Microsoft unveils Internet Explorer 8 to fight Firefox

28th August 2008, Comments 0 comments

Microsoft’s trial version of a new Internet Explorer promising improved privacy features is an attempt to fight the growing challenge from Firefox.

28 August 2008

SAN FRANCISCO -- Microsoft unveiled a trial version of a new Internet Explorer designed to fight the growing challenge from Firefox on Wednesday.

But the new browser from the giant software company won't have it easy. Developers of the open-sourced Firefox released a trial version of a new application for the internet, Ubiquity, which makes it easier to access and share information that combines intuitive commands with browser functionality.

Although Microsoft still leads in the browser market with 73 percent as compared to Firefox’s 19 percent, it is concerned about the fading power over the internet. Prior to the launch of Firefox in 2004, Internet Explorer had over 90 percent of the market.

Eager to boost use of its browsers, Microsoft's new Internet Explorer boasts improved privacy and security features that give users greater control over their browsing history, cookies and other data.

Companies that sell advertisements online - including Microsoft - can electronically gather information about Web surfers' habits, and then use that information to help decide what kinds of advertisements to show.

However, with the newest Internet Explorer 8, an InPrivateBrowsing mode allows users to surf without having a list of sites they visit get stored on their computers.

It also includes a browsing tool called an "accelerator," which allows users to highlight text on a Web site and access a variety of functions, including different search engines, language translation or map displays.

Firefox’s Ubiquity offers a similar service but with a much wider range of commands.

Initial reviews found that IE8 also loaded web pages significantly faster than its predecessor, IE7, and that it matched Firefox for speed.

Firefox made its biggest gain in June when more than 8 million people downloaded a new version in the first 24 hours of release.

[dpa / Expatica]

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