As anyone online today knows, Microsoft has unveiled the latest version of its Internet Explorer browser.
But this isn't just an incremental improvement, according to reports. It is, as this Associated Press article asserts, "the first of a new generation of Web browser programs that taps into the powerful processors on board newer computers to make websites load and run faster."
Well, that sounds cool, though IE bashers (I'm not one, but I do use Firefox) may not be able to get past their animus toward anything Redmond.
You can download IE9 here and see for yourself if all the hype is valid. In the meantime, here's what other folks are saying:
TechCrunch: "[T]he new browser is built for speed, takes advantage of the latest HTML5 and other modern Web technologies, and has a relatively simple UI."
Washington Post: "IE 9 marks a clear improvement that's less intrusive with alerts and dialog boxes than previous versions."
Technologizer: "Easily the best new version of Microsoft’s browser in … well, in this century. In most respects that matter, IE9 finally catches up with the competition. In a few, it seems to have sprinted past them. It’s just plain good."
And here's Microsoft's blog post about IE9, which offers a detailed rundown of the new browser's features.
From a strategic standpoint, the real question is whether Microsoft can win back any of the users who have drifted away to Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari and other browsers. There'll always be a core of Redmond haters who won't be swayed, but for many users better is, well, better. And if they think IE9 is superior to what they're using, they'll switch. At least until the other browser makers respond.