SAN FRANCISCO — Microsoft is escalating its efforts to bring the latest version of Internet Explorer to more than 700 million personal computers in an attempt to reestablish the software maker’s browser as the best way to surf the Web.
Tuesday’s release of Internet Explorer 10 is aimed at PCs running on Windows 7, the most used version of Microsoft Corp.’s flagship operating system for PCs. A preview version of Internet Explorer 10 has been available for Windows 7 machines since mid-November. The final version of Internet Explorer 10 will be automatically sent to all Windows 7 computers set up to get updates.
Internet Explorer 10 is primarily designed for tablet computers and other devices responsive to touch. Even though relatively few Windows 7 PCs can be controlled with fingers on a display screen, Microsoft is confident Internet Explorer 10 will still have widespread appeal because it loads websites 20 percent faster than its predecessor, said Ryan Gavin, Microsoft’s general manager for the browser.
About 90 percent of Windows PCs have been programmed to get the automatic updates, Gavin said.
More than 670 million PCs rely on Windows 7. In addition, more than 60 million PCs and other devices have licensed Windows 8.
Microsoft is counting on Internet Explorer 10 to reverse recent trends in the Web browser market. By some estimates, Google Inc.’s Chrome browser has supplanted Internet Explorer as the world’s most popular browser.