After a year’s worth of beta testing, Microsoft have finally given their Internet Explorer 9 browser an official launch.
Claiming to have made significant improvements to both speed and security, Microsoft are looking to quell the rising tide of Google’s Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox browser usage, heralding what they are billing as the creation of a more “beautiful” internet.
Ashley Highfield, UK managing director of Microsoft, called the release “the tipping point for the next generation, high definition internet; it’s a critical component for the next chain of events”.
As well as greater support for HTML5 programming language, the browser also offers a single input bar for URLs, search and user history. Tabs also get unique controls depending on what sites you are visiting; a music site for instance could have playback controls accessed just from the tab itself, rather than firing up the whole browser window.
Ovum principal analyst Richard Edwards remained skeptical over the browsers potential reach:
“IE9 will excite web developers and ‘prosumers’ as they explore the new HTML5 capabilities of the Web’s most commonly used browser, but we consider it to be a non-event for the vast majority of corporate IT managers and their users largely because IE9 does not run on Windows XP – the operating system running on 67% of corporate desktops.”
The beta version of Internet Explorer 9 already has had some 40 million downloads, already giving it a respectable percentage of worldwide browser share.