Microsoft has launched the beta of Internet Explorer 9, the latest version of its web browser, promising faster speeds and better graphics processing.
IE9 is available for download as a public beta in more than 30 languages. Many big sites, such as Facebook, Amazon.com, Dailymotion, CNN, eBay and Twitter are taking advantage of its new features.
One of the key design ideologies behind the latest edition of IE is to be less obtrusive to users.
"People go to the web for site, not the browser," said Dean Hachamovitch, general manager for IE.
"Today, websites are boxed in, the box is the browser."
Features of Internet Explorer 9 beta
The browser has numerous features. It can allow a user to access their favourite website directly from the Windows Task Bar without having to open the browser.
It also has the Aerosnap tool, which allows users to pull off a website tab and drag it to the side to enable them to see two websites side by side.
Microsoft has said that IE9 will be faster and more secure. It also said it would support evolving web technologies, such as HTML5 and CSS3.
Graphics and text rendering has moved to the graphics card from the CPU. Microsoft has said that this will make sites look and perform more like applications installed into the PC.
“Internet Explorer 9 uses the power of Windows and the whole PC to bring you a better web,” said Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft.
“We’re proud to join our partners in releasing the beta of Internet Explorer 9, delivering a more beautiful web to Windows customers across the globe.”
IE9 offers a download manager with an integrated SmartScreen malware protection that uses reputation data to remove unneeded warnings for well-known files and shows more severe warnings when the file has a high risk of being malicious.
IE9 has been tightly integrated into Windows 7 and according to Forrester Research analyst Peter O’Neill, this allows IE9 to use computer hardware in a way that other browsers can’t.
"This is going to make the Windows platform more attractive, and Microsoft hopes, help stop people from leaking away to other browsers," O’Neill said.
While IE still has more than 50pc of the browser market share, many of its users have changed to Firefox and Chrome. Microsoft hopes that this latest update will attract people back to IE.