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Microsoft Launches Tabbed Browsing Tool - InternetNews.
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Microsoft Launches Tabbed Browsing Tool

Tabbed browsing has come to Microsoft .

Although version 7 of Internet Explorer has not been released yet, Microsoft has included tabbed browsing in an update to its MSN Search Toolbar for version 6 of Internet Explorer, which was made publicly available today.

The tabbed browsing feature in the new 2.5 version of the MSN toolbar will enable users "to quickly access, manage and save commonly visited sites into automatic 'routines' of Web pages that can all be opened simultaneously," according to an MSN Fact Sheet.

It said the tabbed browsing feature will also enable users to launch MSN Search results in new background tabs.

Internet Explorer's rival, Mozilla, has long embraced tabbed browsing as one of the features that differentiates it from Redmond's browser.

Back in May, Microsoft's product unit manager for IE, Dean Hachamovitch, announced that the upcoming IE 7 browser would include the much-requested tabbed browsing feature.

At that time, Microsoft indicated that an upcoming version of the MSN toolbar would include the feature, a promise that it has now fulfilled.

The tabbed browsing feature in the MSN Search Toolbar for Internet Explorer 2.5 will also be available as an upgrade to the current 2.1 version of the toolbar.

Originally launched in March 2004 Microsoft claims that the MSN toolbar has been downloaded over 100 million times.

Tabbed browsing isn't the only new feature in the new MSN toolbar though. Beyond just IE, the new search toolbar release provides improvements to its overall Windows Desktop Search capabilities (including Microsoft Windows Explorer, Microsoft Office and Microsoft Internet Explorer).

Windows desktop search functionality was introduced suite to the MSN toolbar in December 2004.

Overall Microsoft claims that it has improved the performance of the tool for faster retrieval of files as well as increased the customization capabilities. The new customization features enable users to define what gets indexed for search, file types for search, and where the index is saved on the users PC.

With the new release, MSN also reiterated its commitment to user privacy protection by noting that secure Web pages are not stored or cached by the MSN Toolbar.

"What's on a person's desktop stays on the desktop," the MSN fact sheet said.

The tabbed browsing MSN toolbar is available at http://desktop.msn.com as a free download.