Internet Explorer is a web browser which was first released by Microsoft in 1995. The latest available version is Internet Explorer 10, which was released in 2012.
This is a very popular browser, and it is available as an application on Windows 8, which works particularly well if you are using a touch screen device. Internet Explorer is versatile, as it has been produced for other operation systems such as the Xbox 360 and the Windows Phone, as well as desktop version. Internet Explorer is easy to use, with a large back button and a combined address bar and search box. It is a simple browser but this does not compromise the user experience. The graphics are clear and colourful, browsing is fast and websites are interactive. Internet Explorer supports HTML 4.01 and HTML 5, as well as CSS Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3. XML 1.0 and DOM Level 1 are also supported.
Internet Explorer has many features which make it such a great browser, and each upgrade of IE brings with it more innovative ideas. Some recent features of the browser include pop-up blocking and tabbed browsing. Tabbed browsing is a fantastic feature which allows many different web pages to be open in the browser at one time, making the content you want to view very easily accessible. Pop-up blocking is does exactly what is says, and while this may be a little irritating sometimes if it blocks pop-ups you actually want to see, individual pop-ups can be let through, or it can be turned off altogether, so this is not much of an issue really.
There are also other features of Internet Explorer; the SmartScreen Filter provides peace of mind from security threats by using three tools; anti-phishing protection, application reputation and anti-malware protection. The anti-phishing protection works by screening threats from imposter websites which are trying to access personal details. Application Reputation shows warnings for high risk downloads when necessary, but does not interfere with your browsing experience by warning you of threats for well-known files.
The anti-malware protection does exactly what you would expect, by stopping potentially harmful software accessing your computer. Malicious web pages (or whole websites if necessary) will also be blocked by Internet Explorer. However if you would prefer to not have this added level of protection, then the SmartScreen Filter can be turned off. Another brilliant feature of Internet Explorer is Pinned sites, which allows the user to access their favourite websites from either the taskbar or start screen, dependent on whether you are using Windows 7 or 8.
Internet Explore also comes with a feature called One Box, which means that when the user starts to type in web address, the browser will suggest the site it thinks you might be looking for – this doesn’t even need to be done by typing in the web address properly; just typing in words such as ‘news’ can bring the site the user is searching for. However if you are worried about privacy then do not fear – you can choose to turn search suggestions on or off. Secure browsing is a definite advantage of this browser, and it even features a ‘Do Not Track’ option to help protect the user’s privacy whilst surfing the internet.
The latest version of Internet Explorer definitely leaves other browsers with cause for concern. Its sleek design and ease of use provides competition for browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. A downside of running Internet Explorer 10 is that it can only be done on Windows 7 or 8, whereas other browsers such as Firefox or Chrome can run on older versions of Windows. Another disadvantage of Internet Explorer is that upon downloading, it will require the user to fully reboot their machine, unlike the other browsers which will just require the browser to be rebooted. Having said this, Internet Explorer will download updates silently in the background so as not to interfere with the browsing experience. Internet Explorer is now less bulky (it even comes in full screen mode) and is as fast as other browsers so really, whichever you choose is a matter of personal taste.
Internet Explorer is overall a fantastic browser. While it might have some flaws or potential improvements, it looks great, it works well and it is easy to use, making it the ideal browser for a first time internet user – although equally it provides just as much joy for an experienced internet user. The clever features that Internet Explorer offers mean that web browsing needn’t be a hassle. In the past I would have likely chosen another browser but now Internet Explorer’s sleek, less bulky current form has persuaded me otherwise, and it would now be one of my top choices for web browsing, particularly on a Windows 8 computer in which the features can be used to their full potential. Although there are now other browsers to choose from, as opposed to a decade ago, Internet Explorer is still a strong contender which I would definitely recommend.
The developer of Internet Explorer is Microsoft Corporation, and it was founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen. Microsoft is the world’s largest software maker. In 1995, Microsoft first started to expand into computer networking and the internet, and with Windows 95 came the first Internet Explorer, a web browser – although it did not come with the retail Windows 95 as Internet Explorer was not yet finished at this time. Instead it was released with the Windows 95 Plus! Pack. In 1997, Microsoft was accused by the Justice Department of violating an agreement signed in 1994, and were asked to stop bundling Internet Explorer with Windows. Microsoft, with other companies, formed the Trusted Computing Platform Alliance in 1999; part of which its purpose was to increase security in hardware and software through identifying changes – this security is demonstrated through each version of Internet Explorer. Microsoft now produces software for desktops and servers, as well as internet search (Bing), and video game consoles such as the Xbox and Xbox 360.
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