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Microsoft officially launches Internet Explorer 9 in Singapore: it’s all about the need for speed

Have you downloaded the finalized version of Microsoft's latest browser for use on your Windows-powered PC? Well, if your answer to that question happens to be a resounding 'no', perhaps Microsoft's latest demonstration might convince you to have a change of heart. The Redmond giant has organized a media event at the Singapore Flyer Megu Event Hall to showcase some of the features available in its new browser, and VR-Zone is proud to bring you the coverage.

For a browser that comes bundled as part of the dominant operating system used by more than 80% of the world's PC owners, Internet Explorer seldom, if ever, gets any love, especially among the more technologically savvy crowd, and for good reason. After all, Internet Explorer has been known to come with various security holes large enough for the proverbial bus to drive through, while its lack of speed and poor support for existing web standards did little to no favors for its image.

However, Microsoft is also keen to let consumers know that Internet Explorer has changed for the better, and that it has what it takes to be the best browser for consumers once again. And to do that, the Redmond giant has organized a media event held at the Singapore Flyer Megu Event Hall to showcase Internet Explorer 9's capabilities in bringing out what it calls the "full beauty of the web".

Speaking at the event was Matthew Hardman of the Windows Client Business Group Lead (Business and Marketing) for Microsoft Singapore, who talked about the ever-evolving nature of the World Wide Web, and how Internet Explorer 9's new features can deliver the best of the Web to end-users.

"At the beginning of the Web, it was all about basic information, such as text and pictures. Then as we started seeing the evolution of technology, like video and YouTube being a key examples which projected the Web in a whole different direction as well as making content richer, noisier and more interactive. That really drove a lot of innovation in browser technology," he said, while adding that this has led Microsoft to change its focus from the browser to that of the user experience.
"Web developers are doing a lot of amazing things today, but browser technology hasn't been catching up. So now, we start looking at things differently in IE 9.  Realistically, it is all about the content. No one goes to a theatre and looks at the theare room: they go there to watch the play. And this is practically the same thing for all types of content we see out there today," he explained.

User experience and standards support

To prove his point,  Hardman demonstrated how IE9 features the ability to pin IE9-optimized webpages onto the Windows Taskbar, which in turn allows users to access the site's links and pages from within its Taskbar icon. Citibank's website was used as an example for this demonstration.


According to Hardman, this feature is unique to Internet Explorer 9 and requires webmasters to make some changes to the underlying code in order for users to enjoy the aforementioned convenience. However, Hardman also revealed that such a feature does not require a complete code rewrite; rather,  webmasters only need to input five additional lines into their site's underlying code in order to take advantage of this exclusive feature.

"Research has shown that people who actually implement this feature ever since it was introduced in the beta versions of Internet Explorer 9 are actually experiencing huge increases in terms of visits and time spent on the webpage. This is because it is now so much easier for consumers to get access to the actual website itself," he claimed.

Support for HTML5 was also a huge priority for Microsoft, and Hardman showed off Internet Explorer 9's robust support for the new draft standard by loading an online game that was completely written in HTML5.  For those interested, the game can be accessed by clicking on this link.

Also featured in Hardman's demonstration was Foursquare's Playground page, in which Internet Explorer's support for HTML5 was key to ensuring that users could interact seamlessly with the virtual town without needing to install any unnecessary ActiveX plugins such as Adobe's Flash or Shockwave player.

VR-Zone is a leading online technology news publication reporting on bleeding edge trends in PC and mobile gadgets, with in-depth reviews and commentaries.

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