IE9 beta released

by Ron Grattopp….you may have already heard some good things about Microsoft’s next generation browser, but, in case you haven’t let me highlight some of the new features than you should know about in IE9.  And check at the end of this post for links to the download and more info.


The IE9 beta was released on 9-15-2010.  It’s being touted as more than an incremental update to IE8, and not just by Microsoft (IE9 Will Change the Web Forever and Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9 a huge step forward).  Note that IE9 is now one of the most standards-compliant browsers to date.  And it’s new hardware acceleration should really make it the browser of choice for all those cloud apps you’re using.

Here’s a rundown on some of the key new improvements in IE9 (pics from IE9 home page):

Hardware Acceleration -

Internet Explorer 9 employs your computer’s graphics processor to render Web pages. What this means is that your CPU doesn’t work as hard and this baby is FAST.

Minimal Interface/Compact UI

IE9 is now one of the cleanest browser UIs out there.  Among other things, the address bar and tabs bar have been combined to save vertical space. However, you can restore the old stuff with a simple right click.

Streamlined design in Internet Explorer 9

Windows 7 Integration (pinned sites)

Among other things, you can now pin websites to the taskbar as shortcuts the same way you typically would with a program, making it easy to access your favorite sites with one click, whether you have a browser open or not.

A pinned site on the taskbar

Integrated and saves screen space.

Search terms in the address bar

Add-on Performance advisor

The new performance manager shows you exactly how long each new addition tacks onto your browser load time and navigation time.

Add-on Performance Advisor

Enhanced tabs

New “tear-off” tabs allow you to drag a tab out of IE and open that tab's webpage in a new window, and you can also Snap it for side-by-side viewing.

Tear-off tabs shown side-by-side

New tab page

The “new tab” page in IE9 automatically arranges the sites you most frequently visit, and color codes them with bars that indicate how much time you spend on them.

The New Tab page

For more info check the IE9 beta testdrive site where you can see demos of the new capabilities in IE9.  Also, here’s a link to the Windows Team Blog.  And the IE Engineering Blog and Internet Explorer Tech Center