The IE9 Beta is out with Microsoft claiming this incarnation of the Internet Explorer 9 web browser will finally utilize the full potential of our computers to bring the internet to life in a way we’ve not yet experienced. One in 3 internet visits still take place for a version of Internet Explorer but overall Microsoft has seen their market share dwindle in recent years; and this flavor of Internet Explorer seems to be their attempt to wrest the momentum back from Google and Mozilla.
Microsoft has seemingly thrown their weight behind IE9. The IE9 public Beta became available on Wednesday September 15. It currently looks as if IE9 will ship first quarter 2011 however don’t hold me to that. With the speed at which the browser war is being waged, don’t be surprised to see IE9 rushed to release, and be even less surprised if you see an immediate reaction from Microsoft’s browser rivals.
IE9 has been stripped down by design, sporting a minimalist look with only the most necessary features, managing to keep its place on your screen real estate. Aesthetically, the Microsoft team have attempted to keep focus on the web, trying as far as possible to keep the IE9 interface sleek and functional. Most of the work, and rightly so, seems to have been done under the hood though. IE9 is heavily focused on expanding support for HTML5 and CSS3, which will be a huge relief for web developers, and perhaps the boost these web design standards needed to reach mainstream acceptance and use. IE9 is a definite attempt by Microsoft to increase the fidelity of their rendering of websites.
In addition to that, IE9 has reworked their Java scripting engine which should increase page load times. High end computers will also make use of Direct2D to speed up the rendering of certain code on machines with enough hardware grunt available.
A number of sites are partnering with Microsoft to optimize their sites with a view of making full use of the added functionality which the new browser offers. One of the optimized sites which took center stage at the IE9 beta launch was Microsoft’s search engine Bing. The site will utilize HTML5 which will allow moving images or video on its home page.
IE9 will also allow you to pin browser tabs to your taskbar the way you would an app. IE9 looks safer than ever before, as SmartScreen works in conjunction with your download manager to keep you updated on the health and intentions of the files you’re grabbing.
All in all, it seems like Microsoft has been listening to those users who’ve been complaining about them not keeping up with the Joneses in the browser war. Sleek and quick, go download the beta and see if Microsoft can convince you that they’ve delivered what they promised.