Microsoft Announces Availability of Internet Explorer 8

internet-explorer-8Microsoft Corp. announced the availability of Windows Internet Explorer 8, the new Web browser that offers the best solution for how people use the Web today.

It can be downloaded in 25 languages at http://www.microsoft.com/ie8 starting at noon EDT on March 19. Internet Explorer 8 is easier to use, faster and offers leading-edge security features in direct response to people’s increasing concerns about online safety. A new study commissioned by Microsoft and the National Cyber Security Alliance and conducted by Harris Interactive Inc. shows that 91 percent of adults in the U.S. are concerned about online threats in the current economic climate, and 78 percent are more likely to choose a Web browser with built-in security than they were two years ago.

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“Customers have made clear what they want in a Web browser — safety, speed and greater ease of use,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft. “With Internet Explorer 8, we are delivering a browser that gets people to the information they need, fast, and provides protection that no other browser can match.”

In response to extensive customer research and input from tens of millions of customer sessions, Microsoft developed Internet Explorer 8 to focus on what matters most to people. The security enhancements offer protection against existing and emerging security threats online. It blocks two to four times more malware attacks than other browsers; cuts down on the time it takes to complete common tasks on the Web such as searching, mapping and sharing, including navigating 15 of the 20 top worldwide sites; and blurs the lines between the services they use daily and the browser used to access the Internet.

Helps Protect People From Online Threats

The new study released today reinforces the importance of safety in browsing, indicating that 78 percent of people are more likely than they were two years ago to choose a browser that includes built-in protection against security threats without them having to go online to download additional programs or browser add-ons. It also showed that 91 percent of adults in the U.S. are concerned about online fraud and identity theft in today’s economic climate, and 37 percent are less likely to shop online because they would have to give their personal information.

Internet Explorer 8 offers the best security protections among leading browsers: a study released today by NSS Labs indicates that Internet Explorer 8 blocks two to four times as many malicious sites as other browsers on the market today.

Makes Common Online Tasks Faster and Easier

In addition to offering improved security and privacy protections, Internet Explorer 8 is one of the fastest browsers on the market today, beating other top browsers in page load time on almost 50 percent of the 25 top comScore Inc. Web sites.* It also helps people save time while using the Web with easy-to-use new features, including the following:

Accelerators. Accelerators make it faster and easier to perform common tasks online by making Web-based services such as ESPN.com, Live Search and Sina available for use directly from the page people are viewing. Users can simply right-click a word or phrase and instantly map, e-mail, or share it.
Web Slices. Web Slices in Internet Explorer 8 makes favorite information from sites such as Digg, Yahoo! Mail, OneRiot, and eBay instantly available wherever someone goes on the Web.
Visual search suggestions. The Instant Search Box in Internet Explorer 8 enables rich, real-time search from sites such as The New York Times, Amazon.com and Wikipedia, as well as sites from people’s own Favorites and History, complete with visuals and detailed information that saves time.

“We are excited about Internet Explorer 8 for several reasons, including its ability to provide our customers with updates to eBay products using Web Slices so they can keep track of their buying activity while surfing the web,” said Matt Ackley, vice president of Internet Marketing and Advertising at eBay.

“The new ESPN Web Slices on Internet Explorer 8 make it easy for sports fans to check on the latest news and sports videos in a new and exciting way,” said Jason Guenther, vice president of technology and product development at ESPN Digital Media. “We have a heritage of leveraging technology to deliver the best sports content to fans, and this is another example of our dedication to that.”

Available for Download

Internet Explorer 8 will be available for download at noon EDT in 25 languages, including Arabic, Chinese (Traditional, Simplified and Hong Kong), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese (Brazil and Portugal), Polish, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish. More information and a download of Internet Explorer 8 (as of noon EDT on March 19) can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/ie8.

Microsoft will showcase the final browser and outline benefits and opportunities for a variety of audiences on March 19 at Microsoft’s MIX09 conference for web designers and developers in Las Vegas.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

*comScore data based on December 2008

Source: Microsoft

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