Microsoft will formally release its Internet Explorer 8 browser today, hoping to reverse a steady slide in its browser dominance as consumers switch to rival software for surfing the web, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Microsoft is touting its IE8 browser for its security and privacy features, along with its convenience. Since introducing a beta version of the browser last year, Microsoft has made modest tweaks to the underlying technology based on user feedback. With a few exceptions, it’s essentially what has been available for some time. Microsoft’s dominance in browsers has eroded over the past decade, particularly in the face of stiff competition from Mozilla’s Firefox. The various versions of IE now account for 67.4 percent of the U.S. market, according to analytics firm Net Applications, while Firefox has grown to 21.8 percent and Google’s new Chrome browser has 1.2 percent of the market. New features in IE8 include more stable web browsing; the ability to create small windows in the browser toolbar to keep an eye on, say, an eBay auction or changing stock quotes; and the ability to visit web sites without leaving a trail in the browser history…

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