Microsoft Corp. has announced the launch of the latest version of the world’s most-used browser with the release of Windows Internet Explorer 9 in 39 languages at an event at the SXSW Interactive conference.
Internet Explorer 9 is Microsoft’s most-downloaded browser beta of all time, with more than 40 million downloads, and it has already has gained more than 2 percent 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."
The company says Internet Explorer 9 is designed to bring sites front and center through Windows 7, enabling a more immersive, more beautiful Web experience. Features such as Pinned Sites and Jump List enable people to put their websites directly on the Windows 7 Taskbar, as though they were native applications, and then to quickly and easily perform tasks related to those websites, such as check their inboxes, change the music station, accept friend invitations or see breaking news.
The new version of Internet Explorer takes advantage of the power of modern Windows PC hardware to improve all-around Web browsing performance. The browser supports hardware-accelerated HTML5 spanning all graphics, text, audio and video. Internet Explorer 9 harnesses the power of the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), unlocking 90 percent of the PC’s power that went previously untapped by Web browsers.
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, both of which 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 optimize 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 is designed to be a trusted browser because it contains a robust set of built-in security, privacy and reliability technologies that keep customers safer online.
In December, Microsoft introduced Tracking Protection in Internet Explorer 9, which puts people in control of what data they are sharing as they move around the Web, by enabling consumers to indicate what websites they’d prefer not to exchange information with. Consumers 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.
Malware is now the No. 1 risk to people’s security online, and Internet Explorer 9 provides a Download Manager with integrated SmartScreen malware protection. The browser also introduces SmartScreen download reputation, 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.
Studies show that Internet Explorer 9 blocks 99 percent of socially engineered malware attacks, five times more than Firefox and 33 times more than Google Chrome.