Microsoft believes that the latest version of Internet Explorer will enable it to recapture market share it has lost to Mozilla’s Firefox browser and Google Chrome in recent years. The beta version of Internet Explorer 9 launched yesterday.
The company’s global browser market share has sagged from about 75% two years ago to 60% today, according to market research from Net Applications.
But Microsoft hopes that the performance enhancements and new features in Internet Explorer 9 will help it win customers back to its browser. The company describes Internet Explorer 9 as the leanest and fastest browser on the market.
Colin Erasmus, head of Microsoft SA’s Windows business says he is confident the new offering will change the way that people think about the Internet by offering snugger integration of Web content and applications with the operating system.
“People think of the browser as a utilitarian tool and it’s evaluated by how it performs in speeds, feeds and basic functionality. We want to change the terms of the debate. The future web needs more than just speed,” he says.
Microsoft says IE9 will make websites and web applications look and perform as though they were part of the computer. The browser will integrate with Windows features such as the taskbar.
For example, the new “pinned sites” feature lets you pin Web sites to the task bar so that you can open them directly without first accessing the browser.
In addition to several cosmetic changes, Microsoft is promising that IE9 will render graphically rich Web pages faster.
Erasmus says the new browser has generated a lot of interest among software developers. Microsoft’s increased support for open standards will help IE9 gain in popularity among developers, he adds.
Internet Explorer 9, for example, embraces the emerging HTML5 standard for video playback and other interactive and graphics-intensive applications that required third-party plug-ins in the past. — Staff reporter, TechCentral