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Microsoft has unveiled what it is calling its “fastest, safest” internet browser yet, saying Internet Explorer 9 will redefine the way ordinary consumers interact with the web.
The beta version of IE9 is available for free public download from tonight at midnight, with Microsoft’s Colin Erasmus describing the new browser as a “game-changing” release.
“IE9 will change the web forever. It delivers a fast, clean and safe browsing experience that puts the focus on the sites and programmes that people care about. We aren’t just talking about a new web, we’re helping to bring it to Windows customers around the world,” said Erasmus.
Microsoft says IE9 is built around the knowledge that the browser is critical to the way people interact with their computers.
“We know that most people spend more than half of their time on the PC in the browser. Our goal with IE9 is to deliver the best browsing experience out there,” he said.
The company says IE9 will make websites and web applications look and perform as though they were part of the computer, using the full capabilities of Windows and hardware so that websites are fast, responsive, and interactive.
The new IE9 can be downloaded for free at www.BeautyoftheWeb.com.
Microsoft says IE9 is striking for its clean experience and an increased viewing area. There are fewer items are in the browser frame, and only the controls that customers have said that they want and use most — like an oversize back button.
As part of the IE9 launch, Microsoft partnered with numerous organisations to provide a new experience for people who actively use the web. People who download IE9 now will start to see this re-imagined web on international sites like CNN.com and BBC.co.uk, and will soon be able to experience it on several local websites.
The new features include:
- Pinned sites. With pinned sites, a user’s favourite websites can be accessed directly from the Windows taskbar with having to first open the browser, making it quick and easy to get to the content you care about.
- One Box. Whether you want to search or enter a web address, the One Box provides a single simple place to start and minimises the space the browser takes up keeping the focus on your sites.
- Enhanced tabs. Internet Explorer 9 provides improvements to the New Tab page, and the ability to “tear off” a tab from within a browsing session allows you to easily comparison-shop online or watch a video while scanning the news.
Microsoft says IE9 also has a robust set of built-in security, privacy, and reliability technologies:
- Download manager. This integrated Download Manager includes a streamlined user interface and provides security for downloaded content.
- Reliability features. Tab isolation, automatic crash recovery, hang recovery, and Add-ons Advisor help ensure your information isn’t lost and keep you browsing when a website isn’t working correctly.
- Automatic Updates. Getting the latest browser updates helps keep users protected over time. After Internet Explorer 9 is installed, users can choose to have important updates installed automatically, once they are made available.