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Internet Explorer 9 Beta Hits Public Availability


Internet Explorer 9 Beta Hits Public Availability

Microsoft has announced the public availability of Internet Explorer 9 (IE9), its new browser that it hopes will help it claw back market share that recently has dropped to around 60 per cent.

Microsoft said that its new browser would take a backseat and be less intrusive than previous versions, letting the web sites come to the fore. As such, the browser hides menu bars to create more space for the web site you’re viewing and notifications are designed to be less intrusive.

““The Web is about sites, and your browser should be, too,” Dean Hachamovitch, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for Internet Explorer said in a statement. “IE9 puts you and your site at the center of the browser experience.”

IE9 is the first Microsoft browser to support HTML5, which allows for more interactive and better designed web sites using graphics and video.

It also offers hardware acceleration, which on compatible hardware should really help make IE9 a speed demon, not something Microsoft’s browsers are traditionally known for. In fact its Chakra Javascript engine is claimed to be 11 times faster than it was in IE8. Security wise it also features a download manager with a

IE9 also offers enhanced Windows 7 integration, with Pinned Sites enabling sites to be launched from the taskbar, Tear-off tabs and Windows Aero Snap support for viewing two sites side by side easily.

Microsoft is putting a big marketing push behind the launch, with tie ups with the likes of The Gorillaz.

The beta is available to download now worldwide in 33 languages but requires Windows 7 or Vista, with no support for Windows XP.

Link: IE9 Download page.


September 16, 2010, 3:19 am

Gotta say I'm loving the GPU acceleration here. I didn't want to believe it but for me it is loading sites faster than Chrome 6.04. I never thought about before but page scrolling is so smooth with IE9 compared to Chrome. The one thing that is putting me off it though is the massive top frame. Minimalist it may be but it is still huge.

Jim Fulton

September 16, 2010, 3:40 am

I can see Firefox and Chrome users watching the tumbleweed blow across their screens. And corporate users getting excited until...doh, we're still on XP. Dang!


September 16, 2010, 3:44 am

Quite excited about this release. Inline search, hardware acceleration, and the new clean look are all good enhancements. So I'm downloading the new browser as I type. I suspect the lack of support for add-ons/extensions will stop me from converting to IE9 though. I've got used to decent Adblock and Speed Dial Add-ons - I'll have to find out if there are IE9 equivalents?


September 16, 2010, 4:48 am

The speed is nice, but:

- too many incompatible plug-ins

- no horizontal favorites (speed access). Why take it out? It's one of the best features of IE8

- No seach providers? Again, that's one of the best features of IE8.

Maybe I couldn't find the way to activate these last two, but te first one is what made me uninstall it after about 10mn: I can't live without the Egg Manager!


September 16, 2010, 5:02 am

All text in IE9 comes up in Italics, anyone else have this problem and know how to remedy it?


September 16, 2010, 5:43 am

I'm an Opera fan, while using Chrome for things like online banking (because First Direct doesn't support Opera properly). If I'm honest I never saw much real world speed difference between Opera, Chrome or even IE8 but preferred Opera for its panels, password management etc, and general look (when will Chrome let us remove the pointless underlining from weblinks?) I've just been trying IE9 and it is nice and clean, but there's not much else to tempt me ... Opera it remains ...

Chris W

September 16, 2010, 1:39 pm

@Manni - To turn on the Favorites bar, right click on say the Home button or the Tools button and select Favorites Bar.

Simon J

September 16, 2010, 1:40 pm

I had a quick play with IE9 Beta last night and have to be honest I am not that impressed. It is a little quicker than IE8 but not enough to trigger a "wow" response. I am disappointed that they have still not included a spell checker for web page data entry (yeah I know IESpell is available still but Chrome does inline spell checking, which is much better solution and you have to add more buttons to the window....defeating the object of 9's new look).

The new minimilised look is ok but once you add the horizontal favourites (it is enabled by right clicking on the browser frame) and other menu options required for IESpell then it pretty much looks like IE 8 without the search box.

Finally I was hoping for better compatibility with websites now but noticed that my banking site (EGG) fails to load external banking details as worked ok on IE8.

I am now seriously thinking of removing IE completely and shifting to Chrome, which I use at work and have to say is much better, especially with the faster application development.


September 16, 2010, 3:02 pm

I've gone back to Chrome already. It's just much more practical (spellchecker helps me not to look like a fool!)


September 16, 2010, 5:13 pm

@Chris W: thanks, but the plugin compatibility is the dealbreaker for me.

@Simon J: be careful, Egg Manager doesn't work on Chrome either...


September 16, 2010, 10:36 pm

A commendable display of humility from Microsoft of all people in allowing the websites themselves to take centre stage. That along with the intelligent implementation of the 'jumplists' feature of Windows 7 has the company actually stealing a march on it's competitors.

Ben 3

September 17, 2010, 5:19 pm

@Simon J

It's likely that the problem is with Egg's site not IE9. For instance NatWest's web banking refuses to work in IE9 - but only because it's not on the list of approved browsers. Have you tried running the site in compatability mode (which makes IE9 appear as IE8). Once IE9 is released Egg should sort out their site.


September 21, 2010, 9:05 pm

Egg money manager is working fine for me.

I'm actually quite impressed. I'll still be sticking to Chrome but in particular pinning sites to the taskbar is fairly neat. The jumplist functionality this provides is great. Hopefully TR will make use of this.

Not bad at all and definitely good enough.

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