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Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 Final Release Available

Today Microsoft announced the availability of Internet Explorer 8, its latest addition of web browser for Windows. IE8 as we all call it by can be downloaded in 25 languages from Microsoft.com starting at noon EDT on March 19th. IE8 provides many new security and privacy protections as well as being much quicker with Javascript and other performance areas needing improvement.

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.

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 todays 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.

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 peoples 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.

Download: IE8 Download Page