Microsoft has finished version 9 of the popular Windows Internet Explorer web browser. Starting from today [March 15, 2011, 4 am GMT], the new browser version is offered for free download on the Web. According to the IE team, some 40 million beta testers have contributed to make this release possible. Dean Hachamovitch, Corporate Vice President, Internet Explorer, states:
An important factor was the Web community’s engagement as the IE team took a more open and transparent approach across the nine platform releases of IE9. With the Release Candidate, for example, we took to heart over 17,000 pieces of feedback about IE9. We want to thank the millions of people who have installed and used Internet Explorer 9 during pre-release testing. The value of your feedback in developing the product is hard to overstate.
Microsoft has given an easy-to-use interface and built in additional security features. For example, IE9 features a Tracking Protection that summarizes which websites or ad frames store the user’s data. Via lists, you can choose individually which sites may access your data and which accesses you want to block.
Thanks to IE9’s support for the new HTML5 web standard, IE9 can now directly play videos and audio clips on websites without needing any additional application or plug-in. For many multimedia contents, the browser is now much more stable, as it has direct access to the Graphics processor (GPU).