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Browse the future

Considering a few years ago we thought the browser wars were pretty much over, nowadays it's amazing just how much of a battle there is going on these days between browser makers. But it's great for us, as it means browsers are more frequently updated.

We've only recently seen the release of Internet Explorer 9 and Firefox 4, but already their makers are hard at work on the sequels - and giving us a preview.

First up, there's Internet Explorer 10. Only recently announced by Microsoft, it's already available as a downloadable preview. But don't get too excited - this is a barely-functional version for developers and it certainly isn't fit to be your main web browser yet. So far, improvements seem focused on getting IE more compatible with the advanced features of HTML5, the sort-of-new language for writing websites.

Firefox 5, meanwhile, isn't available for real people to download just yet. But we have seen the first previews of the design and it looks like it'll continue the work done by Firefox 4 in making the browser cleaner, crisper and more space-efficient. A new 'web apps' feature looks set to be included which'll combine the benefits of Chrome's 'pinned tabs' and IE9's smart menus.

All in all, it's a good time to be a web user...

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