Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 has finally been officially unveiled after months of public trials, with the Redmond company hoping an emphasis on security and the arrival of WebSlices and InPrivate Browsing can stop the migration to rival browsers.

Microsoft's John Curran - in a lengthy interview with TechRadar - provides an ebullient commentary on the latest IE, as well as insisting that the company will take on anyone with its latest offering.

IE8 is a significant improvement on its ageing predecessor, but Microsoft has once again reiterated that it has a duty of care for people who will not or cannot upgrade to the latest versions of its software.

For those who do upgrade to the latest IE, there are many new features.

Features

Accelerators are essentially small programs that allow functionality with the right mouse button – so for instance a right click on a destination could look for it in a map site like Live or Google Maps.

WebSlices has been described as 'RSS with bells on' bringing constantly information from things like eBay auctions.

InPrivate Browsing and InPrivate Blocking are the most noticeable parts of a revamped security system for the browser.

The InPrivate Browser mode means a user to can surf but not leave any trace of their internet use when they close down the browser, whilst InPrivate Blocking prevents information being passed to sites by the user.

Enabling both is what Microsoft calls a 'discrete' decision, meaning that they are not turned on by default but must be switched on.

There are a number of other new security features including cross-site scripting and click-jacking prevention.

Hard times

However, this is a tough time in the browser market with competition ramping up quickly.

Safari 4 was unveiled in beta recently promising the fastest surfing experience, FireFox is continuing to evolve and new kid on the browser block Google has just announced a new beta version of its Chrome browser.

Other items you may be interested in:

The complete IE8 interview

Microsoft: We'll take on anyone with IE8

Microsoft claims UK has chosen IE

Opera: IE8 'dangerous for internet'