Microsoft employed the help of Murdoc and the Gorillaz to launch its IE9 Beta in London tonight (15 September). An exclusively put together video by the team at Zombie Flesh Eaters was shown to a crowd containing none other than Gorillaz co-founders Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett themselves.
The band is one of the launch partners of the browser, having created a content-rich HTML5 version of its site, with streaming video and music at every turn, and 3D rendered graphics zipping about like kids at a wedding.
Fans of the band can access the enhanced content in Murdoc Niccals’ Club Room at gorillaz.com/club-room and across Gorillaz.com, and there's also handy links to download the latest build of the browser to run it on.
Also speaking at the even, Ashley Highfield, managing director & VP, Consumer & Online UK, Microsoft, explained that the aim of IE9 is to create rich applications from homepages: "This isn't about the browser," he said. "It's about the websites themselves".
"We want the browser to melt away".
Leila Martine, director of Windows Consumer, Microsoft UK, added: "We asked ourselves, how could we build something that wasn't going to be an incremental advance, but something that's a quantum advancement".
And she underlined the philosophy that IE9 turns websites into an extension of Microsoft's Windows OS: "We're now really promoting websites as being first class citizens of Windows," she said.
She also explained why the new version of the browser has such a large back button: "The number one thing that users do on the browser is use the back button. Hence the really big back button". Makes sense.
However, the last word came from Murdoc and the Gorillaz: "Tomorrow has finally come today," he said. "It's like a wizard's portal".
Pocket-lint will be running a full hands-on of the IE9 Beta in the near future. Until then, let us know whether you'd consider moving across from your current browser in the comments below...
Also, you can now check out the Gorillaz launch video for yourself.