Microsoft hopes to win browser war with Internet Explorer 8

Microsoft is upping the stakes in the battle of the web browsers with claims that the latest version of Internet Explorer is faster, safer and more user friendly than its competitors. A beta version of IE8 is now available for download, as Microsoft looks to win back users from its rivals Firefox and Safari.

Microsoft's market share in the web browsing sector slipped last year from 70% to 68% according to figures from Net Applications. Worryingly for the software giant, its competitor Mozilla saw its Firefox browser break the 20% mark for the first time.

With new features such as 'InPrivate Filtering', which allows users to keep their web activities away from the prying eyes of a third-party advertisers, as well as 'InPrivate Browsing', where the user's browsing history isn't recorded, Microsoft is hoping to win back a large number of defectors. A spokeswoman for the company told the BBC that: "We [Microsoft] have made IE 8 the best browser for the way people really do use the web." It remains to be seen if Internet Explorer 8 can live up to the hype.

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