Internet Explorer 9 has been totally redesigned by Microsoft. The minimalist look, which is created by using a single bar for URLs and searches in a style similar to Google Chrome and by placing browser tabs in a single strip alongside the omnibar, gives the user more browsing room.
IE9 also fuses with Windows 7, allowing you to pin website shortcuts to the Windows taskbar and create lists of links from within those pinned sites. Users also benefit from a download manager and hardware acceleration for HTML5 video.
"The web can unlock the power and performance of the best PC hardware through Windows and Internet Explorer 9," said Dean Hachamovitch, corporate vice-president, Windows Internet Explorer, at Microsoft.
"Websites can also act more like applications within Windows 7, with features such as Pinned Sites. In less than a year, Internet Explorer 9 went from early preview to final release with the help of hardware partners and the web community."
The browser also features Tracking Protection technology that was introduced in December. The opt-in tool, which is disabled by default, relies on published lists to selectively block third-party sites and content embedded in websites. Groups offering Tracking Protection lists include Abine, EasyList, Privacy Choice and TRUSTe.
Microsoft said Internet Explorer 9 is the company's "most-downloaded browser beta of all time" having been downloaded more than 40 million times, and is used in two percent of all Windows 7 PCs.
However, the browser is only available to PCs running Windows 7 or Vista. Windows XP users have been excluded in a bid to "push the web forward", Microsoft told The Telegraph.
The full version of Internet Explorer 9 can be downloaded from Microsoft's website, or from the company's download centre.
See also: Internet Explorer 9 launching March 14