Internet Explorer 9 release candidate available for download

A press release just hit my inbox proclaiming that an official release candidate for Internet Explorer 9 is now available for download. Microsoft’s IE blog has a rundown of what users can expect from the RC build, which comes some five months after the IE9 beta was first released to the public. Feedback from the beta has fueled at least one major change in the user interface.

As part of its "site-centric" design, the IE9 beta put tabs on the same row as the address bar to make more room for site content. That apparently miffed more than a few users, who would prefer to have tabs on their own row like in Firefox, Chrome, and IE8. Interestingly, Microsoft says that only 3% of IE9 beta sessions opened more than five tabs. Beta browsers are more likely to be run by power users and enthusiasts, so I’d expect that percentage to be even lower among the general public. Nevertheless, the IE9 RC build gives users the option to let tabs stretch out on their own row.

With a hardware-accelerated rendering engine at its core, IE9 brings with it the promise of better performance than existing browsers. In fact, Microsoft claims the RC build is 35% faster than the beta release in the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark. The RC’s memory utilization has been trimmed, as well. On the features front, Microsoft has added support for tracking lists that gives users control over what information is shared with the sites they’re browsing. There’s also an ActiveX Filter that allows ActiveX preferences to be set on a site-by-site basis.

Microsoft says the IE9 beta was downloaded over 25 million times. The company will be listening to feedback "over the next few weeks," suggesting that a final release isn’t too far off.

Comments closed
    • Sunburn74
    • 9 years ago

    DON’T DOWNLOAD IT. FOR ME IE9 WOULD NOT LOAD PAGES BUT INSTEAD CRASH TO DESKTOP. THEN WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO REMOVE. MS TROUBLESHOOTERS RECOMMENDED REINSTALL OF WINDOWS. PFFT! WORST DOWNLOAD I EVER MADE EVER.

    • moog
    • 9 years ago

    [url<]http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2011/02/10/internet-explorer-9-rc-released-everything-you-need-to-know/[/url<] They say IE is the fastest browser in Sunspider now and is the fastest in general. But I'm getting impatient and wish they would just release it already (I don't like installing pre-release versions of anything). At some point they should just say it's fast/good enough, saving a few more milliseconds is not a big deal in my opinion.

    • Trymor
    • 9 years ago

    Will it run on Linux 😉 –

    I can hear the groans B4 I post. OK, let me have it, we will see if I can take it heh.

      • kc77
      • 9 years ago

      Why on earth would you want that?

        • BlackStar
        • 9 years ago

        Because sure as hell I won’t install windows. IE5-8 run fine on Linux, which allows me to work around their retardation in my web apps. If IE9 doesn’t… well, they’d better deliver on that “same markup” promise they made.

    • toyota
    • 9 years ago

    how do I fix the horrible text? there is no option for not using clear type like there was in IE8. I googled it and there are plenty of complaints but I see no definitive answer.

      • ManAtVista
      • 9 years ago

      If I understand it correctly, you need to email the site admins and have them use more exact font size specifications or whatever it is. Some sites look awesome text-wise, others like garbage, just need to wait until IE9 becomes popular and everyone fixes their sites. Alternatively, you can hit the broken page icon (compatibility mode) in the address bar and it might fix text on that page.

        • toyota
        • 9 years ago

        not every page has the compatibility mode option and even those that do still not look as right as I want. I will just stick to FF as I feel its not my job to track down a way to fix every page individually.

          • Trymor
          • 9 years ago

          I would hope there is an option somewhere to choose a specific font/size, at least I can in Opera.

    • Tumbleweed
    • 9 years ago

    Once I turned on all the by-default turned-off toolbars, it’s not bad at all. Also had to turn on the feature in ‘Advanced’ to let me use one-word destinations for intranet sites. As usual – dumb defaults, but all browsers come with bad defaults, so not surprising or limited to MS.

    I really wish I could increase the size of the reload, etc buttons in the address bar – they are annoyingly small.

      • Ryu Connor
      • 9 years ago

      Right click the tab bar, slide down to customize in the context menu, then pick large icons.

        • Tumbleweed
        • 9 years ago

        There IS no ‘customize’ in that context menu for me. 🙁

          • oldog
          • 9 years ago

          I’m lookin’ for it too!

      • Anomymous Gerbil
      • 9 years ago

      All browsers come with bad defaults? So, your preferences are everyone’s preferences?

        • Tumbleweed
        • 9 years ago

        Yes, now you’ve got it!

    • Sargent Duck
    • 9 years ago

    Been using the IE9 beta as my secondary for quite a while now. I like it.

    • tejas84
    • 9 years ago

    Looking forward to using this as my main browser with its HTML 5 and GPU accelerated goodness!

    • bcronce
    • 9 years ago

    only 3% have more than 5 tabs opened? Sometimes I drop below 20.

      • provoko
      • 9 years ago

      Sometimes I drop below 30 tabs. =)

        • Trymor
        • 9 years ago

        Tab stacking!

      • smilingcrow
      • 9 years ago

      Sometimes I drop a tab or two and after about 45 minutes the sky’s the limit; excuse me while I kiss the sky.

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 9 years ago

      I have about 100

        • Kharnellius
        • 9 years ago

        Man! I only have about 30…

        …per browser window…

        …and I have 14 windows open…

        oh. snap.

      • Kaleid
      • 9 years ago

      And this is why ADHD/ADD is more common these days 😛

        • Trymor
        • 9 years ago

        Just the other day, I told my friend that I noticed my thinking becoming more fragmented from browsing the web 8-16 hrs a day since it’s inception.

        He said I better stop doing that.

      • stdRaichu
      • 9 years ago

      To be fair, IE *does* make having more than a few tabs open unbearably painful.

      I’ll usually have about 40-80 tabs open in firefox cos that’s about as many as you can have without it leaking itself to death and/or crashing. Opera, which I use at home (crashes with the proxy we have at work) will happily sustain me up to my typical maximum of 100-120 tabs.

      And no, I can’t stand tab stacking 🙂

        • moog
        • 9 years ago

        How do you manage your tabs? Must be a little annoying to scroll/navigate tabs when so many are open?

          • stdRaichu
          • 9 years ago

          Opera makes it easy; right click + scroll, or use the 1+2 keys to rapidly navigate between them. With firefox I’m reduced to a bunch of hacks via tabmix plus (which won’t accept single-key shortcuts for switching between tabs). If I want to be really slow about it, opera’s mouseover with show me a thumbnail of the tab.

          On a higher level, since all the tabs are ordered chronologically I personally find it easy to remember which order they’re in, especially with the favicon.

            • Trymor
            • 9 years ago

            Don’t forget ctrl-tab, and the sidebar list of open windows. Also, one can drag the border under the tabs to expand them to small views of the pages in the open tabs. I have yet to fully explore tab-stacking, but so far I like it anyway.

        • Trymor
        • 9 years ago

        “And no, I can’t stand tab stacking :)” – You may want to give stacking more time, as there are a bunch of new right-click options to organize them too…

          • stdRaichu
          • 9 years ago

          I don’t want them “organised” since my definition of organised tends to consist of “in the order I opened them in, without having to click through tedious sub-menus”, and most other people’s definition of organised means “Hey! It looks like you’re trying to open a webpage! Do you want me to merge that with this other webpage you opened exactly 125 hours ago? Cos they have similar titles!”.

          Never seen any tab stacking option I liked, other than opera’s “you must do it all manually” option. And I don’t use that because I don’t see the purpose of stacking ten tabs under a single tab. What’s wrong with just having ten tabs?

            • Trymor
            • 9 years ago

            Fair enough.

            • BlackStar
            • 9 years ago

            I use tab stacking to group related tabs that I will revisit in the future. If I’m not actively reading my 20 math-related wikipedia tabs, I stack them until I need them again. This is a win-win situation, since it allows you to keep more tabs open without reaching the limit and allows you to focus on material relevant to your current interest.

            The only downside is that you can easily compress 120 tabs into 6 or 7 groups and keep opening more. Opera can take that no problem, but reading all that material will take weeks (during which you’ll open even more tabs – it’s a vicious circle).

      • indeego
      • 9 years ago

      Mike Masnick over at techdirt says he has between 300-800 tabs open between FF and chrome at any one time. Heavily uses session management, also.

      I rarely get above 5, any more and I dramatically lose productivity with hunting/pecking.

    • Tumbleweed
    • 9 years ago

    While “beta users” are more likely to be power users, *IE* beta users are more likely to be web developers wanting to see how badly MS has screwed up this time, and are thus likely to be simply checking out some compatibility issues, rather than using it as their main browser, and would thus be less likely to have a lot of tabs open at once. IMHO.

      • Helmore
      • 9 years ago

      Let me guess, you haven’t downloaded the IE9 RC? If you’ve tried it then you should be able to see that it is a pretty decent browser. In my case, it won’t replace Chrome as my default browser, but I think that IE9 is still pretty nice.

      EDIT: Just read your second comment and I can see that you gave it a try :D.

      For me personally, the main thing that I miss in IE9 is the option to reopen the tabs from my previous session on startup. You can reopen your previous session manually, but that’s annoying ;P.

        • Madman
        • 9 years ago

        Had to try it for testing purposes, and it’s awful.

        • indeego
        • 9 years ago

        “pretty decent”
        “pretty nice”

        That’ll show Google!

    • UberGerbil
    • 9 years ago

    Naturally, given the underpinnings (and as with the beta), only Vista and 7 users need apply.

      • Trymor
      • 9 years ago

      Good reminder. Have you tried it yet?

      • UberGerbil
      • 9 years ago

      Tried the Beta a while ago, haven’t got around to this one. Probably will just wait for the official release, actually.

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