blind_html [Fwd: BAH Microsoft Launches IE8 "With New Features AndImproved Security]

  • From: Nimer <nimerjaber1@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: blind_html@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2009 07:55:51 -0600


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Nimer M. Jaber

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-------- Original Message --------
Subject: BAH Microsoft Launches IE8 "With New Features AndImproved Security
Date:   Fri, 20 Mar 2009 09:17:13 -0400
From:   Lisa <whitedove621@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Reply-To:       blindAccessHelp@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
To:     <blindAccessHelp@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>



We have no specific information about accessibility. However, Microsoft has
been working closely with the screen reder companies and IE8 should be
accessible.
SEATTLE - Microsoft Corp. released a new version of Internet Explorer
Thursday, adding
features meant to speed up common Web surfing tasks and bringing the
browser's security
measures in line with those of major competitors.
The number of browsers has grown to a dizzying array, from Internet Explorer
and
Mozilla's Firefox, the two most popular, to Apple Inc.'s Safari, Google
Inc.'s Chrome,
the Norwegian entrant Opera and others. Each is using speed, security
enhancements
and new features to fight for a share of Web surfers' growing time online.
Microsoft
remains the dominant player, but Firefox's influence is growing.
Dean Hachamovitch, the IE group's general manager, said in an interview
Wednesday
that the free browser is important to Microsoft because the company simply
wants
PC users to have a "great experience every day" when surfing the Web. For
Microsoft,
as for Apple and Google, the browser is one more way to build relationships
that
could sway other decisions, like whether to buy a Macintosh or a Windows
computer,
or whether to use Google's Gmail instead of Microsoft's Hotmail.
Google's entry into the market last year also shows the Web search leader
believes
owning the browser can help it better understand Web users' behavior and
advertise
to them more effectively — an area in which Microsoft is struggling to catch
up.
Internet Explorer 8, which marks Microsoft's first major browser update
since August
2006, takes a stab at fixing many of the small annoyances people encounter
every
day.
For one, IE 8 aims to reduce the need to copy something from one Web page
and paste
it into another — mapping a restaurant address, Googling a celebrity name,
looking
up an unknown word in Wikipedia or sharing a story by e-mail, Twitter or
Facebook.
A list of those little actions, which Microsoft is calling Accelerators, can
be brought
up by highlighting the text on a page and clicking on a small blue icon that
appears.
People can add new Accelerators to reflect their own search, e-mail and
other habits.
The new version of IE also adds a twist to the built-in toolbar search box.
Firefox already lets people switch easily among search providers and sites
like ,
eBay and Wikipedia using a drop-down menu. Microsoft takes this feature a
step further.
Type a word into the box and a preview of suggested searches or results
appears in
a drop-down list. Toggle between different search providers by clicking
small icons
in that window, and the list refreshes.
So, search for "Camper shoes," for example. Choosing Live Search calls up a
list
of suggested search terms. Switch to Amazon.com by simply clicking a small
button
to see a list of products for sale, complete with photos and prices.
Microsoft also has expanded on a feature present on some browsers today — a
toolbar
button that opens a menu of the most recent news headlines. IE 8 users can
add "Web
slices" to keep track of eBay auctions, stock quotes, blog posts, weather
forecasts
and other information that is frequently updated.
Another useful feature — one that Firefox lacks but Google Inc.'s new Chrome
browser
employs — keeps related tabs together. If a user clicks on a link, thereby
opening
a new tab, Microsoft tucks that tab right next to the original. IE 8 also
gives the
tabs a common color. And in IE 8, when a Web page in one tab crashes, it
doesn't
bring down the whole browser.
The Redmond, Wash.-based software maker added some new privacy features,
including
a mode for Web browsing that doesn't remember what sites were visited or
store small
data files called cookies. IE 8 lets people block ads from companies that
track their
Web surfing habits across a number of sites, a practice known as behavioral
targeting.
Microsoft also made some much-needed security improvements in Internet
Explorer 8,
many of which are already employed by competing products.
It beefed up protection against malware and known "phishing" scam sites, and
built
in technology to protect against another kind of threat, "cross-site
scripting,"
in which hackers insert code into legitimate Web pages that compromise
peoples' computers
without them knowing it. IE 8 disables the bad scripts but in most cases
allows others
needed for a Web page to run as usual.
Firefox already does something similar with an add-on program, but Microsoft
argues
that only the most sophisticated users know to seek it out and install it.
IE 8 also helps people who create Web sites prevent another kind of attack
called
"click-jacking," in which Web surfers might think they're clicking on a
legitimate
button when in fact they're activating an invisible, malicious action.
Microsoft has been notorious for building Web browsers that only partially
follow
Web standards, or agreed-upon ways of reading Web designers' code and
displaying
the page as described. With IE 8, Microsoft has promised to adhere to
standards.
But since many Web pages, including Microsoft's own corporate sites, were
built to
work best with IE, the new version may "break" some pages.
The fix? A button that reverts to the old, nonstandard way of operating.



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