Microsoft is all about the upgrade this month. After announcing last week that all Hotmail users will be upgraded to Outlook.com soon, the company is now upgrading its browser for all Windows 7 users. While Internet Explorer 10 has been shipping with Windows 8 since October 2012, it will now be available in 95 languages for users around the world.
The browser, which looks very similar to the Internet Explorer 9 version, sees its biggest improvements with speed. According to Microsoft, it is 20 percent faster than the previous version and now it supports more web standards. But while you might feel gypped that the interface doesn’t look all that different, Microsoft has intentionally kept the bare bones design.
“IE10 is a modern browser with a unique point of view which brings the sites into focus not the browser,” Ryan Gavin, Microsoft’s General Manager of Internet Explorer, told ABC News in an interview. “We’ve dedicated the browser completely to the site.”
With this new version Microsoft is trying to not only highlight the website, but highlight that sites can be as compelling to use as apps. It is encouraging website makers to create websites that function like apps, ones that are fast, fluid and touch friendly. “The web is now a second class citizen to the world of apps,” Gavin said. “With this new version, developers can build experiences that are just as deep as app experiences.”
To illustrate the idea of touch-friendly web apps, Microsoft is launching a new “Explore Touch” ad, which shows a web-based music app.
While Internet Explorer still holds over 50 percent of the browser market share, other browsers like Chrome and Firefox have continued to gain traction. In addition to speed and bringing sites into focus, Microsoft also believes its attention to privacy will continue to set its product apart.
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“Privacy is something that’s increasingly reaching a tipping point in people’s minds,” Gavin says. “IE 10 will continue to give people more choice.” The “Do Not Track” setting, which doesn’t allow advertisers to track what sites you go to, will be turned on in Internet Explorer 10 by default. Chrome, Firefox and Safari all have the feature, but it isn’t enabled by default.
Internet Explorer 10 will be available as a free download starting today. It will automatically update via Windows Update.