Sunday, November 7, 2010
Although the final release of Internet Explorer 9 is still some weeks away, Microsoft has released the beta for download and IE9 promises to change the way people browse the web. Here’s looking at all the new features in IE 9 and how they will redefine your browsing experience.
The first thing you’ll notice in the IE 9 beta is that it has taken a cue from Chrome, its fastest growing competitor, as far as the interface is concerned. Gone are the multiple tool bars that used to take up a lot of valuable real estate. Now the address bar, tabs, navigation and options buttons are on the same tool bar giving a full viewing opportunity to the users.
Not only can you pin web sites that you frequent in the browser itself (like in Chrome) but even on the task bar in Windows. This is a unique feature available in IE 9 only at present. The pinned tab displays real time information of the site so you don’t have to open it time and again. To use this feature you just have to drag and drop the site icon from the address bar on to the task bar.
One Box Address Bar
Microsoft has also introduced a useful feature in IE 9 called the One Box. By clicking on the small arrow in the right corner of the address bar you can change search engines, view browsing history, look up site suggestions, and your favorites. Isn’t it cool? Of course, following Chrome’s lead IE 9 enables search from the address bar it self thus again freeing up screen space.
Integrated Download Manager
Another great IE 9 feature is the download manager with resume support and information on the host site and useful tips on safety aspects like whether the file is safe to download or not. I particularly liked the resume support which is sadly lacking in Chrome. How many times have I had to restart a download simply because I couldn’t resume it.
Favorites, Feeds, and History all at one place
Yes now you can view your saved favorite sites, subscribed feeds and browsing history by simply clicking the star icon in the right corner of the browser. This surely saves on time looking for related stuff at different places.
For many netizens this is the most important and only benchmark that counts. The IE 9 beta is times faster than IE 8 and if Microsoft tests are to be believed faster than Chrome, the fastest browser available currently. And if you have experienced Chrome then this is quite a achievement. But personally I felt Chrome was quicker then the IE9 beta. Let’s wait for the final release to pronounce the winner in the speed stakes. Who knows what Mozilla is up to?
In-built Video Streaming
This might well sound the death knell of Adobe flash plugin. IE9 makes use of HTML 5, which enables it to provide in-built video streaming. Test results have shown that the video experience is faster and smoother even in HD. So bye bye flash.
But Windows users other than Windows 7 may not be able to experience all the features of IE 9. But this shouldn’t prevent them from upgrading to the latest version of Internet Explorer. You can always check out different demos and speed tests of the IE9 here.
If you are aware of other features of IE 9 share them in the comments section. Happy browsing!