Microsoft have been lagging behind in the browser space. They may have a larger market share than their competitors but Internet Explorer have been lacking in speed and flash like Google Chrome and Firefox.
Microsoft seemed to have taken notice and stepped up its game with the release of IE9 Beta.
First things first, IE9 is in beta and everything shouldn’t be taken as a final build. Microsoft might tweak some features when it releases its final build in 2011.
I have to say that I’m in total shock on how fast IE9 is. There are times when I’m browsing with IE9 and think I’m using Google Chrome. Here’s the things I’ve seen in IE9 I’d like to point out:
New Look, Fresh Paint:
Microsoft has taken a minimalistic design approach to IE9 (No more annoying toolbars!). It looks like they’ve taken some design cues from Opera and Chrome. Even Firefox has taken that cue with it’s new design. The URL box has become a space where you can search as well as type in web addresses.
Tabs are also located on the same area as the URL box. I don’t know if Microsoft will in the future let users to move the tabs above the search bar like Google Chrome. As someone who has 8 tabs open at the same time when browsing, i hope that option is open. It’s not a deal breaker but it will be a nice option to have.
Performance: Faster, Faster IE9!
Pins And Downloads
New features include the ability to pin websites to the taskbar in Windows 7. Some pinned websites like Twitter have jump lists which include New Tweets, and Direct Messages.
IE9 also has a new download manager (finally!). You can now track your individual downloads. Previous versions of IE had only a download window and it’s good that Microsoft has finally updated this feature.
HTML5 Is The Future
Microsoft is utilizing HTML5 to it’s fullest. Some showcases of HTML5 in IE9 can be found at http://www.beautyoftheweb.com. It looks really good. I’m now fully convinced that HTML5 can do some great things for the web. Flash still dominates the web but if more developers use more of the HTML5 codes, it could become standard very soon.
Internet Explorer 9 has taken a major step forward. Improved performance is a welcome feature and the new design is great. The location of the tab bar might not sit well with some people. To me it’s not a deal breaker but the option to move the location would be nice.
IE9 takes advantage of your computer’s hardware. It uses hardware acceleration to boost the performance of the browser which is a good thing.
IE9 Beta is not perfect yet. Some bugs are present such as some pages crashing or not rendering properly. But it’s a great start for Internet Explorer 9. Looks like Microsoft has finally caught up and is ready to go to battle with the competition.