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Internet Explorer 9! Get ready for the new way to Web!

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It's here again; Microsoft is launching a new version of Internet Explorer: Internet Explorer 9, with noticeable changes on its interface, functions and new tools. As they say on its promotional video: "It's time to play, on a more beautiful web", fast and clean web browsing experience, using the computer's peripherals at hand on video, gaming, graphics and more. This new version comes along with the compatibility needed for new HTML generation programing, which makes the user interact with websites like never before...

The first thing you notice when you open Internet Explorer 9 is the compact user interface. You can now access most of the functions from the command bar, such as Print or Zoom by clicking the Tools button, or favorites by clicking the Favorites button. It's a new slick design which allows a better view for web sites, since they removed unnecessary buttons. "Unlocking the beauty of the Web." is the slogan that Microsoft wants to point out for this new design.

According to the FAQ posted on Microsoft’s site, Windows 7 users will need to install SP1 prior to installing IE9; Windows Vista users must install SP2. Bad news for XP users, the new version will not be available for them.
Furthermore, they point out that the deployment tools will work with IE9, which is a blocking utility to prevent the Windows Update to automatically downloading and installing the new browser if not opted-in by the user.

Now, let’s get down to business. There are some new features plus legacy of IE8 features, but you can see that this new version has a more integrated functionality for Windows 7, let’s give a quick look at what is new.

New Features

Streamlined design:
The web site is much more arranged, and the tools are not in the way when a big loaded site appears, which is most important when low resolutions are in use. You can see the zoom and print in the tools for quick use, as well as favorites that in just a click will load up for a faster web experience.

Pinned Sites:
Like in the past but with a much better experience, you can pin a favorite site or quick access for convenience any site on your Windows 7's bar.

Download Manager:
Where are my downloads? Did it download already? Where did I save it? I lost all the download data for that huge file! These and many more expressions where at hand when downloading any files with IE, but this is now the past! IE9 includes a Download Manager (at last!) where you can administer your downloads directly, and not out of luck!

Enhanced tabs:
This option is rather much the same as in IE8, but you can use Tear-off tabs, just drag off the bar and tadahh, you will get your site on a separate window, or snap it back.

New Tab page:
It is really interesting that IE9 keeps a history of the recent pages in the new tab option. You can now reopen recently closed tabs easily.

Search in the address bar:
On the address bar once you start typing the address bar, Bing will begin a search based on the recent websites and Bing’s suggestions.

Add-on Performance Advisor:
Add-on Performance Advisor gives an browser performance analyzer and lets you know if an particular add-on is slowing down the browser performance, and then allows you to disable or remove it.

Hardware acceleration:
Now IE9 can use your GPU hardware to accelerate graphics, video streaming and online gaming, giving the video and graphics processing a fast and rich experience. (This improvement is the reason IE9 does only work on recent OS.)

JavaScript engine:
IE9 features a faster (than IE8's) JavaScript engine, internally known as Chakra which has a separate background thread for compiling JavaScript. That makes the engine at least as fast as the competitors'.

CSS improvement:
CSS improvements mainly include support for CSS3 Backgrounds and Borders, CSS3 Values and Units and CSS3 Media Queries.

Internet Explorer 9 HTML 5:
IE9 includes support for the HTML5 video and audio tags. HTML5, which is currently under development, will include video playback and other graphics-intensive features that, in the past, could only be done by adding third-party software.

Once you install it you can view several sites that are available for the new features IE9 can offer, for instance, this test drive is really useful if you want to test it out:

http://ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/views/alldemos/default.html


Side note: Should I use beta software? Do I need to install Internet Explorer 9?
This question is extremely common, given the idea that beta versions are regularly second versions of a program or application that is still being tested, and code has not yet refined. This implies that it is susceptible to numerous disadvantages and functionality that may not yet be available.

For Internet Explorer 9, many sites may not support the new engine and loose functionality, so there are certain advantages and disadvantages to consider:

Advantages of being a Beta tester:
Keeping up with the new and be the first to try.
Knowing what comes and measure its new features.
Being able to give a timely feedback to a product still in development.
Disadvantages of being a Beta tester:
Potential high rate of updates.
Problems with applications.
It may not work as expected and need to uninstall.
It needs uninstall before the public release can be installed, maybe loosing some settings.
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