Microsoft Launches Windows Internet Explorer 9 at SXSW

11:35 AM PST 03/15/2011 by Carolyn Giardina

Whil Explorer still holds the largest share of the browser market, it continues to face competition from Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

Microsoft launched what will be a closely-watched release, Windows Internet Explorer 9, on Monday at the SXSW Interactive conference in Austin.

While Internet Explorer holds the largest share of the browser market, it continues to face competition from the likes of Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

According to Microsoft, Internet Explorer 9 has already had more than 40 million downloads, making it the company’s most-downloaded browser beta of all time. Microsoft also reported that has already has gained more than 2 percent usage on Windows 7.

The company suggested that customers upgrading from Internet Explorer 8 would notice improvements in areas including performance and security.

As part of the launch, Microsoft pushed hardware-accelerated text, video and graphics, taking advantage of its Windows 7 operating system.

It also cited a range of security and privacy technologies. These include tracking protection, as well as a download manager with integrated SmartScreen malware protection.

Microsoft also noted that the browser’s “clean” look would include features such as pinned sites, meaning that users could put websites directly on the Windows 7 taskbar.

A string of partner sites include Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and Hulu.

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