Internet Explorer 9 puts spotlight on website features

Microsoft on Wednesday released a lean, muscular new Internet Explorer crafted to spotlight slick websites and beat back competition from Firefox and Google in the Web browser arena.

"The browser is the stage and the websites are the stars of the show," corporate vice president of Internet Explorer Dean Hachamovitch told AFP.

"Microsoft has over a billion Windows customers," Hachamovitch said of the software giant's ubiquitous computer operating system. "We want the browsing experience on Windows to be great."

The test, or beta, version of Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) made its public debut with theatrical flare at the San Francisco Design Center Concourse.

IE 9 taps into more of the processing power in computers, especially the capabilities of graphics chips that excel at seamlessly rendering videos or videogame action.

"IE9 is using more of your personal computer," Hachamovitch explained.

More than 70 partners including Amazon, Twitter, MySpace, Hulu, and Yahoo! are capitalizing on IE9 with faster, richer features at websites.

"We think that sites should be the most important part of the browser," Hachamovitch said. "This is actually the beauty of the Web. The real celebration is around the websites and what the partners have done."

While Microsoft doesn't charge separately for IE, the browser is included with Windows software and it is in the technology giant's interest to keep users happy and devoted to its products.

"As long as there is a browser built into Windows, Microsoft wants it to be as good as possible," said analyst Matt Rosoff of independent firm Directions On Microsoft. "It is also a platform play; as IE goes so goes the Windows platform."

IE has been losing ground in the browser market during the past five years, with its share of the market dropping from more than 85 percent in late 2005 to about 60 percent in August of this year, according to industry statistics.

The new browser lets people "pin" websites or applications to a tool bar at the base.

Once a website is reached, the browser seems to step out of the way and almost vanish to spotlight the content.

Alternative hip-hop band Gorillaz used IE9 to infuse its website with HTML5 audio and video as well as computer games.

Business Architects built a graceful touchscreen Japanese calligraphy program into its website combining IE9 with the latest Windows 7 operating system.

Developers at software firm Cynergy showed off a computer game in which moths flitting about the screen had to be lassoed with circles quickly drawn using the cursor.

"In IE8 you would never have had the native hardware acceleration to move pixels around the screen fast enough to do this," said Tim Sneath, who runs Windows and Web evangelism for Microsoft.

A Rough Guides travel website lets visitors flip through Flickr photos from destinations, move content about like virtual Post-It notes and dig into topics at will.

"It feels genuine," Hachamovitch said while showing off the site. "This is what developers couldn't do before."

Open-source browser Firefox had been gnawing away at IE's dominance, but that eased as a new rival arrived in the form of Chrome by Internet titan Google.

Chrome's share of the browser market has grown to slightly more than seven percent since the initial version of the software was released in September 2008, according to recent figures from Net Applications.

"Google Chrome has gone from zero to not much less than 10 percent pretty quickly," Rosoff said. "Google is one of Microsoft's archrivals and they can't like to see Google gaining share there."

Firefox remained the second most popular browser with just shy of 23 percent of the market, but its share has ebbed in recent months, according to Net Applications.

"Once people stop using IE and use a different browser they might stop and ask themselves why they are using Windows," Rosoff said. "It could be the same with developers designing websites."

Microsoft seems to have hit the mark with IE9, according to the analyst.

"It looks like they are taking a smart approach, which is to take you where you want to go and then get out of the way and fade into the background," Rosoff said.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: 1st Line Technical Support Engineer

    £19000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT and Telecoms company ar...

    Recruitment Genius: Client Services Administrator - IT Industry

    £18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A leading provider of ICT servi...

    Recruitment Genius: 1st / 2nd Line Technical Support Advisor - Up to £26K inc bonus

    £20230 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking for a career in...

    Recruitment Genius: Marketing Assistant

    £13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT and Telecoms company is...

    Day In a Page

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

    Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
    House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

    The honours that shame Britain

    Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
    When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

    'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

    Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
    International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

    International Tap Festival comes to the UK

    Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
    War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
    Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

    'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

    Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
    Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

    BBC heads to the Californian coast

    The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
    Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

    Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

    Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
    Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

    Car hacking scandal

    Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
    10 best placemats

    Take your seat: 10 best placemats

    Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
    Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

    Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

    Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
    Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

    Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

    Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
    Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

    Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

    The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
    Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

    Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

    His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
    Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

    Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

    Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future