Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Alternative Browsers Force Microsoft U Turn

Leading UK web browser Deepnet Explorer claimed that growing pressure from the new breed of alternative web browsers had forced Microsoft’s market leading Internet Explorer (IE) into a dramatic U turn in strategy.

Launched more than three years ago, Microsoft’s IE 6 has become outdated for a growing number of surfers, prompting them to turn to next generation alternative browsers like Deepnet Explorer or Firefox. The promise of better security features and advanced functions like RSS news readers is driving competition within the alternative browser market and attracting new users as they drift away from Microsoft IE. While still by far the word’s most dominant player, alarm bells have been sounding at Microsoft since reports that Internet Explorer’s share of users had dropped to below 90% towards the end of last year (Onestat).

"It’s a case of better late than never" says Deepnet Explorer’s Yurong Lin. "With the exception of Microsoft, the demand for better browsing has been obvious to everyone in the business for over two years now. Next generation browsers like ours appeal to surfers because they offer the latest features as soon as they become available, not when Microsoft decides they should have them. Password management, tabbed browsing, RSS newsreaders and high security anti-phishing features are all things available today for surfers if they want them."

Security fears and the dramatic rise in phishing, where cyber criminals create fake websites to dupe unknowing surfers into revealing personal banking or financial information, are likely to have prompted Microsoft’s decision to launch its new browser one year ahead of schedule says Deepnet’s Yurong Lin. "Phishing has become the number one weak spot in online security. Late last year, Deepnet became the first business to offer anti-phishing protection and, for the moment, our browser remains the only option for surfers that want to protect themselves from this growing hazard on the internet."

Deepnet Explorer has until now retained a unique place in this market. However, Netscape has already announced plans to incorporate anti-phishing technology into its new version 8.0 and today's announcement from Microsoft promises similar protection from the new version of Internet Explorer due for release this summer. "Our business has never been about competing with IE head to head, it's been about developing the most sophisticate technologies that protects users from online scams", claims Yurong Lin. "With the auto detection technology that is due for release next month, we are confident we will be able to retain our leading position in the anti-phishing market".

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