With Internet Explorer 9, sites take center stage

The web has always been about the browser, yes? Browsers are our windows on the online world. And what everybody truly admires in a good window is... cleanliness.

Clean is good on its own merit, but there's another view here. With Internet Explorer 9, being clean means delivering a truly unobstructed view of the virtual landscape. And, though Internet Explorer 9 is figuratively and literally more transparent (in a good way), let's stare at it for a minute to see what makes it so blissfully clean.

Internet Explorer 9

Oh, you blend. First off, Internet Explorer 9 works very hard to be seamless with Windows 7, sharing features so you can focus on content, not viewing tools. Examples? You can:

  • Pin sites to the taskbar, so you go directly to your favorite content without even thinking "browser."

    Pinned site
    Pinned site

  • Use jump lists, along with those handy preview thumbnails to help you pick your page, for pinned sites. You get to jump to recently viewed content—no need to think "browser history."

    Jump Lists
    Jump Lists get you where you want to go

  • View things side-by-side, just as in Windows 7, by "tearing off" tabs and snapping them to the sides of your screen.

    Tear-off tabs and Snap
    Tear-off tabs and Snap make it easy to view two websites at the same time

Fewer distractions, clearer direction. Things blend appearance-wise, too. The browser frame around a page is "glass," letting you focus more on the content. And the frame itself is smaller.

Understated buttons remain for essential browser functions—everything else has been vamoosed. What pops out? The sites themselves. Oh, and now there's plenty of room for a second row of tabs, for those of us who need to be everywhere at once.

There's no place like... For pinned sites, the highly popular and newly enlarged "Back" button takes on the site's color motif, and Internet Explorer 9 uses the site's icon on the upper left as a home button. Once again, you're focusing on the content, not the browser.

Quieter, too—in a clean way. With Internet Explorer 9, you'll see fewer pop-up dialogs when it wants to let you know the status of a web page, a download, or the browser itself. Instead, there's a neatly consolidated Notification Bar at the bottom of the frame, which "quietly" lets you know what's going on or asks for a confirmation of some kind. You still get all the security and control, but, once again, the content takes center stage.

New notification bar
New notification bar

The clean getaway. Ultimately, browsing is about getting where you want to be, so Internet Explorer 9 combines search and navigation into One Box. Just start typing what you want—address or search term—and Internet Explorer 9 interactively helps you get there. Autocomplete helps finish your words for you when you're headed for familiar places.

OK, enough thinking about the browser—and that's precisely the point.

Until next time,