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Internet Explorer 11 Arrives for Windows 7

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Ie-11

The touch-first environment of Windows 8 (later 8.1) is such a big leap from previous versions of Windows that many PC users chose to stick with Windows 7 (according to Net Applications, Windows 7 is installed on almost half of all PCs in operation today). Microsoft isn’t leaving those holdouts behind, though: Windows 7 users will enjoy the benefits of Internet Explorer 11, starting on Thursday.

IE11 for Windows 7, available for download in 95 countries, includes the same performance, security and stability improvements that Windows 8.1 has enjoyed the past few weeks. Microsoft says “real world” websites load 9% faster than IE10 and 30% faster than competing browsers, thanks to better Javascript performance.

“The engineering team has worked to make every subsequent version of IE faster than its predecessor,” Roger Capriotti, Microsoft’s senior director of marketing for Internet Explorer, told Mashable. “Everything from tapping into things like hardware acceleration — where the GPU is used to hardware-accelerate the browser — to making the fastest Javascript engine on the market.”

Microsoft also says IE11 has more effective security tools, citing statistics from NSS Labs. In a recent study, the information security company said IE blocks 92% of malware and phishing attacks. Google Chrome was the next highest at 71%, with Safari and Firefox way behind at 37% and 35%, respectively.

Internet Explorer users on Windows 7 will now also benefit from the expanded standards of version 11.

Internet Explorer users on Windows 7 will now also benefit from the expanded standards of version 11. Notably, webGL is supported, giving developers more flexibility to create highly visual sites. IE11 also supports HTML5 drag-and-drop as well as device awareness — so a web developer can create a site that knows the orientation of the device it’s running on.

Microsoft has created an IE11 test site, a hub of links to web pages that showcase the new abilities of its most recent browser. It’s even created an new webGL version of Hover, a capture-the-flag-style game that originally shipped with Windows 95.

“We were approached by a man named Dan Church who was looking to bring Hover back,” Capriotti said. “Dan was a child in the ’90s, and the game was one of the things that drove him to be a software developer. He had worked to re-create the gameplay for the web.”

Users who are already running the IE11 release preview will get the update automatically in the next few weeks, although anyone can manually download and start running it today. For more on what’s behind the version, watch the video below.

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Industry

THE FINTECH REVOLUTION IN INSURANCE

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Advancing technology has collided with longstanding customer issues to create a series of deep, lasting, systemic challenges for insurance. How will these trends impact insurers’ businesses and the industry overall?

The rise of fintech, changing consumer behavior, and advanced technologies are disrupting the insurance industry. Additionally, Insurtechs and technology startups continue to redefine customer experience through innovations such as risk-free underwriting, on-the-spot purchasing, activation, and claims processing.

The report from Deloitte Global examines forces that are disrupting the insurance industry and presents four possible scenarios for the future. We explore:

  • Changing the channel: Partnerships with product makers and distributors, and embedding insurance into other products and services may enable customers to select products that best fit their lifestyle.
  • Underwriting by machine: Technology advancements including AI innovations and algorithms will likely individualize risk selection and pricing, and customers can select products based on a wider range of price points.
  • Rise of the flexible product: Time-flexible, event-driven, modular and adjustable coverage may evolve to accommodate life stage, lifestyle, and wellness changes among consumers.
  • E-Z life insurance: Given the growth and shopping patterns in emerging markets, insurers who introduce flexible term products, and master digital distribution without compromising underwriting are likely to win in the marketplace.

Read the report to understand what the future holds for the insurance industry.

Key Contact

Neal Baumann

Neal Baumann

Global Insurance Leader

Neal leads Deloitte’s Global Insurance practice and is the US insurance consulting leader. He has 20 years of experience advising financial services and insurance company clients on corporate and comp… More

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Business

EUROPEAN INVESTMENT BANK RUNS BLOCKCHAIN HACKATHON

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A team from EY triumphed in a 48-hour European Investment Bank (EIB) hackathon designed to find ways to use blockchain technologies to redesign the transaction processing of commercial paper.

The EIB brought together 56 coders from 15 countries in 12 teams for the hackathon, run alongside the bank’s annual forum dedicated to treasury issues.

While the conference was running, the coders were locked in an adjacent room, trying to prove that blockchain tech can improve the transaction process of commercial paper – a short-term financing instrument that is used worldwide in treasury operations and still relies on an ‘archaic’ and complex process.

In the pitching session, the EY team won the contest with an effort that taps a combination of blockchain, robotics and business AI tools to optimise the issuance process and reduce the number of exchanges between the EIB and its counterparties while maintaining each one’s role within the ecosystem.

The EY team won a EUR5000 cash prize and a contract with the EIB to further develop its solution into a proof of concept.

Alexander Stubb, vice president, EIB, say: “There will be major gains from the use of new technologies such as blockchain, generated from the simplification and streamlining of existing financial processes. The new perspectives opened up by digitalisation and Distributed Ledger Technology must be assessed and we must all be ready to make use of them and embark on this new venture.

“As the EU’s financial arm, we decided to be on the active side, learn by experience and make things happen, to be a facilitator and join with our banking partners to pave the way for tomorrow’s financial industry.”

Separately, Barclays is planning a hackathon that will see coders use blockchain technology for post-trade processing of derivatives contracts. The event will take place over two days in September in London and New York, according to Coindesk.

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Industry

GOOGLE NEVER REALLY LEFT CHINA: A LOOK AT THE CHINESE WEBSITE GOOGLE’S BEEN QUIETLY RUNNING

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More information is leaking out about just how Google is planning to re-enter the Chinese market with a mobile search engine application that complies to the country’s censorship laws.

The Intercept first broke this story when a whistleblower provided them documentation detailing the secret censored search project (codenamed Dragonfly). According to them, an overlooked Google acquisition from 2008 — 265.com — has been quietly laying down the foundation for the endeavor.

In order to run a business in China, tech companies are required to obtain a Internet Content Provider license from the Chinese government. As it’s difficult for foreign businesses to obtain this license, Google has long partnered with Chinese IT company Ganji.com. Back in the early years of Google.cn, Google actually operated directly off of Ganji.com’s license, even claiming the Chinese company was temporarily running its search engine. Facing intense scrutiny from the Chinese government and the media over this license arrangement, in 2007 Google formed a legitimate joint venture company with Ganji.com — the Beijing Guxiang Information and Technology Co.

Because of the necessity of that license, Google has maintained that joint venture and has been operating in China under the name Beijing Guxiang Information and Technology Co. ever since. Even after the shut down of Google.cn, Google’s Chinese advertising enterprise has been operating under the joint venture company as well as, low and behold, 265.com. A whois search of the 265.com domain name, which provides a record of the current domain registrant information, pulls up Beijing Guxiang Information and Technology Co. as the registrant organization.

A significant number of Google employees are reportedly none too happy about Google’s project complying with Chinese censorship laws. This most recent news, that the company has long been collecting data for a moment just like this, surely won’t make morale among these workers any better.

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