Microsoft Corp. released the new version of its Web browser just last week, aiming to stem market-share losses to Mozilla’s Firefox, Google Inc.’s Chrome and Apple Inc.’s Safari.

Their new Web browser Windows Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) has been designed to deliver a fast, clean, trusted and interoperable online experience that takes full advantage of Windows 7 and puts the focus on the sites and applications people care about, but will it live up to expectations?

Key highlights of IE9 include:

  • An all new, clean site-centric design that integrates with Windows 7: Internet Explorer 9 puts the focus back on the Websites with a clean and minimalist user experience.
  • Internet Explorer 9 uses the whole PC for improved performance: Internet Explorer 9 is the first browser with full hardware acceleration of HTML5, harnessing the power of the graphics processing unit (GPU), reallocating much of the graphic processing to the GPU instead of the CPU. By using the GPU, Internet Explorer 9 unlocks the 90 percent of the PC’s power that went previously untapped by Web browsers.
  • Security: Internet Explorer 9 is designed to be the most trusted browser because it has a robust set of built-in security, privacy, and reliability technologies that keep customers safer online.
  • Interoperability, all in for HTML5: Internet Explorer 9 has support for industry standards including built-in extensive support for HTML5, Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), CSS3 and other modern Web standards.

Collectively with partners, IE9 reaches more than 800 million visitors daily including:

  • The top four social networking sites: Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and Netlog
  • Twitter, the largest real time information sharing service
  • The No.1 site for retail (, auction (eBay,) and entertainment information (IMDB)
  • The leading European entertainment network (RTL) and the top brand and portal in China (Sohu)
  • Leading sites in news (CNN, USA Today), search (Bing), travel (Orbitz), movies (Flixster), multimedia (Hulu), music (Gorillaz) and photos (Photobucket)

Food for thought on IE9

Richard Edwards, Principal Analyst of the independent telecoms analyst Ovum, believes that: “Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) may have entered the public beta phase of its existence, but for the vast majority of corporate IT managers and their users this is a complete non-event. Corporate IT mangers have more fundamental upgrade issues to think about. They are still trying to decide if Windows 7 is worth the cost of upgrade, so thoughts of rolling-out IE9 are a long, long way off.”

IE9 is the latest in a long line of web browsers from Microsoft, but for the vast majority of enterprise users and their IT departments, this imminent arrival is a complete irrelevancy, for three very good reasons.

  • Firstly, IE9 is not supported on Windows XP. Most large enterprises are still running Windows XP, and will continue to do so for the next two years at least. Microsoft’s decision to drop support for Windows XP with this release of Internet Explorer has therefore rendered it an irrelevancy.
  • Secondly, most large enterprises have not yet deployed IE8. IE9 has yet to be officially released, and by the time it is deemed ‘ready for business’, many organizations will still be testing their websites and applications for compatibility with IE7 and IE8, let alone IE9.
  • Lastly, the mobile web experience is today’s focus of attention. IE9 may well include a new JScript engine and offer support for HTML5 audio and video, but it’s the capabilities offered by smartphone browsers that will determine the web’s next course of evolution.

Looks like Microsoft's brand new web browser could still need some work and improvement.

Haresh Khoobchandani, Chief Marketing Officer, Consumer & Online, Microsoft Asia Pacific said: “Browsing the Web is the most common task that Windows customers perform every day. Here in Asia-Pacific, users look to the Web as a source of entertainment, education, information and as a platform for self expression and communication. They want to do more online, in a safe and secure environment. Helping to making the Web faster, safer and more beautiful on Windows is what Internet Explorer 9 is all about”.

I recommend you check out the new offer and get an idea of IE9 yourself by downloading the current beta version.

By Daniela La Marca