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.
The Investment Commission yesterday approved a Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) application to invest an additional US$3.5 billion in its Arizona subsidiary to manufactured advanced chips. The world’s largest contract chipmaker’s board of directors last month approved the funding project after TSMC started moving manufacturing equipment into the fab in December last year in preparation for the production of 4-nanometer chips next year. TSMC said it has also commenced the second phase of facility construction in Arizona. The second fab is to produce semiconductors using 3-nanometer technology in 2026. Altogether, TSMC plans to spend US$40 billion on the Arizona fabs, doubling its
KEY SECTOR: Taiwan’s new chip legislation is insufficient, and a more strategic ‘chip act’ that covers the whole semiconductor ecosystem is needed, MediaTek’s chairman said MediaTek Inc (聯發科) chairman Rick Tsai (蔡明介) yesterday urged the government to formulate a state semiconductor strategy and comprehensive “chip act” that includes local chip designers and smaller-scale semiconductor companies, as they are facing intensifying competition from China. The government is playing an increasingly important role in safeguarding the local semiconductor industry’s competitiveness, given that the US, the EU and Japan are offering hefty subsidies and significant tax incentives to build semiconductor capacity domestically, as they have realized the strategic importance of semiconductors, Tsai said. To implement such a program, the government should take steps to finance a “chip act,” Tsai said
Microsoft Corp has threatened to cut off access to its Internet search data, which it licenses to rival search engines, if they do not stop using it as the basis for their own artificial intelligence (AI) chat products, people familiar with the dispute have said. The software maker licenses the data in its Bing search index — a map of the Internet that can be quickly scanned in real time — to other companies that offer Web search, such as Apollo Global Management Inc’s Yahoo and DuckDuckGo. Last month, Microsoft integrated a cousin of ChatGPT, OpenAI’s AI-powered chat technology, into Bing. Rivals
MOUNTING PRESSURE: Although bank failures in the US and Europe would not cause systemic risks, it would dampen consumers’ willingness to spend, GlobalWafers said GlobalWafers Co (環球晶圓), the world’s third-largest silicon wafer supplier, yesterday said that the financial turmoil in the US and Europe has dimmed the outlook for chip demand in the second half of this year, as growing economic uncertainty could dampen consumer spending. The Hsinchu-based wafer manufacturer said it is seeing greater pressure from economic uncertainty on the industry’s recovery, as customers would have not expected Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank and a tier-one bank like Credit Suisse Group SA to collapse suddenly. Although the failures are unlikely to cause systemic risks, consumers would be cautious of spending on non-essential items, such