IE9 Beta Is Available for Download
Article by George Norman
On 16 Sep 2010
Back in August, Redmond-based software giant Microsoft announced that it will roll out the first Beta version of IE9 to the public on the 15th of September. True to its word, Microsoft did just that on the 15th – it made Internet Explorer 9 Beta available for download.

IE9 has been around since March, when the first platform preview was rolled out. From March ‘till August Microsoft rolled out a total of 4 platform previews. Sure, these previews were faster, more interoperable, supported HTML5, and had a fully hardware accelerated rendering engine. But they lacked a key component – a user interface (UI).

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No UI meant the regular user would not get to see things like a Back or Forward button. It is for that reason that the regular user could not get to see how the next iteration of the Microsoft-developed web browser would look like. Now that IE9 Beta has been rolled out, everyone can see how IE9 looks like.

Besides a fresh new look, IE9 has some other things to offer. Here are the main IE9 highlights:
  • You can pin websites to the Windows 7 taskbar
  • The New Tab Page displays the sites you visit most often (like Opera's Speed Dial)
  • All notifications are displayed at the bottom of the page
  • Tear-off tabs feature that allows you to snap pages side-by-side using Windows Aero Snap
  • Tabs that are related are color coded
  • Add-on Performance Advisor identifies add-ons that may be slowing down your browser
  • IE9 Beta has a new, faster JavaScript engine
  • IE9 Beta provides support for HTML5

“The Web is about sites, and your browser should be, too,” Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for Internet Explorer, Dean Hachamovitch said. “IE9 puts you and your site at the center of the browser experience.”

To tout the capabilities of IE9, Microsoft has launched the Beauty of the Web site. You can download IE9 Beta straight from the Beauty of the Web site. Or you can get the browser in your native language from here.

You can if you are on Vista or Windows 7 that is, not if you are still using the old but popular Windows XP. We’ve known about this for some time now, but I’m going to repeat it just in case it’s news to you: IE9 does not provide support for Windows XP. As Dean Hachamovitch explained a while ago, a modern browser like IE9 deserves a modern operating system, which XP is not.

According to Redmond-based software giant Microsoft, out of all Windows users out there, around 68% are still clinging to Windows XP, the operating system that was released way back in 2001. Microsoft estimates that the larger part of that percentage is made up of corporate customers who have not left XP behind because they cannot afford a large-scale software (and hardware) upgrade.



Tags: Microsoft, Internet Explorer 9 Beta, IE9 Beta
About the author: George Norman
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