Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 Web browser available for download

Tuesday, March 15, 2011, 13:59 by Tech Correspondent

Microsoft today unleashed its new Web browser Internet Explorer 9 at the SXSW Interactive conference in Texas.

This is the first major update for the IE in almost 2 years. With Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox showing tremendous growth, the release of Internet Explorer 9 is poised to bring the browser war to a new level. In a major Web event, more than 250 prominent websites from around the globe joined the launch of Internet Explorer 9.

IE 9 compatibility

The new Microsoft browser is compatible with Windows 7 and Windows Vista. Not really surprising because Windows XP is nearly 10 years old and Microsoft is sending a clear message with this: It’s time to upgrade, folks!

Microsoft says that the device drivers on Windows XP will not be able to cope up with the demands of the new browser. It is disappointing though considering Windows XP is still the edition running on majority of corporate desktops.

IE 9 free download

Click here to download the faster, better Internet Explorer 9. However, you may want to check out below what IE 9 is bringing to the table.

ie 9 photo

Photo: Internet Explorer 9

IE 9 features

Faster, much faster

The new Microsoft browser outperforms both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox in speed tests. In benchmark tests conducted by tech blog Zdnet, IE 9 came out on top of the just-released Google Chrome 10 by a minimum of 11 percent. The release candidate of Firefox 4 was almost 13 precent slower than IE 9.

Focused on websites

The navigational controls in IE 9 are simplified and focus on minimalist user interface. The back button is larger, the address bar and search box are combined into one new address bar (you have seen this in Google Chrome already), and the multiple menus from previous versions of Internet Explorer are consolidated into a single menu.

Pinned sites

IE 9 is closely integrated with Windows 7 OS and offers features like pinning websites to the taskbar. Vista users can pin sites to Start Menu.

To pin a website, click the icon to the left of the web address in One Box (the address bar cum search box), or the tab for the website, or the website’s icon on the New Tab page, and then drag it to the taskbar. Once a site is pinned, it shows up as its own thumbnail, separate from IE 9. You can go back to your favorite website with one click.

And pinning websites has other advantages too. Check out these special offers from partner websites:

Slacker: A free monthlong subscription for customers who pin the Slacker site to their taskbars

Groupon: $5 in Groupon Bucks when making a first purchase from the Internet Explorer 9 Jump List

Hulu: A free month of the Hulu Plus subscription for users who pin Hulu

eBay: Offering coupons or eBay Bucks for bids or purchases made using the Internet Explorer 9 pinning and Jump List features

Gilt: A series of product bundles for customers who make purchases of specified amounts via the Jump List

ie 9 1 photo

Photo: FishIE Tank demo on IE 9

Privacy and security

Tracking Protection feature of the new and improved Internet Explorer 9 lets you block cookies and other tactics used by third-party websites to track your behavior across multiple sites. IE 9’s SmartScreen Filter provides anti-fishing and anti-malware protection and blocks malicious websites.

Better downloading

Internet Explorer 9’s Download Manager keeps a running list of the files you download from the Internet, notifies you if a file could be malicious, and allows you to pause and restart a download.

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