Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9, which is still in beta but has literally had millions of users download it and start using it already, is by all accounts a big success for the company after so many ho-hum receptions to previous releases of the still leading Internet browser. And it’s no wonder, IE 9 is not just another update to a tired old program; it appears as if Microsoft has designed it from the ground up, as it looks nothing like any of the older versions that everyone has grown so used to seeing. And this is a good thing, because Microsoft has listened to what users have said they want and has borrowed ideas from other popular browsers as well and has come up with a product that everyone will want to use.
The most welcome thing about the new browser is its speed. When you tell it which web page you want to go to, it jumps right on it and has the page loaded faster than any other browser on the market; which is important because now that so many people are on broadband, you don’t want to get slowed down because your browser is busy thinking things over.
The next thing you notice is the minimalism, as in, when it first loads, you wonder if some parts of it were forgotten; all you see is the web page you requested, and little bit of a search/web address bar. And of course the Google tool bar, which you can immediately disable. After looking a little closer you discover that there are indeed three little icons on the top right of the screen: for jumping to your home page, accessing your favorites and using the browser tools. But that is literally it.
Of course, most people will want to enable their favorites toolbar, because clicking on the favorites icon then sliding down to your site, then clicking again is tedious.
A welcome change is inverted tabs, they take less room and are just as functional.
Also welcome is the combined web address box and search engine. When you type something in the box, a drop down starts showing you possible places you might like to go, ala Google, and in fact, you can use Google or Bing or whichever you want. If you type in an address, the browser loads it. It’s that simple. The box is sizable too, you can stretch it wide or leave it short, the choice is yours.
And very welcome is Microsoft finally embracing HTML 5, which other sites have been supporting for quite some time. Finally, all the major browsers are on the same page, literally, so IE won’t give you any guff about not supporting something you’ve come across on a web page.
Also, something a little more subtle that many people might not even notice until using IE 9 for awhile is the new notification system.
Instead of a big note splashing on your screen yelling at your for something it doesn’t like, you instead get a little teeny, tiny message down near the bottom; much more polite.
One more thing, if you use IE 9 with Windows 7, you can tear off tabs with your mouse and pin them to your toolbar instead of having to use your favorites bar. Again, very nice, especially since Microsoft has built in a spec for allowing developers to add customized information when you click on the pinned icon with right mouse button.
Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 has many things to like, and so far, nothing really to dislike; once it’s officially released either later this year, or early next, it’s likely everyone who hasn’t yet seen it, will be raving.