Google's VP, search products and user experience, Marissa Mayer, in a report on Search Engine Land last week stated that new search option features were introduced and designed to eliminate inconsistency in how Google presented search results. As the new search results page now brings more search options and brighter displays than what was formerly the experience.

The new search options appear in the left-hand column: replacing the former 'All results' area that allowed you to switch between different types of searches (images, news, maps and so on) with new tabs for these services. Google by default guesses at the modes it thinks are most relevant to users search. But the 'More' tab gives you access to the full range of search services Google offers. If you need Video mode, and that’s not automatically suggested, you can select More, choose Video and get those results.

Also additional to the earlier enhancements: a mobile version of Google Search results for movies, making it even easier to find the latest holiday blockbuster playing in your area. From the web browser on your iPhone, Palm WebOS, or Android-powered device, simply search for (movies), and then tap on the 'More movies' link - then you can either browse a list of movies or select the 'Theaters' button to view a list of the ones near you. Also there is the added functionality to play trailers right on your phone, access movie ratings, find the closest theatre, and view upcoming showtimes, this new search feature is sure to make entertainment options on the go much easier.

However, most users are actually still viewing the new user interface in the wild. Google Blogoscoped has instructions on how to enable the new feature.

Google Search: New Interfaces, Movies And More...

Security advisory guidance and work-arounds for dealing with the zero-day exploit aimed at Internet Explorer was released by Microsoft on Monday night. The vulnerability in Internet Explorer was posted in a mailing list to Bugtraq security on Friday, and according to the report the attack code affects both Internet Explorer 6 and the newer IE7.

Microsoft had confirmed that the exploit code published last week can compromise PCs running older versions of Internet Explorers. The advisory confirmed that the vulnerability affects IE 6 on Windows 2000 Service Pack 4, and IE 6 and IE 7 on supported editions of XP, Vista, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008.

However, IE users running Internet Explorer 7 on Vista can configure the browser to run on Protected Mode to limit the impact of the vulnerability. Also recommended is the setting of the Internet zone security to 'High' to protect against the exploit. The 'High' setting will disable JavaScript, which currently is the only confirmed attack mode.

Microsoft officially stated that IE 5.01 Service Pack 4 and IE 8 on all supported versions of Windows are not affected. However, it declined to state whether the patch for the flaw will come bundled with its Security updates set for December 8.

Security Advisory On Zero-Day Exploit - Microsoft

Announced on July 7, 2009, the Google Chrome OS is finally slated for preview on Thursday. According to a report by TechCrunch, the event is planned at Google headquarters in Mountain View, California. The plan is to give some technical background information as well as show off some demos.

Chrome OS - running on Open Source platform targets the perpetually connected, and is set to define the line between browser and future OS. It sent shivery down Microsoft Spine when the Search Magnate earlier declared it public.

Also expected at the event is the announcement of the actual launch date for the new Chrome OS.

However, tech gossips across the net hinted that the launch will be slated early next week, but the new report only points to technical preview, likely in the form of source code. Developers would soon be getting a chance to peek at the new platform and build applications for it.

Expectations are high on the part of analysts, but what it means for the average user? We will have to wait and see.

Chrome OS Overview Planned

According to a post on the official Mozilla blog, about a quarter-million people are running Firefox 3.6 preview version. Also, the chairman of the Mozilla Foundation, Mitchell Baker, echoed same in her personal blog earlier this week that 1-in-4 browser users run Firefox. Firefox has 25% market share, about 330 million users world wide.

Firefox's share growth has fueled Mozilla's ambitions - Mozilla at the weekend updated the beta of Firefox 3.6 to version 2, following the launch of Beta 1 on October 30.

However, Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE), still lead all rivals with 63.3%, while Apple's Safari, Google's Chrome and Opera Software's Opera followed, in that order, with 4.4%, 3.9% and 2.3%, respectively.

The growth of Firefox has had another important effect: bringing standards to the forefront of web development. Mozilla is set to launch Firefox 3.6 release candidate on November 26th, and the final build is expected before the end of the year.

Firefox Claims A Quarter Usage - Mozilla

Microsoft unveiled two new exclusive brand Advertising opportunities on Windows 7 (Windows Theme Experience and Windows Personalization Gallery). The Windows 7 desktop space has been made available for advertisers, who'll create Windows UI themes - customized backgrounds, audio clips, and other elements that highlight their brand. These Windows 7 theme experiences are being tested by a handful of brands as part of a pilot program that will run until October 2010.

Though, Microsoft has long allowed PC manufacturers to customize Windows desktop, the new advertiser themes are different, given that users will have to download and install the ad pitch. Whereas, in the later, customized logos are foisted on users.

Darren Huston, Microsoft corporate vice president of the Consumer & Online organization, stated that the new Windows Theme Experience and Windows Personalization Gallery in Windows 7 allow consumers to customize their technology to reflect the things in life they are most passionate about, and he stressed that the new products are Microsoft innovation and technology coming together to enable top global brands to reach audiences in new and interesting ways.

However, analysts have viewed the new incursions as counter to Redmond's grand scheme of creating an elegant Windows 7 experience. And had further advised that Microsoft should lock down the desktop, if indeed they clarmored for Mac experience.

Windows 7 Ad-themed Desktops

Sophos senior security advisor, Chester Wisniewski, in a blog post revealed that Windows 7 is 'vulnerable' to 8 out of 10 known viruses. The test findings were obtained by Sophos team planting ten instances of known malware onto a PC running Windows 7.

Despite Microsoft's hyped claims, Windows 7 disappointment came just like earlier versions of Windows. However, the company was fast to respond to this results: Microsoft accused the security industry rival of exaggerating the tests results that purported to show security features in the new Windows 7 operating system fail to block 80% of malware threats.

Microsoft's director of Windows Enterprise Client Security, Paul Cooke, stated that Sophos' methodology was flawed, in part because the testers did not take advantage of Microsoft security tools, such as Internet Explorer's SmartScreen filter (SmartScreen filter will notify a user when attempted download software is unsafe), that are not directly part of Windows 7 but to which an ordinary user would have access.

Cooke, however, agreed with Sophos' recommendation that Windows users need run anti-virus software on their PCs, irrespective of platform, including Windows 7. Microsoft Security Essentials, includes an anti-virus component, and its a free download.

Malware Threats! Windows 7 Vulnerable

Google's open-source Closure Tools project, commenced Thursday, is an attempt to help developers in creating Web sites and Web applications. Google being a strong proponent of JavaScript based programming, intends to help with writing, debugging, and optimizing heavy-duty JavaScript by the program.

The Closure Compiler, is first in the suite of software packages, it tends to boil down a JavaScript program to smaller codes to run faster. The compiler removes dead code, then rewrites and minimizes what's left so that it will run fast on browsers' JavaScript engines. Also, Closure Inspector, is an extension for Firefox's Firebug add-on designed to help programmers understand and debug the rewritten JavaScript program. Another add-on for the Google Page Speed extension lets programmers see how much the compiler helped.

The Closure Library, second in the list, is a collection of prebuilt JavaScript code that lets programmers handle relatively complicated technology. And last on the list, Closure Templates, extensive pre-written codes to ease creation of JavaScript and HTML user interfaces. They are components that can be composed to form user interface, instead of having to create one big template per page.

Google plans to make the compiler available as a Web application hosted on its Google App Engine service.

Google's Open-Source Closure Tools Project

Microsoft has setup a new look for its MSN home page. Athough the update is scheduled for a later launch - notably early next year, according to an MSN representative. Microsoft has made available public preview of the redesigned MSN Home page.

The new MSN portal as seen in the preview, debut major upgrades, freshening up the popular destination with social networking tools: integrated Facebook and Twitter feeds.

This latest move by Microsoft is the first step in a systematic process to upgrade the entire MSN network. MSN is making an effort to offer localized content with Local Editions. Local Edition contents such as: weather forecasts, event listings, local sport scores, and traffic updates will serve to leverage its integration with Bing search engine.

Microsoft, however, states that the main purposes of the update are to declutter the MSN homepage and to refresh its outdated look.

Microsoft Revamps MSN Home