SOFTWARE COBBLER Microsoft has released its Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) web browser, saying that it "unleashes a more beautiful web".
Microsoft has been publicly testing IE9 beta releases for some time and revealed that over 40 million people had downloaded the betas. The Vole has been aggressively promoting a number of IE9 features, with the highlight being HTML5 hardware acceleration.
This has led Microsoft to come out with unsubstantiated hyperbole such as "IE9 harnesses the power of the graphics processing unit (GPU), unlocking 90 per cent of the PC's power that went previously untapped by web browsers." Admittedly GPU acceleration for both HTML5 and Adobe's Flash Player will help performance, but it should also improve battery life on laptops.
Realising that IE9 has built up a well deserved reputation for, let us say, lacklustre security, Microsoft highlighted the security features of IE9 including its Tracking Protection to limit the exchange of information with third parties. Microsoft also named some of the firms it is working with to enable Tracking Protection, including Adblock Plus, which is best known for its web adverts removal plugin.
Going on the offensive, Microsoft said, "Studies show that Internet Explorer 9 blocks 99 percent of socially engineered malware attacks, five times more than [Mozilla] Firefox and 33 times more than Google Chrome." Microsoft didn't link to any relevant studies or detail how it made the comparisons that show IE9 in such an impressive light, so we might be forgiven for thinking it just made all that up in its marketing department.
Further, the Vole claims that more than 250 of the top websites are taking advantage of new features in IE9 including Amazon, Ebay and Facebook, though it didn't give any details about what advantages users can expect from those websites. Perhaps users might feel better thinking that Microsoft's Tracking Protection in IE9 will limit some of the larger websites' revenue streams.
Microsoft needs IE9 to do well in 2011 as Mozilla prepares to release Firefox 4 and Google continues to rapidly develop Chrome. Judging by the beta releases, IE9 is a better effort by Microsoft than it has produced in the past, but whether it will be enough to stop Internet Exploder's slide in the market remains to be seen. µ
'Some of us like the misery'
That'll surely affect its credit score