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Internet Explorer 9 Goes Live

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The final version of Internet Explorer 9 has finally been launched after some 40 million beta versions have been downloaded but a Which? Computing study has found flaws in the anti-tracking features.

Available in 39 languages, Microsoft will be hoping that this latest version of the browser will arrest some of the decline in its use since the emergence of Firefox and Chrome in recent years. Microsoft is hoping that built-in hardware acceleration, and as a result faster video and graphics, will help bring users back to its platform. Another key feature of IE9, which Microsoft has been trumpeting is the tracking protection which aims to preventing users being tracked as they go from one site to another. However the study by Which? Computing shows that if multiple Tracking Protection Lists (TPLs) are installed an 'allow' in one will override a 'block' in another.

Jonathan Mayer, lead researcher on Stanford University’s ‘Do Not Track’ Project, said the findings could leave IE9 users open to being tracked: "The issue here is that if a user installs TPLs that have ‘allows’ for web content that should be blocked, they leave themselves vulnerable to being tracked."

In response, Dean Hachamovitch, Corporate Vice President, Internet Explorer said: "The primary consumer role here is choosing a list author they trust. Auditing any such list requires privacy expertise as well as technical acumen. Propping up more checkboxes is unlikely to actually help consumers."

IE9 will only work with Windows Vista and Windows 7 which means that all XP users out there won’t be able to take advantage of the next generation browser. Microsoft claim that 2 percent of all Windows 7 users are already using IE9. While getting exact figures for browser usage is tricky, there is little doubt that Internet Explorer has lost it position of unrivaled dominance which it enjoyed years ago. Today browsers such as Firefox, Chrome and Safari all offer customer a viable alternative.

Will the increased speed and beefed-up security be enough to get you to change your browser habits? Let us know in the comments and for those of you yet to do so, you can download IE9 from www.BeautyOfTheWeb.com.

Source: IEBlog and Which? Computing

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