Microsoft has launched an open beta-version of Internet Explorer 9, giving the public an opportunity to test drive the product before its official release. Microsoft has lost significant market share in the past several years after the release of Google Chrome at the end of 2008. With Google releasing updates to Chrome every several months, there are all the makings for a browser battle between the two tech giants. Consumers are sure to benefit from the healthy competition.
Internet Explorer 9 sports a completely revamped interface, hardware accelerated browsing, GPU-powered HTML-5 graphics support, improved security features, a download manager, search incorporated address bar, and the Windows 7 Aero-snap split-screen feature.
True to form, Microsoft has made Internet Explorer 9 compatible only with Windows 7 and Windows Vista Service Pack 2. So if you have not purchased a new version of Windows in the last few years, you cannot use Internet Explorer 9.
The user interface of Internet Explorer 9 has vastly improved from Internet Explorer 8. Most of the annoying features of Internet Explorer 8 have been replaced with features similar to those on Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. The interface is very clean, shows much more of the web page, and has adopted a look and feel very similar to Google Chrome. Chrome users and Firefox users won’t really notice many of the improvements. However, Internet Explorer 8 users will be ecstatic with the changes.
First of all, Internet Explorer 9 loads incredibly quickly – basically immediately. Unlike Internet Explorer 8, which functioned more like a relic from the past. When you load the program, it opens a tab that shows you your most-visited sites. However, unlike Google Chrome, it does not give you a thumbnail of the website. There is only the address, which can be difficult to read.
In Internet Explorer 9, the address bar is search capable, making for a significantly simpler browsing experience. There is a download manager with improved security and virus scan – which is important, given the penchant for viruses of many past versions of Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer 9 has tear-off tabs, allowing users to open a new window simply by tearing off a tab, another feature offered to Google Chrome and Firefox users for years.
Internet Explorer 9 provides a great browsing experience and loads graphics incredibly quickly, making scrolling a headache-free endeavor. Internet Explorer 9 offers a very smooth browsing experience. However, most of the features and changes will be nothing new to Google Chrome and Firefox users.
For Internet Explorer users, IE 9 is a huge step up. Many of the annoying features of previous versions of Internet Explorer have been replaced. The interface is light years ahead of past IE versions. And IE9 will greatly improve the browsing experience, loading graphics quickly and making for a much smoother, more enjoyable browsing experience.
Joab Jackson, IE9 Has Google Chrome on the Run, PCWorld
Mike Pearson, IE9 Aims to Out-Chrome Chrome, TechNewsWorld