Thu, Mar 12, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Microsoft Taiwan launching IE8 to rival Yahoo-Kimo

By Elizabeth Tchii  /  STAFF REPORTER

Microsoft Corp yesterday said it would offer Web users a new browsing experience on March 20, with faster, easier and safer Internet surfing.

Microsoft Taiwan Corp unveiled the local version of its Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) platform at a press conference yesterday and introduced the domestic partners it worked with to make the platform more competitive, including FunP.com, UrMap, I’m TV, Pixnet (痞客邦), Ruten.com (露天拍賣) and 1111 Job Bank.

Although Microsoft Taiwan tops the domestic Internet browser market, the company said it hoped the new version of its Web browser would be more than a tool. The IE home page has been designed to woo users from rival Yahoo-Kimo Inc (雅虎奇摩), the nation’s most popular search engine.

“The entire premise of our IE8 is to create user stickiness, so that Internet users don’t need to wander around the Web in search of their favorite sites because Microsoft has already thought ahead and consolidated the sites for them,” Microsoft Taiwan general manager Davis Tsai (蔡恩全) said.

Yahoo-Kimo’s site is tailored to the Taiwanese market, which has helped it secure the lion’s share of the market. The site has an arrival rate of 98 percent, meaning that during a given period of time, 98 percent of users surfing the Web in Taiwan visit its site.

Second in the search engine market is Google Taiwan, with an arrival rate of 80 percent last year.

“One of the many great features of IE8 is ‘accelerators,’ which give users instant access to local Web sites that [feature] maps, Web searches, translation, e-mail and blogging. Our local partnerships with these companies in essence creates a one-stop shop where users can access all this information on our site,” Juno Su (蘇倩慧), the company’s platform marketing manager, told reporters.

Another new function of the IE8 platform is “Web slices,” which allow personalization through subscriptions to specific content within a page to monitor auction items, sports scores, entertainment columns, weather reports and other information, Su said.

Other features include enhanced Web searching that includes images and Web site recommendations based on personal browsing history.

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