014-09-25]:

New Features:
+Maxthon features guidence
+Tool bar Little Red Dot notification

Optimizations :
-Optimized Quick access resources

Fixes:
*Unable to log into iCloud
*With a high DPI, the browser zoom would present some Webpage display anomalies when the zoom is set to 100%
*After switching user account, the account panel would still display the previous account information.

To better and more efficiently solve the problems you meet during the usage, for any suggestions or bug reports, we do hope you may go to ‘Product Support ‘ area and report/describe by a new separate thread for each problem/topic. We will read each thread and update the follow-up status then. Meanwhile, some problems are probably be left out if they are stated in other thread.
Thanks very much for your cooperation!