Internet Explorer 9 beta arrives with snazzy UI in tow

Microsoft’s latest browser is here! Well, in beta form, at least. The Internet Explorer 9 beta popped up on beautyoftheweb.com earlier today, giving users of Windows 7 and Vista a chance to sample Microsoft’s revamped (and hardware-accelerated) rendering engine and the snazzy new UI that goes with it.

A word of warning if you’re planning to grab this thing: the installer will force you to restart Windows… and it’ll overwrite the previous version of IE. Don’t go thinking you can play with the beta while keeping IE8 around for real work on the same machine.

Microsoft has a lengthy expose on some of the new features on the official IE blog, and beautyoftheweb.com provides a more dumbed-down overview. In a nutshell, though, the IE9 beta looks less like Homer Simpson’s car and more like a luxury sedan—a nice change of pace compared to IE8.

I’ve gotta say, I quite like this new browser. It’s fast, looks clean, and seems to get in the way less than previous IE releases. Putting the address bar and tabs on the same line doesn’t seem like a half-way bad idea, either, although it could irritate folks who like to load the entire Internet in every browser session. My only real gripe lies with the hardware acceleration, which seems to make ClearType font rendering look off compared to other apps.

Comments closed
    • dustyjamessutton
    • 10 years ago

    IE9 crashed when trying to download flash player 64 bit. It downloaded it without crashing on the second try, but…. youtube videos running in standard def play back really choppy.

    • tdsevern
    • 10 years ago

    What happened to the down arrows next to the Back and Home buttons? Bring them back!

      • Skrying
      • 10 years ago

      Likely works like Chrome. You simply click and hold and the list of previous websites you’ve visited appears. Works just like the down arrows in previous IE and in Firefox.

        • Meadows
        • 10 years ago

        Exactly. You may also just right-click it.

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 10 years ago

    I just don’t get all their thinking of making more room on top… Is it so hard to move the tabs to the side of the browser? Just like the taskbar. I don’t think that is too hard to do.

    • vikramsbox
    • 10 years ago

    I thought the browser wars started as IE and the Mozilla Suite were bloated and had large installation downloads. But have a look at this-
    Chrome 1.0.154.59 (04/2009) 8.40MB
    Chrome 7.0.715.5 (09/2010) 22.28MB (265%)

    Firefox 1.0 (12/2004) 4.69MB
    Firefox 3.6.10 (09/2010) 8.14MB

    Opera 8.0 (04/2005) 3.59MB
    Opera 10.62 (09/2010) 12.71MB

    What exactly is going on? Weren’t browsers supposed to be light? And I wonder why chrome has increased in size nearly 4 fold in the last 1.5 years when the browser is supposed to be spartan and light.
    Those who will lecture that systems now are much higher capacity with respect to RAM, CPU blah blah, all I am asking is what are they stuffing in the browsers that have made the so called lean packages bloated like Sumo wrestlers?

      • ekul
      • 10 years ago

      Well chrome now supports extensions, has its own copy of more secure flash, even faster javascript, themes, has a bookmark manager and contains codecs for HTML5 video and audio. None of this comes free when it comes to code size. They have added a lot of functionality I use on a regular basis so it’s hard to complain. Google has also developed a binary diff updating method that ensures downloads of new minor versions are tiny, usually only a few hundred Kb.

      • HisDivineShadow
      • 10 years ago

      Chrome includes two Adobe plugins (Reader and Flash) that it also keeps up to date for you so you don’t have to worry about vulnerabilities from having an out of date add-on. Whether you like this or not depends on if you tend to use Flash sites a lot that are unlikely to change to HTML5 instantly and/or whether you’ve got an axe to grind with Google.

      Adobe plugins are not teeny-weeny.

    • Meadows
    • 10 years ago

    As for albundy’s issue, yes it still uses ActiveX, but there is a special Flash version – dated September 15 – that should be installed.

    Called “Square”, this preview version is *[

    • Pax-UX
    • 10 years ago

    > ClearType font rendering look off compared to other apps.

    Yeah, same with FF 4b6. But since I use a lot of Linux boxes it’s very similar to those so it’s not too bad.

      • Wirko
      • 10 years ago

      What is keeping Microsoft from using the same algorithm in every implementation of ClearType?

        • Meadows
        • 10 years ago

        Vista and later systems offer “ClearType tuning”, which can set the well-known “fake” sub-pixel rendering in finer ways to your preferences, but DirectWrite contains actual /[

    • Legend
    • 10 years ago

    Widget web 1.0 anyone? Whoops, scar-chasm from the ice cube tray!!

    • YeuEmMaiMai
    • 10 years ago

    welcome to maxthon in terms of front page buttons for sites but I will say this MSIE 9 is freaking fast and that in turn makes maxthon even faster

    • Fighterpilot
    • 10 years ago

    Firefox with Fast Dial is just great.There’s an add on called “Skip Google image advertising” that makes Google image search so much better.
    I noticed the Firefox 4 beta made the font rendering look weird too as Cyril mentioned.
    FF 3.6.9. ftw!

    • paulpod
    • 10 years ago

    Wow, I use three toolbar rows that they are trying to collapse into one. One row for displaying full address, even if it is long. One row for favorites shortcut buttons, And one row for tabs so they display text even if a lot of tabs are open.

    They even got rid of the tab preview tab. I hope this is all re-configurable.

    It is completely wrong to depend on the taskbar that may be a half mile away on a multi-display setup.

      • Flying Fox
      • 10 years ago

      Favourites bar is still there.

      Tab preview is the “Quick Tabs” feature. It is just disabled by default.

    • albundy
    • 10 years ago

    have they gotten rid of active x? ie is a security risk with it, period. does ie nuevo even have skinning like ff personas?

      • indeego
      • 10 years ago

      Activex is as about as insecure as other browser plug-ins/add ons. The real issue is zone traversal, and other browsers have had the same share of issues there. There have been very few activex add-ons blacklisted overall. In all honesty as a user (in linux/OSX/Windows) and with protected mode on, add-ons disabled, I’d say IE and Opera are the top browsers with regards to default security. I’d say Chromium and FF are the most secure with noscript type add-ons added.

      Flash on activex/plug-in is a huge issue. I don’t run flash at work anymore, there are 0-days out there, and I’m tired of whitelisting sites here and there for it.

      Google said sandboxing would keep their browser secure, anyone following Chrome security in the past 4 months knows that is anything but the truth, it’s by far had the most vulnerabilities, both in number and severity. We don’t hear about it because Google doesn’t publicly announce the most severe until after it pushes out a security update. This in itself has many issues, essentially google is rooting every machine Chrome’s install is on (in the default install, we’re not talking Chromium or when updater is shut off.) I do think Chrome will improve here, I think it’s just going through a very fast development pace and it’s taking lot of risksg{<...<}g

    • jstern
    • 10 years ago

    Are there any adblock extensions? I tried looking for one, but couldn’t find any. I downloaded the 64-Bit version, at this point would the 32-Bit version be a better choice, since it probably has more adons? The frame rate with the D2D is so much better with IE9, but I guess I’m sticking with FireFox 4.

    • The Dark One
    • 10 years ago

    Cyril’s jab about loading “the entire Internet in every browser session” aside, it looks like by the time you had four tabs open, things would start getting significantly crunched. Freeing up vertical space is one thing, but even on a widescreen monitor, I’d be willing to sacrifice the 30 or so pixels it would take to be able to tell my tabs apart.

    • indeego
    • 10 years ago

    Color me surprised. It sucks a lot less than I thought it would. By far MS’s best work to date browser wiseg{<.<}g

    • geekl33tgamer
    • 10 years ago

    Finally, it gets a download manager built in 🙂

    Looks pretty too, and I guess it’s not to bad on performance compared to Chrome. About time they bought IE up to date to give the Open Source guys a run for their money…

    • Shinare
    • 10 years ago

    Guess us corporate users that are still on Windows XP are SOL still.

      • HisDivineShadow
      • 10 years ago

      Corporate users were probably out of luck anyway. Pretty sure most Corporate users’ll be using IE 6 when IE 12 comes out and is accessed by thinking about what you want to do.

      Then, you’ll be wishing you had an ad blocker to block all the ads that are sent directly into your brain via techno-telepathic connection.

    • adisor19
    • 10 years ago

    A good step forward for MS. The more users stop using older versions of IE, the less webmasters have to worry about compatibility issues and actually concentrate on being creative.

    Adi

    • wira020
    • 10 years ago

    I would have preferred that the tab bar to not be mixed up with anything.. but then again, I wouldnt use IE anyway because I love Firefox due to its’ add-ons..

      • Meadows
      • 10 years ago

      The average user doesn’t view 10 tabs constantly, so I’m guessing this is a move to further increase available vertical space on those crappy widescreens.

        • HisDivineShadow
        • 10 years ago

        Quite right. About time they copied Chrome in this. Too bad Firefox and Opera copied it in a fashion that’s not as efficient or as good as the amount of vertical space that both Chrome and now IE 9 take up.

          • Meadows
          • 10 years ago

          They didn’t copy anyone.

            • Skrying
            • 10 years ago

            It’s interesting how strongly you’re defending IE. Why?

            • drsauced
            • 10 years ago

            I think Meadows is being facetious. Microsoft has been behind the curve almost habitually for years now, and IE9 doesn’t look like any different. It’s like the smart kid who’s not in with the cool kids, but still tries to emulate them.

            • Meadows
            • 10 years ago

            Because overall I like Microsoft products and in a great many cases favour them over the competition – much like, for example, how I like NVidia products and generally favour them over the competition. In any case, I have my firm established reasons.

            • poulpy
            • 10 years ago

            §[<http://www.wordreference.com/definition/biased<]§ Just throwing this out there.. :)

    • Meadows
    • 10 years ago

    Looking good so far, I hope this is not the final looks though.

    As far as browsers are concerned, I just hope nobody ever goes back to where Firefox still is today. The interface is dated and they’re only now realising this, scrambling to literally copy Opera’s default interface in Firefox 4 (right down to Opera’s compact “Menu” button that they copied /[

      • GreatGooglyMoogly
      • 10 years ago

      Well, Opera “stole” that from Office 2010…

      • poulpy
      • 10 years ago

      Pretty sure it’s very close to the final look and:

      – spreading Back/Forward, Home and Reload/Stop on 3 different places across the screen is still RETARDED..

      – limiting the length of the address bar by stacking the tabs there is a bad idea in my book. I want to see the URL entirely.

      – interface looks beyond usability is down to personal preferences, the hate you seem to have against FF4 and Opera’s interface is a bit disturbing.

      – not sure about what CPU usage you’re on about but FF was known to be a massive memory hog and cured that pretty well today compared to the other guys, so I see no reason why they can’t fix any cpu problem they may still have on a _[

        • Meadows
        • 10 years ago

        Their CPU usage problems are across the board, I don’t recall saying a single word about “beta” there.

          • poulpy
          • 10 years ago

          Your memory is correct but then you failed at being clear sir as you were referring to their new interface..
          Thanks for ignoring all the other points and sticking with the trolling though.

            • Meadows
            • 10 years ago

            Doesn’t absolve Mozilla of developing a pile of crud that sucks CPU like there’s no tomorrow (unless the browser is 100% idle and on the taskbar), regardless of which version you use.

      • HisDivineShadow
      • 10 years ago

      Agree about not going to where Firefox is. It’s kinda sad that people haven’t moved on from FF considering how far behind it is compared to Chrome and has been for a while.

      I’m currently typing on IE 9 atm and I don’t mind it. I am missing an ad blocker though. I’m going back to Chrome (Canary) because of that. Ads have become so obnoxious that I don’t think it’s even reasonable to browse without a blocker. I forgot until I started checking this IE out.

      I feel like the groundhog on GH day. “EEEEK, AAAADS! BAAAACK INTO MAH HIDING PLAAAACE!”

        • Imperor
        • 10 years ago

        I agree fully! I’m still on FF, because Chrome doesn’t work well on all pages yet! And a lot of the Greasemonkey scripts I use won’t work properly neither, but it’s just a question of time I guess…
        Don’t think I’ll ever go back to IE though. Unless they start supporting 3rd party plugs that is, which’ll never happen!

    • evilpaul
    • 10 years ago

    I’m trying to figure out why it still does Tab Grouping. It doesn’t do anything and the Tab management from the line they’re in is nonexistant.

    • ew
    • 10 years ago

    9th post!

    • flip-mode
    • 10 years ago

    Looks like Chrome. Looks a lot like Chrome. I guess I’ll say that’s a good thing, but Chrome has stolen my heart.

    Does anyone have any proof that Chrome mines data, and if so, what data is being mined for?

    Chrome is “boring”? LOL, STFU. Only if stability, speed, standards compliance, and bestness are boring.

      • Meadows
      • 10 years ago

      It looks like a /[

        • flip-mode
        • 10 years ago

        I’d just like to know if there is any proof for those claims.

          • ModernPrimitive
          • 10 years ago

          Same here. I have an android phone and the Google / data collection issue does nag at me a bit lately. Seems a little odd to me how huge they got with a simple search engine page compared to others. I admit I’m naive on how alot the ad marketing on the net works but…. someone add some thoughts please. I’d love to hear both sides. The forum may be a good spot eh.

          • indeego
          • 10 years ago

          Chrome records every keypress in the address bar and sends to Google in the default state.

          This stuff ( §[<http://royal.pingdom.com/2010/01/08/how-google-collects-data-about-you-and-the-internet/<]§ ) which a lot of providers collect, isn't exclusive to google. Much can easily be opted out, blocked, etc. As for proof, nobody has any direct proof that Google is actively monitoring users [on a wide scale] personal/private information through the browser. This doesn't mean that information collected today (anonymously) couldn't be used in the future in any number of ways, either within or without google's control. Yeah, tin foil hat, and all, but tell that to these four kidsg{<:<}g §[<http://www.toptechreviews.net/tech-news/google-cans-snooping-employee-again/<]§

          • poulpy
          • 10 years ago

          No proof AFAIK just the usual tinfoil hat peeps.
          But if anyone likes Chrome but still fancies their tinfoil hat they can use Chromium: §[<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromium_(web_browser)<]§ Being open source and scrutinised by loads of eyes that ought to help them go to bed feeling safer..

    • jalex3
    • 10 years ago

    well it more happy with this than i am ff4, would like more choise for the tabs though. atleast you can drag the url bar shorter

    • evilpaul
    • 10 years ago

    The space for tabs is completely inadequate on my 1280×1024 monitor. Yes, people still use them.

    Is there some hidden tab management I’m missing? I opened about 15 and there’s just a scroll bar. There’s no way to see the full title of any web page here. The title of this page is the Tech Report magnifier logo. Very informative.

    The Favorites icon is now tiny and moved to the middle on the top right. I use that all the time. I never use the Home button and don’t often go into the Settings menu. Why the hell is Favorites stuck between the two?

    Did anyone use this thing before releasing it? That’s great that it looks nice on your 30″ monitor. But I don’t see how its supposed to be useable.

      • BlackStar
      • 10 years ago

      You can access tabs right from the Win7 taskbar. They are probably thinking that tabs inside the window are no longer useful.

      • Peffse
      • 10 years ago

      People still use them? What does that mean….?
      I still use 1024×768.

        • SomeOtherGeek
        • 10 years ago

        Anyone with 640 by 480 out there?

      • HisDivineShadow
      • 10 years ago

      Well, they certainly weren’t going the more logical route of putting either the omnibar or the tabs into the title bar because then they’d be violating their precious “Windows interface guidelines” and Heaven forbid the new interface to the web do that.

      If you want superior vertical AND horizontal space usage, there’s still Chrome to serve your needs.

    • jdaven
    • 10 years ago

    Looks like Chrome, smells like Chrome and tastes like Chrome. So I’ll stick with Chrome.

      • sweatshopking
      • 10 years ago

      chrome’s boring. it’s ugly and datamines. i’m diggin ie. as you well know, jdaven, my bff, I only care about 2 things.

      – Pretty
      – price.

      chrome ties on the price, but this one ties on the pretty. Functionality takes a backseat to pretty imo.

        • jdaven
        • 10 years ago

        You might want to change your philosophy because I’m pretty and cheap and most likely, you wouldn’t want me! 😉

        Lol!

      • Meadows
      • 10 years ago

      Actually, …no.

        • HisDivineShadow
        • 10 years ago

        It takes up the same exact amount of space vertically as Chrome. It followed in Chrome’s example of reducing the number of buttons down and/or reducing their prominence. It copied tab tearing to a new browser (that’s always been a feature of Chrome for as long as I’ve used it, Version 1-2, one of the reasons I started using it initially back during the early days). It copied keystroke prediction and search.

        Its great. These are some of the best new features of IE. Too bad they don’t have as robust a group of extensions as Chrome, but it’s MS, so what do you expect?

          • Meadows
          • 10 years ago

          Much faster than Chrome too at handling pages, so you’ve got to give credit where it’s due. In fact, it’s even faster than Opera most of the time. Hardware acceleration seems like a good thing to do.

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