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Microsoft and Gorillaz come together to launch Internet Explorer 9 Beta

Gorillaz work with Microsoft to develop online experience that showcases the potential of the web when viewed through the new Internet Explorer 9

LONDON, 16 SEPTEMBER 2010 — Gorillaz and Microsoft have today announced a partnership to showcase the Beta launch of Microsoft’s new Internet Explorer 9 browser.

Microsoft approached Gorillaz, the world famous animated band who are signed to EMI’s Parlophone Records, to ask them to develop an online experience that showcases the potential of the web when viewed through Internet Explorer 9 Beta.

The Gorillaz’ design team, Zombie Flesh Eaters, have taken advantage of HTML5 and the new features Internet Explorer 9 Beta provides to create a stunning new web experience for Gorillaz fans as showcased in Murdoc Niccal’s Club Room http://gorillaz.com/club-room and across Gorillaz.com. Microsoft is also featuring this web content on its specially designed microsite www.beautyoftheweb.co.uk.

The relationship between Gorillaz and Microsoft was facilitated by EMI Music’s UK brand partnership team alongside marketing agency Artizan Entertainment and Microsoft’s UK Consumer PR agency, 3 Monkeys Communications.

Commenting on the partnership, Gorillaz said: “Of course those clever bods at Microsoft came to us Gorillaz first with their new Internet Explorer 9 Beta technology. And it works like magic – our website now pushes past the boundaries for visual speed and our fans will be able to interact with us better than ever before. Gorillaz.com through Internet Explorer 9 Beta- it’s like a Wizard’s Portal!”

Paul Davies, Director of Marketing Communications, Consumer & Online Microsoft UK added: “We’re delighted to have partnered with one of the world’s best selling animated bands.  Gorillaz are breaking down technology barriers and represent everything that’s great about innovation. We believe this Beta launch marks a new era in the history of the web – viewing these new websites with Internet Explorer 9 Beta is like watching TV in high definition for the first time. By unlocking content on the web, we will be making browsing and enjoying content a richer, more immersive experience.”

Rafael McDonnell, EMI Music’s Senior Vice President for Brand Partnerships, Licensing & Synchronisation – Europe said: “Gorillaz are renowned around the world for their innovation in music, visual concepts and animation. This partnership with Microsoft showcases Gorillaz’ creativity and innovation and is a great example of how artists, music and brands can work together in partnership. The new Internet Explorer 9 Beta is the perfect platform to showcase this new online Gorillaz experience.”

Microsoft will officially launch Internet Explorer 9 once the testing of the Beta version has been completed but the Beta is available now with all of its brand new features.

-ENDS-

Note to Editors

Internet Explorer 9 Beta is the next version of Microsoft’s browser that has been re-imagined to feel faster, cleaner, and more trusted. What follows are descriptions of the new features in Internet Explorer 9.

Internet Explorer 9 is all-around fast

Designed to take full advantage of your Windows computer’s hardware, Internet Explorer 9 delivers graphically rich and immersive web experiences. These new features make Internet Explorer 9 fast.

  • Hardware-accelerated graphics. Hardware-accelerated text, video, and graphics mean that your websites perform like applications installed directly on your Windows-based computer.
  • New Chakra JavaScript engine. Makes the browser fast; 11 times faster than Internet Explorer 8.
  • Fast installation experience. Compared to Internet Explorer 8, Internet Explorer 9 asks fewer questions, installs much faster, and does not require a reboot. Internet Explorer 9 installations require four clicks, while Internet Explorer 8 installations required 13 clicks (and up to 23 clicks when using custom settings).

Internet Explorer 9 puts the focus on the applications with a clean experience for your web sites

With a clean look and an increased viewing area, Internet Explorer 9 puts the focus on the stuff you love and makes your websites shine.

  • Clear and direct browser user interface. The new browser’s user interface puts the focus on your websites and applications by providing an increased viewing area.
  • One Box gives users a single place to start whether they want to navigate to a site, search for a site, switch between search providers, or access browsing history, Favourites, or suggestions from search providers. The privacy of the keystrokes that you enter into One Box is an important part of Internet Explorer 9. By default, Internet Explorer 9 helps keep the keystrokes you type private.
  • Inline AutoComplete. Inline AutoComplete places the best search result inline in One Box, so that users do not have to type as many characters to reach their intended site. This feature is on by default in Internet Explorer 9.
    • Pinned Sites. With pinned sites, a user’s favourite website can be accessed directly from the Windows taskbar without having to first open the browser. In Internet Explorer 8, we added features such as Web Slices that made it easier for users to access the sites that they visit most frequently. As users still wanted their sites more readily available, pinned sites are a way to make their favourite sites more easily accessible from within Windows. Users can pin sites to the taskbar by dragging the thumb pin icon from One Box to the taskbar.
    • Windows 7 navigation. Web navigation is easier in Internet Explorer 9 with features that are integrated with Windows 7 navigation, such as Jump Lists, Aero Snap, and thumbnail controls.

o        Jump Lists. Jump Lists are a quick way to get to frequently visited websites without first opening your browser. To open the Internet Explorer 9 Jump List, users right-click the Internet Explorer icon on the taskbar. They’ll see their pinned websites as well as the sites that they visit often. Users can also start InPrivate Browsing, open new tabs, or close a window.

o        Tear-off tabs and Windows Aero Snap. Users often need to use more than one website or page to accomplish a task. Tearing off a tab and using Windows Aero Snap to position the content is a great way to show two sites or pages side by side. Some examples include comparing products from different websites, watching a video while going through email, or looking at a map while reading an itinerary for a trip.

o        Thumbnail preview controls. Thumbnail preview controls available on the Windows 7 taskbar provide quick navigation to the sites that users want to visit. From the Internet Explorer 9 Jump List, users can access frequently visited sites, as well as perform Internet Explorer tasks including starting an InPrivate Browsing session and opening a new tab. When a site is pinned to the Windows taskbar, users can simply click on the pinned site’s thumbnail and access the site without having to first open their browser.

  • Enhanced tabs. Internet Explorer 9 provides improvements to the New Tab page, and the ability to tear off a tab from within a browsing session.

o        New Tab page. The New Tab page displays tiles for the sites that users visit frequently, to help get users where they want to go quickly and without hesitation. Each site is assigned a tile with a favicon and a title, and users can track their browsing habits with a meter on each tile. From the New Tab page, users can also reopen closed tabs, reopen their last browsing session, and start an InPrivate Browsing session.

  • Address Bar Top Result. Another new feature that speeds up browsing is Address Bar Top Result which helps users who have a hard time remembering the web address for common websites by taking them directly to the top results from their search without first displaying the search results page. For this behaviour to work, the Address Bar Top Results service must be enabled by the search provider.
  • Notification Bar. When notifications need to be shown in Internet Explorer 9, messages are shown within the user’s browsing flow and aren’t as disruptive as in previous versions. Users are not forced to stop browsing to respond to notifications before they can continue browsing. All notifications now appear in the Notification Bar at the bottom of the browser and messages are clearer and do a better job of explaining to the user what they need to know.

Internet Explorer 9 is the browser people can trust to feel confident and in control

Internet Explorer is the trusted way to surf the Web because it has a robust set of built-in security, privacy, and reliability technologies that help keep you safe and ensure your experience is uninterrupted. These new features provide the trust you need to feel safer online.

  • Download manager. Internet Explorer 9 provides the first download manager with integrated malware protection – all through a streamlined user interface with the new Download Manager, users can easily view download progress, open content that they’ve downloaded, or cancel a download that is in progress.
  • Reliability features. Reliability features protect you better from losing your information and help keep you browsing when a website isn’t working correctly.
  • Compatibility View. When Internet Explorer 9 detects a web site that is designed for an older version of the browser, the Compatibility View button appears next to the Refresh button on the Address Bar. Pressing the Compatibility View button causes Internet Explorer 9 to switch to a legacy document mode.
  • Automatic Updates. Getting the latest browser updates helps keep users protected over time. Users can choose to have important updates installed automatically, as soon as they are available. Automatically installed updates can include security updates, critical updates, definition updates, update rollups, and service packs through Windows Update.

For more information about Internet Explorer 9 and the Gorillaz partnership, please go to www.beautyoftheweb.co.uk

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.

About Gorillaz

Gorillaz is the most successful virtual band ever, fronted by four wildly talented but totally disparate characters: pretty-but-vacant singer 2D, satanic bassist Murdoc Niccals, Japanese guitar prodigy Noodle and amiable man-mountain drummer Russell Hobbs.

Put together by Damon Albarn (Blur) and Jamie Hewlett (Tank Girl) in 2000, their eponymous debut album was released to wide acclaim the following year. Gorillaz introduced the world to the animated four-piece, with lead-off single Clint Eastwood scoring a massive hit worldwide, and the band’s astonishingly inventive promos becoming a fixture on music television everywhere. The album was nominated for 6 Brit Awards and went on to record sales in excess of five million.

Their second album Demon Days was launched in May 2005, and has spawned the hit singles Feel Good Inc., DARE and Dirty Harry. Demon Days was produced with the help of Damon Albarn and Danger Mouse, and features a stellar roll-call of guests including Ike Turner, Dennis Hopper, Neneh Cherry and De La Soul.  With 5 Grammy nominations, including one for Record of the Year, they took home the Grammy for Best Pop Collaboration. Demon Days was also nominated for 2 Brit Awards, 5 European MTV Awards (winning Best Band), 4 Creative and Design Awards (CAD), won the Webby Award for Artist of The Year, and received The Jim Henson Award for Inspiration.

In 2006, Jamie Hewlett was awarded Designer of the Year, while Damon Albarn collected the Ivor Novello Award for Songwriter of The Year.

Live shows have included a virtual performance at the MTV EMAs and a collaboration with Madonna at the 2006 Grammy Awards; five nights at the Manchester International Festival, and the famed Apollo Theatre in Harlem, which saw all the musical collaborators behind Demon Days get together to perform the album from start to finish.

In March 2010 Gorillaz released Plastic Beach, their third album, and the band will embark on a world tour later this year. Performed by Damon Albarn, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon and the Gorillaz band, the live show will feature songs from all 3 albums (Gorillaz, Demon Days and Plastic Beach), and include full production, with video animation, artwork and film as designed by Jamie Hewlett. Gorillaz will play two nights at London’s O2 on November 14th and 16th as well as dates in Manchester, Birmingham and Brighton.

www.gorillaz.com

About EMI Music
EMI Music is one of the world’s leading music companies, representing artists spanning all musical tastes and genres. Its record labels include Angel, Astralwerks, Blue Note, Capitol, Capitol Latin, Capitol Nashville, EMI Classics, EMI CMG, EMI Records, EMI Records Nashville, Manhattan, Mute, Parlophone and Virgin.

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