Keana Lynch

A Closer Look at IE9 Beta

Est. Reading Time: 4 minutes

If you have used past versions of Internet Explorer then you might have run into some of the frustrations that I have. Past versions had all around poor performance with slow loading times and errors everywhere. Being a developer I use Internet Explorer to browser check but personally I never use it to surf the web. Well since last fall Microsoft has been talking about Internet Explorer 9. They were determined to develop a browser that adheres to Web Standards and has improved performance compared to previous versions. In September of this year the Internet Explorer 9 Beta version was released to the general public so I started researching more about it. The reviews looked good and many say that it is an impressively polished product. The list of features and performance upgrades looked impressive so I downloaded the Internet Explorer 9 Beta version for Windows 7.

What’s New?

  • Performance Improvements: Of course performance improvements are what we all look forward to. Past performance was a letdown and many have abandoned the use of internet explorer because of it. So is IE9 an improvement? At a glance I would definitely say yes. They now have hardware-accelerated text, video and graphics which means websites and applications load faster and are more responsive than they were on previous versions of Internet Explorer.  I tested a few sites to see how the loading time was and I was impressed. You Tube videos loaded fast without delays and browsing from site to site the response times were very acceptable. Internet Explorer vs. Internet Explorer
  • Streamlined Design: The biggest thing you notice when you first open the new Internet Explorer is the design of the browser.  The design is very compact and allows the web page to be the main focus.
  • One Box: One Box is the new search/address bar. This allows you to search directly from the address bar. I find this extremely user friendly especially for just everyday web browsing. It is quick and fast. Even though this is a new feature for IE other browsers like Chrome also have this great feature.
  • Tab Enhancements: IE9 also has new tab enhancements not only allowing multiple tabs but also Tear-off tabs. With Tear-off tabs you can rearrange tabs and open any tab in a new window by dragging the tab outside of the window. The only issue I have with the tabs is that with the more compact design, you are not allowed a lot of room to open and view multiple tabs in the navigation bar.
  • Pinned Sites:  Pinned sites is a new feature that is integrated with Windows 7. Pinned site allows you to pin your favorite sites to your windows taskbar for quicker access. It is very simple and takes seconds. Simply drag the website tab icon to the taskbar and its pinned. You can now just click that icon in your task bar and the web site opens.
  • Add-on Performance Advisor: The new add-on performance advisor is designed to ensure that IE9 starts fast and stays fast. I use lots of add-ons and sometimes they can slow down your browser. With the new performance advisor you can track what add-ons may be slowing down your browser and see the load times for each add-on.

After a test drive of the new Internet Explorer I will admit I like it much better than past versions.   I’m not saying I will switch to being a full time Internet Explorer user just yet but I am impressed with the improvements that they have made especially in performance. If you would like to learn more about the new features or test it out for yourself you can find more information at: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/internet-explorer/products/ie-9/home