Microsoft launches Internet Explorer 9
Web browser has improved graphics abilities, security, privacy and reliability options
Microsoft has launched its Internet Explorer 9 web browser, which it says has better graphics handling, security and privacy features and is designed to compete with Firefox, Chrome, Safari and others.
The browser operates in 39 languages and has already had 40 million downloads during beta testing, making it Microsoft's most downloaded browser beta, according to the company.
The browser has also gained more than 2% usage on Windows 7.
"The best experience of the web is on Windows with Internet Explorer 9," said Dean Hachamovitch, corporate vice president, Windows Internet Explorer, at Microsoft. "Today, the Web can unlock the power and performance of the best PC hardware through Windows and Internet Explorer 9. Websites also can act more like applications within Windows 7, with features such as Pinned Sites. In less than a year, Internet Explorer 9 went from early preview to final release with the help of hardware partners and the Web community."
Internet Explorer 9 is designed to enable a more immersive web experience through features such as Pinned Sites and Jump List, which enable users to put their websites directly on the Windows 7 Taskbar and then perform tasks related to those websites, such as check their inboxes, change the music station, accept friend invitations or see breaking news.
"What people care about on the Web is their sites, not their browser. That's why Internet Explorer 9 is about making those sites shine. The browser is the theatre, and the sites people visit are the play, and that is what Internet Explorer 9 makes better - your favourite sites," said Ryan Gavin, senior director, Windows Internet Explorer, at Microsoft.
The new version of Internet Explorer uses hardware-accelerated HTML5 spanning all graphics, text, audio and video to improve browsing performance.
Internet Explorer 9 also harnesses the power of the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), unlocking 90% of the PC's power, meaning that web developers can now build faster, more immersive websites that feel like native applications using HTML5, as well as runtimes such as Adobe Flash Player and Microsoft Silverlight.
"The next-generation Web is here today with Internet Explorer 9, accelerated by AMD's incredible computing platforms, our award-winning AMD Fusion Accelerated Processing Units with Directx11-capable graphics and AMD Radeon graphics cards," said John Taylor, director of Client Product and Software Marketing, AMD. "The next generation is defined by immersive gaming, rich video and fast, compelling, application-like experiences, validating the fact that GPU compute power and the ability to remove barriers between the CPU and GPU are highly relevant to the day-to-day computing performance that consumers expect and demand."
Both Adobe Flash Player and Microsoft Silverlight will take advantage of the hardware acceleration in Internet Explorer 9 in their next versions.
"Internet Explorer 9 has moved the bar in hardware acceleration, enabling Flash Player to tap into the GPU and creating a win-win situation for our mutual customers who want fast, rich content experiences," said Paul Betlem, senior director, Flash Player Engineering at Adobe. "With Internet Explorer 9 and Flash Player taking advantage of the GPU, we continue the collaboration with Microsoft to further optimise performance. Both companies are also working closely to advance and streamline controls for managing Flash Player privacy and security settings in Internet Explorer 9."
Internet Explorer 9 also has improved security, privacy and reliability features and technologies, designed to keep users safer online.
Microsoft has introduced Tracking Protection in the new web browser, allowing users to control the data they share while surfing the web, by letting them choose what websites they prefer not to exchange information with.
Users do this by adding Tracking Protection Lists to Internet Explorer 9, and partners such as PrivacyChoice, TRUSTe, Abine and Adblock Plus have already published these lists.
The new web browser also provides the first Download Manager with integrated SmartScreen malware protection and SmartScreen download reputation, which is a browser feature that uses reputation data to remove unnecessary warnings for well-known files and show more severe warnings when the download has a higher risk of being malicious.
According to Microsoft, studies show that Internet Explorer 9 blocks 99% of socially engineered malware attacks, five times more than Firefox and 33 times more than Google Chrome.
Users can download Internet Explorer 9 from http://www.beautyoftheweb.com/#/download