September 16, 2010

Microsoft Unveils Internet Explorer 9

On Wednesday, Microsoft released a new Internet Explorer to try and fend off competition from the Firefox and Chrome Web browsers.

"The browser is the stage and the websites are the stars of the show," corporate vice president of Internet Explorer Dean Hachamovitch told AFP.

"Microsoft has over a billion Windows customers," Hachamovitch said of the software giant's ubiquitous computer operating system. "We want the browsing experience on Windows to be great."

The beta version of Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) made its public debut at the San Francisco Design Center Concourse.

The new browser takes advantage of better processing power in computers, especially the capabilities of graphics chips that excel at seamlessly rendering videos or videogame action.

"IE9 is using more of your personal computer," Hachamovitch explained.

According to the news agency, "More than 70 partners including Amazon, Twitter, MySpace, Hulu, and Yahoo! are capitalizing on IE9 with faster, richer features at websites."

According to industry statistics, IE has been losing its foothold in the browser market during the past five years, with its share of the market dropping from over 85 percent in 2005 to about 60 percent in August of this year.

One new feature of IE9 is that the browser allows a user to "pin" websites or applications to a tool bar at the base.

Once a website is reached, the browser seems to get out of the way and turn a spotlight to the content.

According to Net Applications, Firefox still remains the second most popular Web browser with a little less than 23 percent of the market.

"Once people stop using IE and use a different browser they might stop and ask themselves why they are using Windows," analyst Matt Rosoff of independent firm Directions on Microsoft told AFP. "It could be the same with developers designing websites."

Analysts say that Microsoft seems to have hit the mark with IE 9.

"It looks like they are taking a smart approach, which is to take you where you want to go and then get out of the way and fade into the background," Rosoff said.


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