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Alexa offers beta of its IE10 desktop plug-in toolbar

Many long time Internet users might be familiar with Alexa Internet, which has offered a plug-in for Internet Explorer and Firefox that adds a toolbar to those web browsers when installed. There's also an Alexa extension made for Chrome. Among other things, the toolbars and extension gather information from the users of those browsers to generate traffic rankings for websites.

Officially, Alexa Internet, which was acquired by Amazon in 1999, does not show support for its toolbar in Internet Explorer 10. However, Neowin contacted Alexa and learned that there is in fact a beta version of the IE10 toolbar for the desktop version made for Windows 7 and 8, which can be downloaded from Alexa's website.

It's important to note that the Alexa IE10 toolbar beta does not support the Modern UI version the browser in Windows 8. Indeed, Microsoft revealed way back in 2011 that the Modern version of IE10 would be plug-in free. At the time Microsoft said, "Providing compatibility with legacy plug-in technologies would detract from, rather than improve, the consumer experience of browsing in the Metro style UI." Microsoft has also set up IE10 so that it has "Do Not Track" as its default.

The fact that the Alexa toolbar plug-in won't work on the Modern port of IE10 in Windows 8 could be the start of a slow but steady move away from third party toolbars for web browsers in general, for security and other reasons. It could also make the website rankings that Alexa posts less accurate. In a page on Alexa's website, the company states their ranking methods have corrections "... for a large number of potential biases ..." However, the statement added, "... biases still exist, and to the extent that our sample of users differs from the set of all internet users, our traffic estimates may over- or under-estimate the actual traffic to any particular site."

Image via Amazon

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