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Internet Explorer 9 Beta Hits Public Availability

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Microsoft has announced the public availability of Internet Explorer 9 (IE9), its new browser that it hopes will help it claw back market share that recently has dropped to around 60 per cent.

Microsoft said that its new browser would take a backseat and be less intrusive than previous versions, letting the web sites come to the fore. As such, the browser hides menu bars to create more space for the web site you’re viewing and notifications are designed to be less intrusive.

““The Web is about sites, and your browser should be, too,” Dean Hachamovitch, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for Internet Explorer said in a statement. “IE9 puts you and your site at the center of the browser experience.”

IE9 is the first Microsoft browser to support HTML5, which allows for more interactive and better designed web sites using graphics and video.

It also offers hardware acceleration, which on compatible hardware should really help make IE9 a speed demon, not something Microsoft’s browsers are traditionally known for. In fact its Chakra Javascript engine is claimed to be 11 times faster than it was in IE8. Security wise it also features a download manager with a

IE9 also offers enhanced Windows 7 integration, with Pinned Sites enabling sites to be launched from the taskbar, Tear-off tabs and Windows Aero Snap support for viewing two sites side by side easily.

Microsoft is putting a big marketing push behind the launch, with tie ups with the likes of The Gorillaz.

The beta is available to download now worldwide in 33 languages but requires Windows 7 or Vista, with no support for Windows XP.

Link: IE9 Download page.

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