Microsoft releases IE 10 browser for Windows 7

Internet Explorer 10's main purpose is to make viewing websites as enjoyable and convenient as using applications tailor-made for specific mobile devices.

For instance, when reading an article on a news site, users of Internet Explorer 10 can just swipe across the screen to continue reading the next page instead of having to scroll down to click on a link, as most browsers require. Microsoft also says games such as "Contre Jour'' played on Internet Explorer 10 will work as well, or even better, than those packaged in applications.

Realizing that goal is crucial to Microsoft as it tries to make a bigger splash in the smartphone and tablet markets. It probably will take years before mobile devices running on Windows 8 boast as many applications as their competitors, giving Microsoft an added incentive to build a superior Web browser. The mobile operating systems designed by Apple Inc. and Google Inc. each boast more than 700,000 applications.

Microsoft also hopes Internet Explorer 10 can reverse recent trends in the Web browser market. By some estimates, Google's Chrome browser has supplanted Internet Explorer as the world's most popular browser. Other research firms still assert that Internet Explorer remains the most widely used, although all measures show it has been losing market share to Chrome, Mozilla's Firefox and Apple's Safari.

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